Lawmakers and news sources alike proclaimed that New York was the first state to establish a $15 minimum wage—which is now the highest in the country. And while raising the minimum wage is a significant benefit for many workers, it may not affect everyone the same.

Here are some of the primary exceptions of New York’s new minimum wage law:

Different rates, different wages

The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes the right to a minimum wage. And raising that minimum wage is more complicated than it seems.

The new law increased the state minimum wage to $15, but according to the New York State Department of Labor, minimum wage rates currently vary across the state. And businesses do not all provide the same minimum wage, depending on the number of employees they have.

So, some employees might not benefit from the law—at least not right away. Employees in New York City, Westchester and surrounding counties might have to wait a few years until those rates expire.

The tip credit impacts minimum wage too

Employees who earn tips, such as bartenders or servers, have always had a rocky relationship with the minimum wage. That is mostly because of the tip credit.

The tip credit allows employers to include potential tips in their employees’ wages. Therefore, they can take a portion of their wage so that their wage evens out.

Many workers who receive tips might not feel the effect of the new law

It makes sense that it will take some time for the whole state to feel the effects of a higher minimum wage. After all, legal changes take time. And employees in the service industry have had a long battle regarding minimum wage matters.

However, City & State New York reports that there are even more workers who may not receive a higher minimum wage. Most of them include tipped workers, such as nail salon employees or valet attendants.

Shouldn’t everyone receive the new minimum wage?

Wage laws can be complex. And there are many laws that impact different workers—at both the state and federal levels. These most recent exceptions only demonstrate that. 

A new minimum wage law across the state should technically impact any employee who earns minimum wage. However, wages can depend on various details, including the type and size of the business. And those details can, in turn, impact employees.