Fast food employees in New York City demand higher pay amidst a national debate over increasing the minimum wage. Last week in New York City, hundreds of fast food workers walked off their jobs, demanding higher wages and improved benefits. Many of them earn the federal minimum wage of $7.50 an hour. New York state recently approved an increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour by the year 2016. But for a full time worker that still would only mean a yearly income of $18,000 in a city where the living wage for one adult is estimated at $26,500. In response to the protests, McDonald's issued a statement saying it treats their employees with dignity and respect while offering competitive wages. Employees, however, say the company is simply ignorning their demands.