NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to have it his way with New York’s fast-food industry – and restaurant owners aren’t loving it.

Franchise owners say they’re considering a lawsuit against Cuomo’s plan to raise the minimum wage in their eateries to $15 an hour, arguing that it is not fair or legal to be saddled with such a significant increase in labor costs that won’t apply to retail, landscaping, child care or other traditionally low-wage industries.

“Singling out fast food restaurants while ignoring other industries that hire workers who are paid under $15 is unfair and discriminatory, harms New York workers, and puts some New York businesses – including mine and my fellow New York McDonald’s franchisees – at a competitive disadvantage,” said Jack Bert, who owns seven locations in Queens.

Labor activists say the Democratic governor’s plan to gradually increase the wage will improve the lives of some 200,000 New Yorkers. The state’s minimum wage for all other workers will remain $8.75 an hour.

The increase awaits formal approval by Cuomo’s labor commissioner, but it was endorsed Wednesday by a Wage Board that Cuomo convened after attempts to raise the minimum wage across the board fell flat in the Legislature.

Lawyers representing fast-food restaurants say their lawsuit could focus on whether the increase was arbitrarily and unfairly applied to a single group.

Attorney Randy Mastro said he will review the measure before deciding whether to pursue a legal claim.

“This proposal is an irrational and discriminatory race to judgment to achieve a predetermined outcome,” he said.

The increase would be phased in over three years in New York City and over six years in the rest of the state. It would apply to any fast-food company with 30 or more locations.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.