NEW YORK - Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration has approved plans to raise the minimum wage of fast-food employees to $15 -- a figure that the Democratic governor says should be the minimum wage for all workers.

Cuomo made the comments at a rally with Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, the same day Cuomo's labor commissioner approved the fast-food wage hike. The increase was recommended by a state Wage Board and does not need legislative approval.

The higher wage will be gradually phased in over three years in New York City and over six years elsewhere in the state. It will apply to some 200,000 workers at large chain restaurants.

Fast-food workers say the current $8.75 wage forces many into poverty.

A group of restaurant owners is considering a legal challenge to the increase.