The Los Angeles City Council has given preliminary approval for a plan that will gradually raise the minimum-wage to $15 over the course of 5 years. This will make Los Angeles, California the largest city in the nation to adopt a major raise to the minimum-wage.
The current minimum-wage in Los Angeles is $9 an hour. The new plan will require employers to start paying $15 per hour by 2020. Companies who employ fewer than 25 workers will have until 2021 to meet the new standard. Certain non-profit organizations that train and rehabilitate disadvantaged workers, such as former gang members or homeless individuals, may also take advantage of the year-extension.
The increase in minimum wage is expected to affect about 800,000 workers. According to some estimates, nearly half of the city’s workforce currently earns less than $15 an hour.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, has already promised to sign the wage increase into law. When the law goes into effect, the first raise will require employers to pay employees at least $10.50 per hour starting in July 2016.
Those opposed to the increase in minimum wage argue that the mandate will force employers to lay off workers or leave the city. Those who support the raise hope that it will improve the quality of life for the region’s huge low-wage work force, and hopefully set off a wave of increases across the state and nation as a whole. Many cities and states are taking initiative to raise their minimum wage. One other California city, Emeryville, has given preliminary approval to gradually increase its minimum wage to $16 an hour by 2019. If the San Francisco Bay Area city does so, it will have the nation’s highest minimum wage.
The Los Angeles City Council’s vote allows the measure to go before City Attorney Mike Feuer, who will draft a minimum-wage ordinance that will be returned to the council for final approval later in 2015. It will then go to Mayor Garcetti.
Sacramento, CA 95821