Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to increase the city’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 per hour by 2020.
According to NBC Los Angeles, under the plan, which was approved 14-1, pay for workers will increase over the next five years and reach the $15 per hour plateau by 2020. The increase came after labor organizers from around the city and country began demanding higher wages.
Initially, the city’s Economic Development Committee approved the wage increase. By July 2016, the measure calls for an hourly wage increase from $9 to $10.50 per hour for employers with 26 or more workers. By July 2017, the raise will go up to $12 per hour, then $13.25 per hour in July 2018, $14.25 per hour by July 2019 and finally reach the top rate of $15 per hour in 2020.
Employers with 25 or fewer employees will not have to pay the wage increase of $15 per hour until 2021. However, as NBC Los Angeles pointed out, there are exceptions within the measure for teenagers, employees of nonprofits and workers who receive tips. Additionally, there are exceptions for temporary programs, which may employ workers just released from jail or who are homeless.
Some people who support wage increases said that the measure is good news, but it moves too slowly. The measure still needs to be written by the City Attorney’s office and will then be moved back to the council for a final approval later.
Should I Speak to an Attorney About My Wages?
This is good news for the people of Los Angeles who were holding demonstrations calling for higher wages. While the mandate may call for a slower moving plan than what some supporters wanted, it will help those who are living in tremendous poverty.
Keep in mind, if your employer does not pay you the mandated minimum wage based on your position and where you live, it may be participating in wage and overtime theft. If this is the case, you should speak to a labor attorney about your legal rights in pursuing back pay and damages.
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys