Minimum wage workers in Los Angeles will see their pay increase to $16.04 an hour starting Friday as the new fiscal year begins, and workers across the state could see their pay rise to $18 an hour by 2025 if voters approve a measure on the ballot in November.
Workers in unincorporated L.A. County will also see their minimum hourly wage rise, to $15.96, following an increase last year to about $15 an hour.
Efforts to increase the minimum wage were spearheaded by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who announced the city’s hike in February.
This city’s increase is expected to benefit over 600,000 L.A. residents, according to Garcetti’s office.
“We fought to raise the minimum wage because hard work should always be met with the dignity, respect, and opportunity that fair pay brings,” Garcetti said in a statement announcing the decision. “Our decision to end poverty wages in L.A. caused a ripple effect across the nation, and this additional increase is the latest reason to celebrate today — and a reminder of how our fight for better wages is far from finished.”
The raise affects any employee who works at least two hours a week within the geographic boundaries of the city of Los Angeles and is entitled to earn the California minimum wage, according to the city’s Bureau of Contract Administration. This includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers, regardless of immigration status.
The increase applies to businesses of all sizes.
“Our Office of Wage Standards will remain committed to protecting vulnerable workers from experiencing wage theft to advance labor standards in the city,” John L. Reamer Jr., inspector of public works and director of the Bureau of Contract Administration, said in the statement. “This is an important step to address economic realities for every Angeleno who is working hard to support themselves and their families.”
The county’s wage hike was announced by the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs back in March. The increase of almost a dollar was in accordance with the county’s rising consumer price index.
In 2016, the county adopted an ordinance that increased the minimum wage by predetermined steps annually. Workers saw their hourly wage increase slowly at large businesses from $10.50 in 2016 to $15 in 2020. At smaller businesses, wages increased at the same rate from 2017 to 2021.
However, starting Friday, a new county ordinance orders that the minimum wage be adjusted annually based on the consumer price index.
Rather than by fixed amounts, future increases will be determined by a formula that takes the CPI, which tracks fluctuations in the prices of goods and services, into account.
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors put the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in charge of wage-informing, education and enforcement of the minimum wage, which will apply to both small and large businesses, unlike the previous ordinance.
“We will ensure that workers in unincorporated L.A. County are protected and aware of the updated minimum wage, and we will work with our sister departments to support employers that may need assistance with information, compliance, and access to resources,” Rafael Carbajal, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs said in a video statement.
Other nearby cities, including Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Malibu and Pasadena, have their own minimum wage increases going into effect Friday.
L.A.’s increase precedes a ballot initiative, the Living Wage Act of 22, to be voted on in November that would increase the state minimum wage to $18 an hour over several years.