L.A. minimum wage taking a big jump July 1

Employers in the City of Los Angeles with 26 or more workers must start paying at least $12 an hour on July 1 under the new citywide minimum wage. That’s a $1.50-cent increase– or nearly 15% — above the current $10.50 minimum.

“I think it’s great,” said Lauren Gardiner, who works at Wacko, a gift shop and gallery in Los Feliz.  “I read that when wages go up, people start spending more money.”

The increase is the second bump under the Los Angeles Minimum Wage ordinance that will eventually raise the lowest wage in the city to $15 an hour by July 1, 2021. Employers with 26 or more workers also had to begin paying paid sick leave to eligible workers under the ordinance

Smaller employers with 25 or fewer workers and some nonprofits will  be required to pay at least $10.50 starting July 1.

Raising the minimum wage was a hotly debated measure that supporters said would decrease poverty but that many businesses said would eventually slow down hiring and hurt the economy.  In a recent study out of Seattle, the number of jobs and hours for the lowest-paid workers has declined at a faster rate than in surrounding communities as the city raised the minimum to $13 an hour, reports the L.A. Times.

David Fletcher, manager, Rudy’s Barber Shop in Los Feliz, said he is supportive of the increase. Most of the beneficiaries would be the front desk staff since the stylists work on commission and receive tips.  There are no plans to raise prices to cover the added costs, he said.

“It’s a good thing,” Fletcher said. “It’s a step forward for making a livable wage for all my staff.”

Next year, L.A. minimum wage will rise again to $13.25 for those who work in companies with 26 or more employees while smaller companies and some nonprofits will have to pay at least $12 an hour.

Click here for a rundown on the city’s minimum wage and paid-sick leave requirements.

LA Minimum Wage Chart

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