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Los Angeles Minimum Wage Increases: Common Questions

los-angeles-minimum-wage-increases-questions.pngOn July 1 2016, the Los Angeles minimum wage increased to $10.50 per hour and will continue to rise until it reaches $15 by 2020.

It is important for workers in Los Angeles to understand what the new minimum wage ordinance entails so they can ensure that their employers are not violating minimum wage laws. This article will answer commonly asked questions about the new Los Angeles minimum wage increase and what you can do if you employer fails to pay you the required minimum wage.

Understanding the Los Angeles Minimum Wage Increases

Which employees are affected by the Los Angeles minimum wage increase?

Under California minimum wage law, Los Angeles workers who are qualified as employees and who perform at least two hours of work per week within the City of Los Angeles for an employer are entitled to the minimum wage increase. This not only applies to full-time employees, but also part-time and temporary employees. The law also applies to employers who have employees who perform at least two hours of work within the city of Los Angeles, regardless of where their business is actually located. Additionally, employees who live outside of Los Angeles, but work within the city limits are entitled to the Los Angeles minimum wage.

What is the Los Angeles minimum wage increase schedule?

On July 1, 2016 new Los Angeles city and county minimum wage laws went into effect requiring employers with 26 or more employees to increase the minimum wage from $10 to $10.50 per hour. Businesses that have 25 or fewer employees have the ability to pay a deferred rate.

The minimum wage in Los Angeles will gradually increase every year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2020. The remaining Los Angeles minimum wage increase schedule is as follows:

  • July 1, 2017: Employers with 26 or more workers must increase the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour. Employers with 25 or fewer employees must increase the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour.
  • July 1 2018: Employers with 26 or more workers must increase the minimum wage to $13.25 per hour. Employers with 25 or fewer employees must increase the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour.
  • July 1 2019: Employers with 26 or more workers must increase the minimum wage to $14.25 per hour. Employers with 25 or fewer employees must increase the minimum wage to $13.25 per hour.
  • July 1 2020: Employers with 26 or more workers must increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Employers with 25 or fewer employees must increase the minimum wage to $14.25 per hour.
  • July 1 2021: Employers with 25 or fewer employees must increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.

How will the City of Los Angeles enforce the minimum wage ordinance?

The Wage Enforcement Division Ordinance was enacted by the Los Angeles City Council which created a division that enforces the new Los Angeles minimum wage increases. The division will be able to investigate potential violations, issue determinations of compliance and non-compliance, plus obtain restitution, fines and other penalties when employers violate Los Angeles minimum wage laws.

What can I do if my employer violates Los Angeles minimum wage requirements?

If your employer isn't paying you the Los Angeles minimum wage increase, fires or punishes you for reporting a problem or retaliates against you for questioning them about their failure to pay the Los Angeles minimum wage, you can report these violations to the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA). From there, an investigation will be opened.

Los Angeles Minimum Wage Increases: Additional Resources

  • City of Los Angeles Minimum Wage: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF download)
  • News on Minimum Wage Increases in California Inspires Cities Nationwide
  • Raise the Wage LA
  • Thousands of LA workers get pay raise: New minimum wage takes effect via MyNewsLA.com
  • Timeline of Minimum Wage Increases in California via LATimes.com

If your employer is violating Los Angeles minimum wage laws, or has retaliated against you for questioning why they haven't paid you the required minimum wage, we can help. Contact our passionate Los Angeles employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz for a free consultation.

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