Los Angeles Sets Path for $15 Minimum Wage

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

UPDATE: On June 10, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council adopted the ordinance. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed it on June 13, 2015.

May 20, 2015

Los Angeles is on track to have one of the highest minimum wages in the nation.

The Los Angeles City Council on May 19 voted 14-1 to adopt a motion directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would annually increase the city's minimum wage over the next five years, reaching $15.00 per hour by 2020.

The ordinance is expected to pass once it is brought before the council for a vote, and Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement that he will sign it once it does.

The passage of a $15.00 minimum wage in America's second-largest city marks a significant victory for organized labor and other advocacy groups. Not long ago, they sought more modest increases of $9.00 or $10.00. But with the passage of $15.00 minimum wages in San Francisco, Seattle and, now, Los Angeles, the target has been raised. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has put $25 million in funding behind a campaign called Fight for 15, which is organizing strikes in cities across America, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper.

Under the ordinance, the minimum wage will increase to:

  • $10.50 on July 1, 2016;
  • $12.00 on July 1, 2017;
  • $13.25 on July 1, 2018;
  • $14.25 on July 1, 2019; and
  • $15.00 on July 1, 2020.

The effective date of these increases would be delayed by a year for businesses and nonprofits with 25 or fewer employees.

Beginning July 1, 2022, the minimum wage would be adjusted for inflation each year.