Posted on 06/13/2015

Largest anti-poverty program in the history of the City of Los Angeles gives a raise to more than 600,000 Angelenos earning minimum wage to help make ends meet

LOS ANGELES-- Mayor Garcetti today signed the City of Los Angeles's largest anti-poverty measure into law, increasing the City's minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2020. The law will give a raise to more than 600,000 Angelenos currently earning minimum wage, helping lift them and their families out of poverty. The Mayor was joined by business, labor, and religious leaders as well as seven members of the Los Angeles City Council to sign the ordinance at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, in South LA, where he first launched the campaign to raise the minimum wage in LA on Labor Day 2014. 

"Today is a major victory for our city, our communities, and working Angelenos across Los Angeles," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "While our city's economic health continues to roar back— we have the highest employment levels on record -- too many Angelenos are still being left behind. Today's minimum wage increase addresses that gap, enabling working families in LA to lift themselves out of poverty and tying our minimum wage to the cost of living to make this justice last. LA as whole will benefit from this boost: we have always prospered the most when everyone is able to spend money into our economy."

The law raises the minimum wage to $15.00 by 2020 for businesses with 25 employees or more and to $15.00 by 2021 for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. By 2022, and annually thereafter, the minimum wage will increase based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

The minimum wage in the City of LA will be increased on the following schedule:
7/1/16: $10.50
7/1/17: $12.00
7/1/18: $13.25
7/1/19: $14.25
7/1/20: $15.00

For businesses and nonprofits with 25 or fewer employees, the increase will happen on the below schedule: 
7/1/17: $10.50
7/1/18: $12.00
7/1/19: $13.25
7/1/20: $14.25
7/1/21: $15.00

Youth wages will be 85% of the minimum wage for workers 14-17 years old.

Of the more than 600,000 current minimum wage earners who will receive a raise, 97% of those workers are aged 20 and older; 60% are over 30 years old. Over 80% of the workers receiving this raise will be people of color and 50% are women. Nearly half of minimum wage earners earning this wage have some college education and 14% have a bachelor's degree or higher. 

In addition to the minimum wage, Mayor Garcetti will sign into law an ordinance passed by the City Council that will establish an Office of Labor Standards (OLS), with $500,000 budgeted in fiscal year 2015-2016 to fund investigators and outreach efforts to ensure businesses are paying workers their fair share. The OLS will work to curtail wage theft and ensure a level playing field for businesses in Los Angeles, working in conjunction with current State efforts to enforce the minimum wage.

Mayor Garcetti was also joined today by minimum wage earners Chaz Grayson, a member of the Los Angeles Black Workers Center, and Lucio Fernandez, a janitor, who will both benefit from this increase. 

In raising the wage in LA, Mayor Garcetti joins President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and leaders across the country pushing to raise the wage across the United States to lift Americans out of poverty. Since launching this campaign, Mayor Garcetti and his staff met with business coalitions, community members, non-profits, small business groups, labor organizations, Neighborhood Councils, and religious leaders to gather input and garner support for his effort to #RaiseTheWageLA.

This is the latest step in Mayor Garcetti's effort to put the recession in the rearview mirror and get Angelenos back to work and back on track. Since Mayor Garcetti took office in 2013, Los Angeles has added more than 85,000 new jobs and unemployment is down 2% (seasonally adjusted).

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Mayor Garcetti Signs Historic Minimum Wage Increase into Law