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Los Angeles Minimum Wage Increase Takes Effect July 1, 2016

Posted by Eric Kingsley | Jun 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

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Enacted last summer, the Los Angeles Minimum Wage Ordinance begins its steady increase to the city's minimum wage on July 1. While effective in less than a month, the minimum wage will eventually increase to $15.00 by the year 2020 for large employers. Smaller employers will take advantage of a one-year reprieve as shown in the table below. The Los Angeles minimum wage hike is projected to impact an estimated 800,000 people currently earning the minimum wage in Los Angeles.

The L.A. Minimum Wage Ordinance establishes the following minimum wage schedule:

Minimum Wage - Employers with less than 26 employees Minimum Wage - Employers with more than 26 employees Effective Date
$10.00/hour (CA state law) $10.50/hour July 1, 2016
$10.50/hour $12.00/hour July 1, 2017
$12.00/hour $13.25/hour July 1, 2018
$13.25/hour $14.25/hour July 1, 2019
$14.25/hour $15.00/hour July 1, 2020
$15.00/hour $15.00/hour July 1, 2021

Who is defined as an “employee”?

An employee is an individual who performs at least two hours of work in a particular week within the

City of Los Angeles for an employer, and who qualifies as an employee entitled to payment of a minimum

wage from any employer under the California minimum wage law. Regardless of where an employer's place of business is located, an employer must pay an employee who performs at least two hours of work in a particular week within the City of Los Angeles for all hours worked in the City of Los Angeles.

Other Employer Requirements

In addition to paying increased regular and overtime wages for hourly employees, employers must pay a higher minimum salary (two times the minimum wage) to maintain the exempt status for qualifying administrative, executive and professional employees. Further, certain wage orders permit meal and lodging credits against minimum wage payments, and employers who use meal and lodging credits as a form of compensation must adjust their calculations to ensure they meet the increased minimum wage obligations.

Administration and Enforcement

The Office of Wage Standards (OWS) of the Bureau of Contract Administration is responsible for implementing and administering the guidelines of the Los Angeles Minimum Wage and Minimum Wage Enforcement Ordinances for all workers and businesses in the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Wage Enforcement Division will enforce the minimum wage ordinance. The division will investigate potential violations, issue determinations of compliance or noncompliance, and obtain restitution, fines, penalties, and/or interest where violations have occurred. Employees have the right to file a complaint or inform any person about any party's alleged noncompliance with the ordinance. Employees are protected against retaliation for filing a complaint, even where the employee mistakenly, but in good faith, alleges noncompliance.

California's Minimum Wage

The state of California also recently enacted legislation that will increase the minimum hourly wage to $15.00 for employers with 26 or more employees by January 1, 2022, and for all employees by January 1, 2023. Note however, the state's schedule for the escalation of the minimum wage is slower than the schedule for Los Angeles. in comparison to the schedule for the city of Los Angeles. Consequently, employers with employees who work in multiple jurisdictions must pay particular attention to the different minimum wage scales.

Questions about Minimum Wages Across California?

An experienced California employment lawyer can quickly answer your questions about California's wage and hour laws. To discuss minimum wage laws, or a potential claim on your behalf, feel free to contact leading employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley. Call toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or click here to contact us via email.

About the Author

Eric Kingsley

In practice since 1996, attorney and firm co-founder Eric B. Kingsley has litigated complex cases and authored numerous appellate briefs in both state and federal court on behalf of the California law firm of Kingsley & Kingsley, including over 150 class actions. Mr. Kingsley concentrates his pra...


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