During the nearly completed primary season and prior to the upcoming presidential election, we have been hearing a lot about what the federal minimum wage should be and what other benefits should be provided to every employee across the country. Regardless of what ultimately happens with the federal election, Los Angeles has been at the forefront of fighting for workers’ rights to fair and appropriate compensation for quite some time.
As discussed in a recent news feature from the National Law Review, beginning on the first of July 2016, employers who have more than 25 employees will be required to pay higher minimum wages and provide at least six sick days (paid) to each employee per calendar year. For employers with less than 25 employees, they will still need to provide the paid sick days, but they can wait until July 1, 2017 to implement the increased minimum wage.
This increased wage and sick leave package was accomplished through a municipal ordinance passed by the city council just this month. The first increase for companies with 25 or more employees will be from $10.00 to $10.50 per hour. It will then increase to $12.00 and $13.25 the following year. For these larger companies, the city minimum wage will go to at least $15.00 per hour automatically by the year 2020.
For companies with less than 25 employees, they will be required to make all of the same incremental increases in minimum wages, but will be delayed by a year as compared to the larger companies. For these companies, the minimum wage in the city of Los Angeles (not the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County) will be no less than $15.00 by July 2021.
As for the rest of the state, including the incorporated areas of Los Angeles County, it is expected that the state legislature in Sacramento will eventually raise the minimum wage to a comparable amount, but that will likely not happen before the Los Angeles city minimum wage ordinance is fully in effect.
While these laws can be very helpful to all of the many workers within the city, there is no question that some unscrupulous employers will try to avoid following the law and pay workers much less than even the current minimum wage of $10 per hour. As for the six days, one way in which employers will attempt to deny the workers these paid days is to strongly imply (or flat out tell the employees) that they will be in trouble at work if they call in sick.
This behavior is very much illegal, and you should contact an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney if you believe your employer is not giving either the full wages or benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.
Another way in which employers will attempt to avoid paying benefits is by claiming that their workers are really independent contractors and not employees, so they are not entitled to any of the wages or benefits. This is known as employee misclassification and is also illegal.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Los Angeles Employers Must Pay Higher Minimum Wages And Provide Expanded Paid Sick Leave, June 15, 2016, National Law Review, By Benjamin Kim
More Blog Entries:
Car Wash Workers in LA Standing Up to Employers, May 21, 2016, Orange County Religious Discrimination Lawyer Blog