For the past year, there has been a great deal of debate about creating a minimum wage for the City of Los Angeles. The state already has a minimum wage, but it has become increasingly clear that state minimum wage does not equate to a living wage for the residents and workers in Los Angeles.
With that in mind, the debate over whether or not Los Angeles should follow the lead of other cities and establish their own minimum wage is quickly turning into a debate of what the new minimum wage for the city should be, as it was obvious some form of a minimum wage law was needed. There was understandably a lot of input from advocates for low-wage workers and also for business owners and other employers in the city of Los Angeles. As one could easily imagine, workers’ advocates and employers had vastly different ideas on what the new minimum wage should be and when it should take effect.
There were three main proposals that emerged as frontrunners in the debate, and the amounts of the new minimum wage ranged from around $11 per hour to $15 per hour. The number of years to fully implement the increased minimum wage ranged from a little as three years to more than 15 years. According to a recent news article from the Washington Post, city officials have decided to raise the citywide minimum wage to $15 per hour, and this increase will take effect by 2020.
The current state minimum wage of $9 per hour will be increased citywide to $15 per hour by 2020 for nearly all businesses. Small business will have an extra year to impose the increase, so they will not have to pay the higher rate until the year 2021. As can be expected, workers’ advocates are celebrating what they consider to be a major victory and a step closer to equality for the many low-wage workers in the City of Los Angeles. On the other hand, many employers and lobbying organizations are heralding the impending economic collapse, as many of these business will be forced to close when forced to pay workers $15 per hour.
However, as our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, there is a significant amount of research, which suggests better paid workers generally work harder, and this will increase productivity. Higher paid workers will stay at their jobs, and this will mean less money spent paying newer workers and less production slowdown during the time it takes to get new workers up to speed.
While this should be good news to most workers, there is always the possibility some employers will attempt to wrongfully terminate some employees to cut down on labor costs. If you believe you are the victim of a wrongful termination, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights.
In some cases, employers will realize they can’t simply fire people without any cause, so they will try to create an inhospitable work environment and get an employee to quit or resign on his or her own to limit any liability for wrongful termination. You should speak with an attorney prior to quitting your job to preserve your rights.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Going bold in Los Angeles: A city-wide, $15 minimum wage by 2020, May 22, 2015, Washington Post
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Arlington v. Miller’s Trucking – Oral Wage Agreement Weighed, March 15, 2015, Costa Mesa Overtime Lawyer Blog