Calif.: Los Angeles City Council Votes to Increase Minimum Wage to $15

By Joanne Deschenaux May 21, 2015
Reuse Permissions

The Los Angeles City Council voted on May 19 2015, to raise the city’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 by 2020.

The council voted 14-1 to phase in the wage increase over five years. It will rise to to $10.50 in July 2016, to $12 in 2017, $13.25 in 2018, $14.25 in 2019 and $15 in 2020. Starting in 2022, annual increases will be linked to inflation.

“Help is on the way for the one million Angelenos who live in poverty,” Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, said in a statement after the vote. “I started this campaign to raise the minimum wage to create broader economic prosperity in our city and because the minimum wage should not be a poverty wage in Los Angeles.”

Councilman Mitchell Englander, the council’s only Republican, cast the only opposing vote. In a statement, he said the council action could “make it impossible for entire industries to do business” in Los Angeles.

“The very last thing that we should be doing as a city is creating a competitive disadvantage for our businesses with those in neighboring cities,” said Englander, who represents the northwest San Fernando Valley.

California’s state-wide minimum wage, now $9, will go to $10 an hour in January 2016. A bill pending in the legislature (Senate Bill 3) would go beyond that increase and raise the rate to $13 by 2017.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009. As of Jan. 1, 2015, 29 states and the District of Columbia had adopted a minimum wage above the federal level, according to the National Employment Law Project, a New York- based advocacy group.

Joanne Deschenaux, J.D., is SHRM’s senior legal editor.

Reuse Permissions


Choose from dozens of free webcasts on the most timely HR topics.

Register Today

Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies

Search & Connect