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Nation's second-largest city raises minimum wage to $15 an hour

May 26, 2015

Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city, joins other major U.S. cities, including Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, in raising the minimum wage.  On May 19, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council passed by a vote of 14:1 a proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour by 2020, which will affect over 500,000 workers throughout the city.

Los Angeles already had a law in place that would increase the minimum wage to $9.00/hour in January 2016.  With the new law, which reports indicate will increase the minimum wage gradually until it reaches $15.00/hour, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50/hour in July 2016.

This recent vote to increase the minimum wage may have a profound continuing effect in cities within Southern California, including Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Pasadena.  Los Angeles County is also considering a measure that would raise the wages of those individuals who work in unincorporated areas of the county.

New York City, Washington, D.C., Portland, Maine, and Louisville, Kentucky are also considering increases to the minimum wage.  Nationally, several large companies, including Facebook and Walmart, are considering raising the lowest wages currently paid to their employees.

Because minimum wage laws are ever-changing, employers should keep tabs on increases that affect the states in which their businesses are located.  For a summary of other minimum wage law changes, see our post from January 2, 2015 here.

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