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Vote on $15 minimum wage delayed

On June 23, lawmakers in California decided to postpone a vote to increase the minimum wage in Los Angeles County from $9 to $15 per hour. The Board of Supervisors will now vote on the ordinance on July 21 after its members have had time to assess the impact that the minimum wage hike could have on small businesses.

Earlier in June, Mayor Garcetti signed a minimum wage increase for the city of Los Angeles into law. The ordinance that will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors in July will be a replica of the city law for all of Los Angeles County. If the ordinance is approved, all nonprofits and businesses in Los Angeles County will have until 2020 to raise the minimum wage for all of their employees to $15 per hour. A business that does not pay the minimum wage could be charged for a wage and hour law violation.

Mayor Garcetti told the supervisors that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour could lift 1 million people out of poverty. He also pointed out that the move would help the economy by putting more money into the pockets of the people who are the most likely to spend it. However, opponents of the countywide minimum wage increase say that it would result in higher prices for goods and services and fewer jobs for unskilled laborers.

It is important for all workers to find out what the minimum wage is for the jurisdiction that they are working in. If an employer is paying less than the statutory amount, a worker may be able to file a claim and pursue compensation for back pay.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "LA County Delays Vote on $15 Minimum Wage," Matt Reynolds, June 24, 2015

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