Los Angeles One Step Closer To Raising Minimum Wage To $15/Hour By 2020

The Los Angeles City Council took another step on Wednesday in its mission to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020, but the finalization of the ordinance will have to wait for a second vote next week.

The Associated Press reports that the city council voted 13-1 to adopt a plan that would raise the minimum wage for nearly 800,000 workers, making L.A. the largest city to approve such wage increases.

Under the ordinance, the $9/hour minimum wage in the city – which already sits above the $7.25/hour federal minimum – would see several incremental increases between 2016 and 2022.

Starting in July 2016, the hourly wage will increase to $10.50. Each year after would see increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15, the AP reports.

Nonprofits and businesses with fewer employees will have an additional year to comply.

By 2022 the city plans to tie minimum wage increases to the consumer price index. The idea is that in years of price inflation, low-wage workers won’t get left behind while employers won’t be compelled to give raises during flat or down years.

L.A.’s push for an increased minimum wage began in 2014 when Mayor Eric Garcetti put forth a plan that would have raised pay to $13.25/hour by 2017. But labor groups pushed for more.

And just two weeks ago, the council gave the first inkling that it would approve a more aggressive plan, by voting to have the city attorney draft an actual ordinance based on the $15/hour minimum wage.

Because Wednesday’s vote wasn’t unanimous, the council will undertake a final procedural vote on June 10. It will then be sent to the mayor for his signature.

Seattle was the first major city to get the $15/hour minimum wage ball rolling when its city council voted last summer to approve a plan to raise wages over the course of up to seven years. San Francisco, where the minimum wage is already over $12/hour, followed suit in November 2014. Its plan will reach the $15/hour target by July 2018. And like the L.A. proposal, future wage increases will be tied to the CPI.

Los Angeles closes in on becoming largest city in US to approve minimum wage of $15 an hour [The Associated Press]