We are disappointed the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of an extreme approach to a minimum wage increase this afternoon. The increase will raise minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, which is an almost 50% increase over five years. This action was taken knowing that it will cost jobs and the closure of small businesses, especially for the restaurant industry.
The California Restaurant Association has advocated for a comprehensive minimum wage increase that ensures the higher wage is targeted to those that need it most.
Unfortunately, the City Council voted in favor of a policy that:
- Excludes Total Compensation, which would provide owners the ability to create wage equality between tipped and non-tipped workers.
- Limits a teen wage to ages of 14-17, for only 160 hours, thereby restricting access to entry-level jobs that teach youth the skills they need to succeed.
- Attaches further wage increases to the Consumer Price Index, which is the equivalent of putting the minimum wage on auto-pilot and ignoring any economic impacts or other factors.
The City Council was considering including additional 12 paid leave days and eliminating a business owner's ability to use a service charge model. Because of the CRA's strong advocacy those items were not included in this policy.
We will continue our efforts to educate city leaders on the importance of a targeted approach.