Currently, the increase will raise minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, which is an almost 50 percent increase over five years, after already increasing the state minimum wage by 25 percent in less than two years. There is a small business phase-in period of an additional year for employers with less than 25 employees. This action was taken knowing that it will cost jobs and the closure of small business, especially for the restaurant industry.
L.A. City Mayor Eric Garcetti was the first to testify in favor of the increase, in addition to 200 other speakers comprised of labor union representatives, workers, restaurant and small business owners. 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 Board of Supervisors has delayed the inclusion of the proposed mitigating policies:
- Excludes total compensation, which would provide owners the ability to create wage equality between tipped and non-tipped workers.
- No exemption for teen wage, thereby restricting access to entry-level jobs that teach youth the skills they need to succeed.
- Does not provide any exemption for non-profits.
- 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.
These exemptions and restrictions will be the topic of future discussion as the proposed ordinance is finalized, and the CRA will continue to lobby on behalf of restaurants and small businesses county-wide. Your voice and opinion is still vital to this conversation, and we encourage you to remain engaged.