LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles City Council agreed on Tuesday, May 19 with a 14-to-1 vote, to raise the minimum wage from $9 to $15 per hour by 2020.
The move would make Los Angeles the biggest U.S. city to raise its minimum wage and would help an estimated 50 percent of the city’s workers who earn less than $15 an hour. This would supercede the federal minimum wage of $7.50 an hour.
The Economic Development Committee is planning to increment the wage by year starting with an increase to $10.50 per hour by July 1, 2016, followed by $12.00 in 2017, $13.25 in 2018, $14.25 in 2019 and $15 by July 1, 2015. The wage would continue to increase annually starting 2022 and would be determined on the Consumer Price Index averaged over the prior 20 years.
“Today, help is on the way for one million Angelenos who live in poverty,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who had been pushing for a hike on minimum wage.
The decision comes in the midst of minimum wage protest around the nation, where some are divided that the increase will impact small businesses. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco have already implemented significant wage hikes. Companies like Facebook and TJX Companies also announced they are planning to raise their wages for workers.
Businesses with 25 employers or less will have an extra year to meet the new wage demands and waivers will be available to non-profits where executives earn less than eight times the wage of the lowest-paid employee.