Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, has a proposal in the works that could bring the minimum wage in Los Angeles to more than $13 an hour by 2017. While this might seem like a major win, especially for workers who are currently living below the poverty line, there are some major considerations to take into account before a city-wide mandated increase.
San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco are all already above the state required minimum wage mark and all already have plans passed or plans in place to further increase wages over the course of the next few years. Mayor Garcetti’s proposal to bump the city minimum wage to $13.25 seems to coincide well with the plans already instituted in other major California cities and would likely work well for people who not only work in Los Angeles, but who choose to make their home there as well.
It is expensive to live in the state of California, and particularly in Los Angeles, so the increases seem justified in order to keep up with the ever increasing cost of living. The major issue with the mandatory increase would be the effect is has on local businesses. Taxes, rents, insurance, utilities and other costs are already very high in Los Angeles and throughout California – pushing this fairly large increase onto business owners could affect the number of business that can successfully operate within the city limits. In the proposal for San Francisco, businesses with 100 or fewer employees are allowed additional time to reach the full increase in pay but even measures like that might not be able to save businesses which are operating on thin profit margins in such an expensive location to operate.
There is some speculation that there could be legal ramifications from local businesses if the Mayor’s proposal gets passed – and the potential threat of losing hundreds of small businesses to other cities (or possibly even states) could convince the Mayor to amend his current line of thought when it comes to minimum wage.
California business laws can be complex and confusing for business owners and employees. If you are in a situation where something or someone has put your business at risk or if you are an employee who needs help with a situation regarding fair treatment or possible discrimination you should reach out to an experienced California business attorney to get the best possible advice for your situation.