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L.A.'s Minimum Wage

What small business owners need to know about L.A.'s new minimum wage law.

We urge small business employers to proactively review their policies, work rules, agreements and especially economic decisions that may be affected by the minimum wage increases well in advance of their effective dates.

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Page last updated on June 20th, 2015.


Preliminary Information

On May 19, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the minimum wage within the City of Los Angeles in annual increments to $15.00 per hour by 2020. The City Council's vote sent the proposed measure to the Los Angeles City Attorney, who prepared a wage ordinance. On June 13, 2015 Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, signed the wage ordinance into law with the first wage boost taking effect in July 2016.

The new measure calls for two different wage increase schedules based on the size of the employer. Smaller businesses and non-profits (i.e., those with fewer than 25 employees) will be placed on a modified schedule that will delay increases by one year, but wages will increase in the same amounts.

City Hall also approved a supplemental ordinance that creates a new City agency, the “Wage Enforcement Division”, to investigate and enforce violations of wage theft.  

L.A.'s minimum wage and enforcement laws will only apply to employers operating within the Los Angeles city limits. Employers operating in other local municipalities, such as the City of Glendale or Burbank, would not be affected by the new minimum wage ordinances and could continue to use the State's minimum wage. 


wage schedules under  L.A. Ordinance

Small business employers (< 25 employees):

July 1, 2017:  $10.50

July 1, 2018:  $12.00

July 1, 2019:  $13.25

July 1, 2020:  $14.25

July 1, 2021:  $15.00

Larger employers (+25 employees):

July 1, 2016:  $10.50

July 1, 2017:  $12.00

July 1, 2018:  $13.25

July 1, 2019:  $14.25

July 1, 2020:  $15.00

When determining whether an employer has 25 or more employees under the L.A. City ordinance, you use the average number of individuals employed over the preceding calendar year. 

Beginning in 2022, further increases under the L.A. Ordinance will be based on the Consumer Price Index averaged over the previous 20 years.

Click here to download new Minimum Wage Law (PDF File)


Minimum wage enforcement

The Los Angeles City Council also approved a supplemental ordinance that creates a new City agency, the Wage Enforcement Division, to investigate and enforce violations of wage theft.  It also establishes new regulations and penalties for all employers operating within the City of Los Angeles.

Click here to download new Wage Enforcement Division Law (PDF file)