Two minimum wage hikes will hit Los Angeles in the coming months, pushing pay to some of the highest levels in the country for a big city.
First, California’s minimum wage rises to $10 an hour on Jan 1. from the current $9 benchmark.
Los Angeles’ own minimum wage law goes into effect July 1, pushing pay within city boundaries to $10.50, the first of a series of increases that will see wages gradually hit $15 an hour by 2020.
Pay rates will rise at the same pace in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
Businesses with 25 employees or fewer will get an extra year before the new city and county laws kick in.
Supporters of new minimum wage laws argue higher pay lifts workers out of poverty and pumps dollars back into the economy. Many business groups opposed the hike, saying stores will move to neighboring cities or lay off workers.
Some Los Angeles restaurants have already said they will raise prices or cut staff.
The debate over pay will continue in 2016, with California union members pushing at least two competing proposed statewide measures for the November ballot.
The Service Employees International Union, which represents 700,000 workers, is seeking to put a measure on the ballot to raise wages to $15 an hour by 2020.
A competing measure by a SEIU branch to raise wages to $15 by 2021 is also proposed for the same ballot.
Meanwhile, workers who are paid less than the minimum wage can file a claim with the state Labor Commissioner’s office.
States law requires employers to post information on wages, hours and working conditions at a work site.