Updated 07:39 AM EDT, Mon, Sep 16, 2019

Los Angeles Votes for Minimum Wage Increase to $15 Per Hour by 2020; Final Approval Pending

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The Los Angeles City Council has not finalized its decision yet, but it seems that minimum-wage workers can count on an increase in their paycheck by 2020 as the labor community pushes for pay hikes in several municipalities.

According to Reuters, the 14-1 vote by the council for the preliminaries should come back for final approval, and would require businesses with over 25 employees to raise the minimum wage to $15 (from $7.25) by 2020. Meanwhile, smaller businesses will have an extra year before going to that direction as well. This plan, said city officials, will increase the pay of about 800,000 workers in LA.

Councilman Curren Brice Jr., one of the proposal's main backers, noted before the voting process began, "We are embarking upon, I think, the most progressive minimum wage policy anywhere in the country."

An economist from the University of California Berkeley, Michael Reich, told The New York Times, "The effects here will be the biggest by far. The proposal will bring wages up in a way we haven't seen since the 1960s. There's a sense spreading that this is the new norm, especially in areas that have high costs of housing."

However, not everyone is embracing the minimum wage hike. Reuters reported that some are opposed to such increase including Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of public policy, Ruben Gonzalez, who told the city council that, "There is simply not enough room, enough margin in these businesses to absorb a 50-plus percent increase in labor costs over a short period of time."

Whether or not the opposition would continue with their tirade against the wage hike, several cities already approved such measures, including Seattle, which is phasing to bring the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next two to six years, and Emeryville in the San Francisco Bay Area to increase minimum pay to $16 an hour by the time 2019 rolls around.

CNN Money also noted that some big companies are taking it among themselves to raise the minimum wage of their workers as well, including Facebook, Walmart, and TJX Companies.

Facebook said that it will require its contractors in the US as well as vendors to pay employees $15 an hour, with paid time off for sick days as well as vacation leaves.

Walmart pledged to raise their employees' minimum to $10 an hour by February 2016, and TJX pledged the same for some time next year.

Time Magazine noted that LA's approval of the increase could pave way for other cities doing the same, including neighboring cities like Santa Monica and Pasadena. Council Member Paul Krekorian pointed out, "Make no mistake, today the city of Los Angeles, the second biggest city in the nation, is leading the nation."

Are you pro or against the proposed minimum wage hike?

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