On June 29, 2022, the Los Angeles City Council approved a minimum wage increase for workers at covered healthcare facilities to $25.00/hour. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed this into law on July 8, 2022.
The minimum wage increase ordinance does not apply to public health care facilities but only certain private health care workers such as those working in private hospitals, dialysis clinics, and integrated health systems. The ordinance does not cover only traditionally classified health care workers, but also such employees as food service, janitorial, maintenance, security, and other employees at private healthcare facilities. The general minimum wage for the City of Los Angeles remains $16.04 for public healthcare system workers and other non-specially categorized employees.
This new law is expected to take effect by August 31, 2022. The law specifically prohibits employers from funding the minimum wage increases through workforce cuts, layoffs, and reducing benefits and/or hours. The City may issue fines of up to $120/day for violations of this new ordinance and workers may also bring civil actions against employers who violate the ordinance including potentially Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims.
Employers may seek a one-year waiver from the new minimum wage if they can show evidence that compliance would cause them to not be able to continue operations.
Once this ordinance is implemented, we recommend any employers in Los Angeles in the private healthcare sector discuss with counsel regarding the applicability of the ordinance, implementation, and whether applying for a waiver would be advisable. Once new flyers become available, employers should display this information and advise employees of their rights.
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