L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl Tuesday will introduce a plan for the county to adopt an ordinance that would mirror and “complement” the minimum wage law enacted this month in the city of Los Angeles, her spokesman said.
Kuehl will introduce a motion at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting calling for such a county ordinance to be drafted and considered later this month, said Kuehl spokesman Joel Bellman. It would parallel the city’s schedule of step increases beginning July 1, 2016, for most minimum-wage workers, reaching $15 per hour by 2020, he said. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the minimum wage ordinance into law on Saturday.
“Kuehl’s motion would also ensure that the county, as the Southland’s largest employer, would grant similar raises for the more than 5,000 minimum- wage workers on its own payroll,” Bellman said.
Kuehl’s proposal evolved after she reviewed four economic studies commissioned to examine a minimum-wage increase in the city of L.A. and a city- commissioned peer review of those studies, he said.
The supervisor’s preliminary work also involved an examination of what Bellman disclosed was a county-ordered review by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. of the four city studies and of the potential economic impacts of enacting a similar ordinance in the county’s unincorporated areas, he said.
“The LAEDC report … includes striking new findings missing from earlier studies,” said Bellman.
“In a random survey of more than 1,000 county business, accurate to within 3.2 percent with a 95 percent confidence level in its conclusions, the vast majority of businesses anticipated few if any negative impacts from raising the minimum wage, and literally not a single business reported planning to close its doors, as many critics have warned,” Bellman said
“The vast majority foresaw no plans to lay off workers, reduce hours, or relocate. Many businesses, in fact, even anticipated savings in recruitment and training costs from lower job turnover, and higher productivity from a happier, more stable workforce.”
Kuehl plans to unveil her plan at a meeting where the supervisors are also scheduled to consider a proposal to boost the wages of more than 140,000 home health-care workers. The proposal calls for the salaries of the In-Home Supportive Service workers to increase to $11.18 on Feb. 1, 2017.
—City News Service
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