LA County Raises the Wage with Anti-Wage Theft Enforcement
L.A. County Board of Supervisors Votes to Move Forward Minimum Wage and
On Labor Day, Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed a gradual increase in the
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L.A. County Board of Supervisors Votes to Move Forward Minimum Wage and Wage Theft Ordinances
Los Angeles, CA – Today, hundreds of low wage workers and community members spoke in support of raising the minimum wage in unincorporated Los Angeles County. The Board of Supervisors took steps to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and address wage theft within unincorporated L.A. County.
The Raise the Wage Coalition also advocated for the Board of Supervisors to increase the number of paid sick days, which the City of L.A. is currently studying. The coalition voiced concern that the state’s requirement of three days was insufficient to protect the public’s and workers’ health and lacked any enforcement provisions.
Before the hearing, workers and community members rallied at the steps outside of the Board of Supervisors, in support of an ordinance that would benefit thousands of workers in unincorporated L.A. County.
At the end of the hearing, the Board of Supervisors voted to direct the County CEO to draft a motion to raise the minimum wage and explore the best mechanism to address wage theft. The Supervisors are expected to cast the final vote in support of the ordinance in the coming months.
Supervisors, community leaders, and workers all applauded the minimum wage hike moving forward.
“I have struggled to make ends meet, even missing car payments because I make low wages with unpredictable hours,” said Kierra Phillips, a fast food worker and mother in unincorporated Los Angeles County (Altadena). “Yet today gave me hope because increasing the wage would allow me to provide my family a better standard of living.”
“For many of us, low wages represent dedicating one whole paycheck for rent and one for food — with little left for anything else. And when employers cheat you out of your pay, it is even worse,” said Wayne Fatherree, a security officer who works at the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus in Willowbrook. “Stopping wage theft will mean that the pay that is owed to me and others for a hard day’s work will actually be respected. Raising the minimum wage will not only help my family’s budget, but might even allow us to set aside for our future and the future of our children — so they can have better lives.”
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Rusty Hicks and President of SEIU-ULTCW and SEIU California Laphonza Butler, both co-conveners of the Raise the Wage campaign said, “Over two million workers in L.A. County live in poverty. Today’s action puts us one step closer to lifting these workers and their families out of poverty through a $15/hour wage and protecting them from wage theft.”