West Hollywood City Council is expected to vote on raising the city’s minimum wage to $ 17.64 an hour in a meeting Wednesday night. If the ordinance passes, it will be the highest minimum wage rate in the United States.
But not everyone at WeHo is happy with the idea, with some local business owners concerned about rising costs.
The wage hike was originally proposed as a minimum wage hike for hotel employees only. At Monday’s city council meeting, however, council members proposed to raise the wages of all workers in West Hollywood.
The proposal that the board will vote for or against Wednesday at 6 p.m. indicates that hotel employees will see the pay increase first, with the hourly rate of $ 17.64 going into effect for those employees on January 1, 2022.
Then, about six months later, on July 1, everyone else at WeHo will see that increase.
The city has a significant hotel and restaurant industry along the corridors of Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevard.
Several restaurants and bars in WeHo have been closed, and others are still trying to make up for the slump caused by the pandemic.
Some of these business owners fear the hike will negatively impact them, especially as they have been trying to recover from these closures in the past year or so.
âThat’s a 30% pay rise,â said Cary Mosier, owner of Gracias Madre, a restaurant in the city. “It’s already a challenge to operate a restaurant under normal circumstances.”
“Now they are increasing labor costs, and we are still operating with money borrowed from the government, dealing with capacity issues and all the challenges of the pandemic,” he continued. .
But the city argues that $ 17.64 is actually just a living wage, essential for people who work 40 hours a week and need to learn the basics of life.
The state of California has a current minimum wage of $ 13 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. For employers with 26 or more employees, it’s $ 14 an hour.
This is higher than the federal minimum wage requirement of $ 7.25 per hour imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This federal law also states that an employer of a tip employee is only required to pay $ 2.13 an hour in direct wages if the remainder of the $ 7.25 is in tips; if the tips don’t match that, the employer must pay the difference, according to the US Department of Labor.
West Hollywood’s minimum wage of $ 17.64, like California’s $ 13- $ 14 minimum wage, would apply to all employees, including those who receive tips.
If the ordinance is approved, WeHo’s minimum wage will rise to keep pace with inflation for workers every year on July 1.
The ordinance also states that all employees should be granted “96 hours of paid sick leave, vacation or personal necessity, and 80 additional hours of unpaid sick leave.”