Minimum Wage in Los Angeles

Minimum Wage in Los Angeles

The minimum wage in Los Angeles is set to go up to $13.25 per hour on July 1, and that’s right around the corner.

In January, the statewide minimum wage increased to $11 per hour for workers at companies with 25 or fewer employees and $12 for workers at companies with 26 or more employees – but the city of Los Angeles is working its way up to beat the state’s schedule.

Related: California’s minimum wage

What You Need to Know About Minimum Wage in Los Angeles

Minimum wage is the least amount of money an employer is permitted to pay its employees. California is a leader in minimum wage – throughout the country, wages are far lower than they are here. In fact, the federal minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour since July 24, 2009.

According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, LA’s new minimum wage is closer to a living wage than most, but it still needs to be higher. Check out this chart:

Hourly Wage 1 Adult, 1 Child 1 Adult, 2 Children 2 Adults (1 Working), 1 Child
Living Wage $14.36/hour $36.06/hour $27.91/hour
Poverty Wage $5.84/hour $9.99/hour $7.91/hour

Although LA is approaching the necessary $15 per hour that the entire state of California will adopt by 2023 (see the chart below for more information on California’s wage increases), the fact is that some employers try to get out of paying people the appropriate minimum wage.

If your employer fails to pay you the required minimum wage in Los Angeles, you could have legal recourse.

California’s Wage Increases Over the Years

The state of California is raising its minimum wage on January 1 of the years listed below.

Year 25 Employees or Fewer 26 or More Employees
2020 $12/hour $13/hour
2021 $13/hour $14/hour
2022 $14/hour $15/hour
2023 $15/hour  

Related: Wages in California

What to Do if Your Employer Doesn’t Pay You LA’s Minimum Wage

If your employer isn’t paying you the right minimum wage after July 1 this year and you work in Los Angeles, you could have legal recourse.

Nobody can agree to receive a wage lower than minimum wage. The minimum wage is the lowest an employer is allowed to pay you – and you can’t enter into an agreement with an employer to work for less.

When an employer fails to pay you the local minimum wage, for any reason, you may be able to sue the employer. If you decide to sue, you could be eligible to receive damages such as:

  • The amount of wages your employer owes you in order to bring your compensation up to minimum wage. For example, if you work for 10 hours at $10 per hour, your employer would have paid you $100. However, the minimum amount your employer is supposed to pay you for those 10 hours (after July 1, 2019) is $132.50 (because LA’s minimum wage is $13.25 per hour). Your employer would owe you an additional $32.50 to make sure you were paid at least minimum wage.
  • Interest on the amount your employer owes you.
  • Reasonable attorney’s fees.
  • A civil penalty, which is designed to punish your employer for failing to pay you the minimum wage. The penalty is $100 for the initial pay period of intentional violation and $250 for each subsequent pay period of violation.

In some cases, people receive liquidated damages that are equal to the amount of the unpaid minimum wages and interest. If you received liquidated damages in the example above, where your employer owed you an additional $32.50, you’d actually receive $65. That’s twice the amount of the unpaid minimum wage.

Related: When should you call a Los Angeles labor lawyer?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About an Employer Failing to Pay You Minimum Wage?

Because LA’s minimum wage is scheduled to go up, there may be some confusion among employers – it happens. But if your employer doesn’t pay you what you’re supposed to receive, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 818-230-8380 now to talk to a lawyer who understands the law and how it applies in your situation. We’ll answer your questions and tell you about your options.


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