Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a proposal to raise the city's minimum wage to $13.25 an hour and "restore dignity for all Angelenos" when he attended a Labor Day rally Monday in South Los Angeles.
Garcetti has been shopping a plan to business groups to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017. The wage would go up by $1.25 the first year, and $1.50 each of the following two years, after which it would be pegged to the cost of living.
The minimum hourly wage in California is $9 and set to go up to $10 in 2016.
Los Angeles would be joining cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Oakland where minimum wage increases are being considered, according to the National Employment Law Project, a group that advocates for minimum wage increases. Seattle recently approved a measure to increase the minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2017, while San Diego approved a wage that would rise to $11.50 an hour by 2017.
The $13.25 per hour minimum wage that is expected to be pushed by Garcetti would be among the highest in the nation, the group said.
The anticipated $13.25 proposal would still be less than the $15 minimum hourly wage that is on the November ballot in San Francisco. The business and labor community there agreed to put the issue to the voters, the group said.
Los Angeles business leaders voiced concern last week over the plan, but two major business groups have not taken official stances on the issue. Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, said the group's board members will listen to Garcetti's proposal before taking a position.
Waldman said last week the proposal would hurt some businesses and could result in job loss.
Gary Toebben, president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said the feedback from members has "largely been one of concern about what impact this will have on small businesses and nonprofits." Toebben said earlier that the recently instituted statewide hike of the minimum wage to $9 and ultimately to $10 "will have less of an impact" than a hike for an individual city.
The mayor's office would not confirm the specifics of the proposal, but mayoral aide Jeff Millman issued a statement saying officials have been meeting with business leaders, as well as "labor, community and faith leaders" to talk about "ways to help L.A. families and our economy thrive."