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L.A.'s New Minimum Wage Begins To Go Into Effect Today

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Starting Friday, Los Angeles businesses with more than 25 employees will be paying an hourly minimum wage of $10.50, as the city's minimum wage ordinance begins to go into effect. Today's increase, a fifty-cent bump from the former minimum, is just the beginning—the law, which Mayor Eric Garcetti signed off on in June 2015, mandates that the city gradually increase the minimum wage every year until 2020, when the minimum reaches $15.

L.A.'s historic ordinance helped set the stage for the Fight For $15 movement across the country, and, more locally, the County Board of Supervisors followed suit and approved a minimum wage hike for unincorporated areas of the county shortly thereafter, which also goes into effect today. In April, Governor Jerry Brown signed state-level minimum wage legislation, which will begin to take effect in January 2017.

Not all L.A. businesses will be affected immediately, however; smaller businesses—those with 25 or fewer workers—will have an extra year before they take on the new wage.

According to NBC 4, for city and county businesses with more than 25 employees the minimum wage will be $12 by July 2017, $13.25 by July 2018, and $14.25 by July 2019. Businesses with 25 or less workers will take an extra year to adopt these new wages.

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Related legislation requiring city businesses with more than 25 employees to provide at least six days of paid sick leave benefits will also be going into effect today. State law, on the other hand, only requires businesses to offer three days of paid leave.

Today, the Los Angeles Coalition Against Wage Theft is hosting a fair that will inform workers about their rights as defined in the new wage law. The free event, which will take place from 10:40 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Grand Park in Downtown, will also have appearances by Garcetti and L.A County Supervisor Hilda Solis. And there'll be zumba dancing! Event organizers lauded the new legislation, saying it helps "set a precedent in the southland so it can truly lift thousands out of poverty."

Garcetti, in a written statement, said that "raising the wage helps to build a stronger middle class in Los Angeles, which is good for our entire local economy."

Some cities, while also voting to raise the minimum wage, have decided to march to their own beat. Long Beach, for example, voted earlier this year to raise their minimum to $13 by 2019.

This is all great news. It means you can now work (slightly) less than 89 hours a week to afford an apartment in L.A.

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