In the wake of a recent vote by Los Angeles’ city council, hospitality workers in the city will soon earn an hourly wage of at least $15.37.
Hotel workers in Los Angeles will soon be entitled to a wage of at least $15.37 an hour, now that the Los Angeles City Council has approved one of the nation’s highest minimum-wage requirements. According to the Los Angeles Times, the council voted 12 to 3 on Wednesday to set the wage, despite complaints from advocacy groups that insisted the increase would hurt businesses.
Council members explained that by paying hospitality workers more, housekeepers, banquet servers and other hotel employees will not feel the need to take second jobs, meaning they will be able to spend more time with their families.
Not everyone is pleased with the council’s decision. “[On Wednesday] a whole bunch of people in the hotel industry lost their jobs; they just don’t know it yet,” said Ruben Gonzalez, senior vice president with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which opposed the measure.
James Elmendorf, speaking on behalf of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, explained, “When employers are saying jobs are going to be lost, they’re really saying, ‘We want to continue to have high profits, so we’re going to fire people.’”
There’s some precedent for Elmendorf’s comments. In 2007, when Los Angeles lawmakers increased base wages of workers at 12 hotels around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), there was a reduction in the overall number of hospitality jobs in the area.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti indicated that he would sign the new bill, which would take effect in July 2015 for hotels with at least 300 rooms, and then a year later for properties with at least 150 rooms. Altogether, the measure is expected to cover at least 40 hotels and anywhere from 5,300 to 13,500 employees.