The West Hollywood City Council is set to vote Monday on an ordinance that would create a citywide $17.64 minimum wage for employees in the city.
Under the proposal, hotel workers citywide would get a minimum wage of $17.64 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2022. Workers in all other sectors will later get that same proposed minimum wage beginning July 1, 2022.
If approved, it would be the highest minimum wage rate in the nation, after another California city, Emeryville.
Currently, the state’s minimum wage rate stands at $13 an hour for employers with 25 employees or fewer, and $14 an hour for employers with 26 or more employees. It will go up $1 for both categories in January of next year.
Most U.S. cities and counties that have adopted minimum wage rates higher than their state’s minimum are in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas of California, according to the Pew Research Center.
In outlining the wage hike, officials said most employees in West Hollywood are already earning at or above the proposed amount, and so increasing the minimum wage rate would help those being paid less than the majority of other workers in the city.
The $17.64 is a wage was initially planned for just hotel workers, but the West Hollywood City Council determined that “if the minimum wage is appropriate for hotel workers, it is also appropriate for all workers in the city.”
Keith Kaplan, trustee of the Pandemic Recovery Coalition, told KTLA the timing isn’t ideal for the wage hike since businesses are still working to recover financially.
“We’re not saying that we don’t agree with reaching the objective of livable workforce wages. It’s just not the time to do it, and to do it so big,” Kaplan said. “The restaurants, the retailers, the hotels, they can’t survive it.”