How high the minimum wage should be is a controversial topic in general. It’s especially controversial in the restaurant/hospitality industry.
On the one hand, you want workers to be paid a living wage. You don’t want a situation where people are unable to make ends meet despite working full-time.
On the other hand, if a business isn’t profitable, it won’t exist. A bad job is still better than no job.
There is a very delicate balancing act that comes up every so often.
The West Hollywood City Council recently had its first in-person meeting in more than a year. One of the things that came up was potentially raising the city’s minimum wage.
One proposal calls for a minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2023. Another calls for a $17.64 minimum wage for hospitality workers by January 1, 2022. It also calls for 96 hours of compensated sick time and 80 hours of non-compensated sick time.
Several City Council members question having a two-tiered system. Why would hospitality workers need a higher minimum wage than other workers?
That led to a proposal to raise the minimum wage for all West Hollywood workers to $17.64. Hotel workers would see the raise on January 1, 2022, while all other workers would have to wait until July.
Current Minimum Wage
Currently, West Hollywood has two different minimum wages. Businesses with more than 25 employees must pay at least $14 per hour, and businesses with less than 25 employees must pay at least $13 per hour.
The City of Los Angeles has a slightly higher minimum wage. They passed an ordinance in 2016 that progressively raised the minimum wage from $10.50 to the $15 it stands at today.
I have no idea what the correct minimum wage is. I do think that the “correct” number is different depending on the individual city, though.
Also, it’s not clear whether or not West Hollywood will raise their minimum wage. As of now, it’s just something that’s being considered.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s a good idea to revisit the idea from time to time.
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