Update Applicable to:
All employers of healthcare workers in Los Angeles county, California.

What happened?
On July 5 and July 12, 2022, the Los Angeles and Downey City Council approved new healthcare minimum wage ordinances for healthcare workers at private healthcare facilities in their respective cities to $25.00 per hour.

What are the details?
The Los Angeles ordinance would have gone into effect on August 13, 2022, and the Downey ordinance would have become effective on August 11, 2022. However, on August 10, 2022, two separate referendum petitions were filed with the City of Los Angeles and the City of Downey, respectively. Supported by the “No on the Unequal Pay Measures” group, the petitions seek to stay the ordinances and have the issue decided by voters in their respective cities. The proponents of the petitions stated that they gathered twice as many signatures required to suspend the minimum wage ordinances to hold a public vote on the new minimum wage hikes.

The minimum wage increases are frozen while the respective city clerk offices verify that the petitions contain the required number of valid signatures. The issue would be put to a public vote assuming the requisite number of signatures is verified.

In Los Angeles, however, if it is determined that there are not enough signatures as required, the ordinance will go into effect upon the city clerk issuing a certificate of insufficiency. In Downey, the ordinance has automatically stayed pending review of the petition, and the Downey City Council will issue a decision once this process is done. Should an election be authorized, it would probably not occur until 2024.

Since Los Angeles and Downey were the first to approve a new minimum wage, eight other Californian cities have passed or introduced a $25 minimum wage for healthcare workers since July 2022. These cities are:

The cities of Monterey Park and Long Beach have both passed healthcare workers’ minimum wage ordinances, raising healthcare workers’ wages to $25 per hour.

Meanwhile, the cities of Duarte and Inglewood declined to adopt their healthcare workers’ minimum wage ordinance outright and instead have decided to let their voters decide the issue in November. If approved in the November election, the ordinances in both cities would take effect for covered employees working in privately owned healthcare facilities starting January 1, 2024.

The cities of Anaheim, Baldwin Park, Culver City, and Lynwood did not have enough signatures for the healthcare minimum wage ordinance to move forward.

For more information, please see the links below:

City of Los Angeles Healthcare Workers Minimum Wage Ordinance

City of Downey Healthcare Workers Minimum Wage Ordinance

City of Long Beach Ordinance

City of Downey Article

“No on the Unequal Pay Measures” Website

Article 1Article 2Article 3

What do employers need to do? Employers should review the links provided above and should keep a close eye on the ordinances within their cities for any more updates. Long Beach employers should make immediate adjustment to their minimum wage to match the required amount and Monterey Park employers should prepare to adjust their minimum wage once it goes into effect.