20 May 2015

I Finally Have Something Nice to Say about Los Angeles

Kudos to the "City of Angels" which has raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour, including tipped workers:
The nation’s second-largest city voted Tuesday to increase its minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020, in what is perhaps the most significant victory so far for labor groups and their allies who are engaged in a national push to raise the minimum wage.

The increase, which the City Council passed in a 14-to-1 vote, comes as workers across the country are rallying for higher wages and several large companies, including Facebook and Walmart, have moved to raise their lowest wages. Several other cities, including San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Oakland, Calif., have already approved increases, and dozens more are considering doing the same. In 2014, a number of Republican-leaning states like Alaska and South Dakota also raised their state-level minimum wages by ballot initiative.

The effect is likely to be particularly strong in Los Angeles, where, according to some estimates, almost 50 percent of the city’s work force earns less than $15 an hour. Under the plan approved Tuesday, the minimum wage will rise over five years.


Even economists who support increasing the minimum wage say there is not enough historical data to predict the effect of a $15 minimum wage, an unprecedented increase. A wage increase to $12 an hour over the next few years would achieve about the same purchasing power as the minimum wage in the late 1960s, the most recent peak.

Many restaurant owners here aggressively fought the increase, saying they would be forced to cut as much as half of their staff. Unlike other states, California state law prohibits tipped employees from receiving lower than the minimum wage. The Council promised to study the potential effect of allowing restaurants to add a service charge to bills to meet the increased costs.
The restaurant owners can, to quote Bender Rodriguez, "bite my shiny metal ass."

There is no justification to pay slave wages to your employees, and there is no reason for a wait person to have to tolerate bad behavior from a customer because they depend on tips for their livelihood.

If your business cannot make it if you have to pay your employees a fair wage, then your business should not make it, no saving throw.


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