West Hollywood considers $17.64 minimum wage

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FILE PHOTO: The Pendry West Hollywood hotel on Sunset Boulevard. On Oct. 18, 2021 West Hollywood City Council members motioned to raised minimum wage in the city to $17.64 for all workers by July 2022. The topic will be discussed again at the next council meeting. Photo credit Getty Images

West Hollywood officials are considering multiple proposals to raise the city's minimum wage, following the City Council’s first in-person meeting in more than a year Monday.

One proposal calls for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023. Another calls for a $17.64 minimum for hotel and hospitality workers by Jan. 1, 2022, offering 96 hours of compensated sick time in addition to 80 hours of non-compensated sick time.

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City Councilman John D'Amico and several other council members questioned the idea of implementing a two-tiered system.

“I’m just not sure why we would have a different minimum wage for any employee,” he said. “We should choose the highest one and start there and make that what our minimum wage is.”

D’Amico then upped the bar with a motion to set minimum wage at $17.64 for all West Hollywood workers — with hotel workers seeing the change by Jan. 1, 2022 and all other workers seeing the change by July.

“We want to get to a place where we are consistent. Minimum wage alternatives make sense to catch up so there’s consistency so we’re competitive like L.A. and Santa Monica,” Councilmember Sepi Shyne said, pointing out that several West Hollywood residents have said they chose to leave their jobs in the city for a higher minimum wage in the other two cities.

Currently, the minimum wage in both L.A.and Santa Monica is $15.00 for businesses with more than 26 employees. In West Hollywood the minimum wage for the same size business is $14 and $13 for businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

Shyne also advocated for unlimited uncompensated sick time for all workers.

“I think we need to think about adding uncompensated sick pay to all businesses aside from just hotels,” she said. “If there’s anything covid has taught us it's that we really need to focus on health first, and taking care of all employees.”

The next step in the saga of West Hollywood minimum wage is for city staffers to draft a new plan. That plan will be considered at the next city council meeting. To review the archive of city council meetings, click here.