July 19, 2019 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Minimum Wage Increases 3rd Consecutive Year

$13.25 for small businesses, $14.25 for large businesses.

By Kai McNamee

For the third year in a row, parts of Los Angeles County — including Santa Monica and the City of Los Angeles — have seen an increase in minimum wage. The wage increase comes with concerns over wage enforcement and climbing costs of living. 

As of July 1, 2019, small businesses of 25 or fewer employees must pay a minimum wage of $13.25. Large businesses of 26 or more employees must pay a minimum wage of $14.25. As outlined by the Santa Monica Minimum Wage Ordinance, the minimum wage has increased yearly since 2016; by 2020 and 2021, large and small businesses will be required to pay employees a minimum of $15 per hour, respectively. Starting July 1, 2022, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), an index used to monitor cost of living published by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. 

In Santa Monica, many are worried about the rising costs of living — some question whether or not the minimum wage will be enough to compensate for the cost of living in the city. Simone Acciai, the owner of Dolcenero Gelato on Main Street, is concerned that even a $15 minimum wage is not enough to live in Santa Monica. After raising the minimum wage for his employees to $13.25, Acciai says it’s “still not enough” to afford the cost of living in Santa Monica. “I’m happy for my employees, but two to three dollars per hour more is not even close to enough.”

But others are more optimistic. Jay, a manager at Mohawk WEST on Main Street says the increase is good for workers. “I think it’s good for employment because the cost of living is going up.” Jay is uncertain what the impact will be on the region’s economy, but he believes prices and wages will eventually balance out.  

In 2022, the Minimum Wage Ordinance will be the first piece of legislation to index Santa Monica’s minimum wage. Similarly, wage ordinances adopted by LA City and unincorporated parts of LA County will also use the CPI-W to adjust minimum wage on a yearly basis, starting in 2022. CPI-W is a measure of the average change in prices of a fixed basket of goods and services consumed by average urban wage earners and clerical workers. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 29 percent of Los Angeles’ total population falls under CPI-W. 

Prior to the 2016 Minimum Wage Ordinance, Santa Monica followed California’s minimum wage laws. BLS statistics show that CPI-W has increased roughly 43 percent between 2000 and 2015, calculated using 1982-1984 as the base period; Santa Monica minimum wage grew roughly 56 percent between 2000 and 2015. Prices, as measured by the CPI-W, have increased, but minimum wage has also followed upward trends.

Santa Monica’s minimum wage law is enforced by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA). Since contracting the DCBA to enforce minimum wage laws in 2016, Santa Monica has prosecuted two hotel gift shops, the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, and a janitorial company. 

Related Posts

Santa Monica Sees Nearly 9 Percent Spike in Part 1 Crimes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud gives crime update. By Sam Catanzaro Over the past month, Santa Monica has experienced a string...

Man Charged for Murdering Mother

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office files charges on Stephen Lloyd Fader. By Staff Writer The Los Angeles County District...

Fighting Fires, Tackling Homelessness, Saving Lives

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

The role of fire departments in 21st-century urban centers.  By Keldine Hull Do firefighters fight fires? Obviously, but most of...

SM City Defends Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Staff Writer Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their January 22 meeting to join an amicus brief to...

SMPD Mounted Patrol Aids in Arrest

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) carried out an arrest on February 1 with the aid of horses....

MDR Oil Well Explosion Sparks Debate

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

Jan. 18 incident sheds light on the dangers of oil wells in the city. By Tor Marom Discussions on public...

State of the City: Climate Change, Communication Among Challenges Facing Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Mayor Davis delivers annual address. By Tor Marom This past Wednesday, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce held its annual...

Santa Monica and ‘Big One’ Preparedness

July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

All it took was 10-20 seconds for the 1994 Northridge earthquake to rattle Southern California in a way no earthquake had done before. Dozens of people lost their lives and thousands more were injured as the state reeled from a catastrophic event that cost billions in damages

Santa Monica Man Arrested for Attempting to Murder Girlfriend

February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019

Kevin Ferron charged with attacking girlfriend Anna Koosman. By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) have arrested a...

Fire Damages Santa Monica High Rise

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Shores Apartments unit catches fire Monday night.  By Staff Writer A Santa Monica high rise by the beach caught fire Monday...

SMPD to Conduct Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Citations and increased enforcement Feb. 15 and 18. By Staff Writer  The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting bike...

Judge’s Final Ruling Orders Districts, Special Election

February 17, 2019

February 17, 2019

Final judgement calls for July 2 special election to choose new council.  By Sam Catanzaro  A final judgment has been...

Santa Monica Police Seize 29 Guns, Cocaine, Meth and Heroin

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

By Staff Writer  On February 15,  the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) Narcotics/Vice Unit along with SWAT served multiple search...

Adapting to Santa Monica’s Single-Use Plastic Ban

February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

City’s disposable food-ware ordinance under effect. By Keldine Hull When an updated Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance went into effect...

Council Votes Unanimously to Appeal District-Election Ruling

February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019

City of Santa Monica to appeal ruling that elections are in violation of CRVA.  By Sam Catanzaro On February 21,...