LA County joins City in considering minimum wage hikes

Text and video by Kimberly Leoffler 

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and United States Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez advocated to raise the minimum wage this week, arguing that it would benefit all residents. They also lashed out against wage theft.

“If all the people who lived in poverty in L.A. were an independent city, they’d be the tenth largest in America, the third largest in our state,” Garcetti said.

“In January of this year, seven million Americans got an increase in the minimum wage as a result of state and local action,” Perez added.

The pair was greeted with cheers at an event in Downtown L.A. where hundreds of people with United Service Workers West came out to support an increase in the minimum wage and greater protection for workers.

Tina Tran said she was a victim of wage theft. While she was able to file a claim and settle with her employer, many of her co-workers haven’t been able to do the same. She says she wasn’t paid for overtime and never received meal or rest periods.

“The biggest issue of all was that I was being misclassified,” said Tran. “As a result, that’s why I was not being paid for overtime.”

Minimum wage debates have sprung up across the city. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors commissioned their own study this week to examine the effects of raising the minimum wage. In addition, the City Council’s Economic Development Committee held a meeting Tuesday night to solicit public input.

Originally published in Annenberg TV News.