Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s signing of the Healthcare Workers Minimum Wage Ordinance will increase the minimum wage for healthcare workers at privately-held facilities, effective August 13, 2022. According to Los Angeles lawmakers, the goal of the ordinance is to deliver fair compensation to those who risk their own health, assist with staffing shortages, and quell the high costs of living in Los Angeles.
The wage will go up to $25 and increase based on annual costs of living starting January 1, 2024. However, the new ordinance only applies to privately-owned facilities in LA that fall under certain criteria:
- Must be a licensed, general acute care hospital under Section 1250(a) of the CA Health and Safety Code.
- A clinic that is conducted, operated, or maintained as an outpatient department of a general acute care or acute psychiatric hospital, defined under Section 1206(d).
- A licensed acute psychiatric hospital under Section 1250(b) including a psychiatric hospital that is a distinct part of another health facility.
- A licensed skilled nursing facility under Section 1250(c) that is a distinct part of a general acute care hospital or acute psychiatric hospital.
- A licensed residential care facility for elderly under Section 1569.2 that is located or licensed at the same address as an acute psychiatric hospital or located on the same campus or property as an acute psychiatric hospital.
- A licensed chronic dialysis clinic under Section 1204(b)(2) of the CA Health and Safety Code.
- Any facility that is part of an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System.
The ordinance isn’t without opposition, however. A group by the name of “No on the Los Angeles Unequal Pay Measure” argues that the law is an “inequitable ordinance that would set a new arbitrary pay requirement for some healthcare workers in some healthcare facilities in the city, while excluding thousands of healthcare workers doing the same jobs.” In other words, healthcare workers in facilities that don’t meet the ordinance’s criteria won’t receive the same wage increase despite carrying out the same job responsibilities.
Healthcare employers who fall under this ordinance are encouraged to review their pay practices before the effective date of August 13, 2022 to ensure they’re able to handle the wage increase. But for facilities who need a bit more time, the ordinance offers a limited one-year waiver that could help. As long as the employer can demonstrate that compliance with the Healthcare Workers Minimum Wage Ordinance “would raise substantial doubt about the Employer’s ability to continue as a going concern under generally accepted accounting standards,” the year-long grace period will be granted.
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Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. Furthermore, she’s been named a “Top 50 Woman Attorney” in California by Super Lawyers, a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
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