WEST HOLLYWOOD—The City of West Hollywood now has the highest minimum wage in the country after wages increased to $19.08 hourly on Saturday, July 1, beating Seattle which had the highest wage at $18.69.
According to reports many small business owners are unhappy about the increase stating that it could drive them out of business.
Lucian Tudor, chief executive of upscale restaurant La Boheme, told the Los Angeles Times he has cut staff from 120 to 80 to trim costs. The city’s minimum wage climbed $1 in January to $17.50 an hour for businesses with at least 50 employees.
“These pay increases are about superficiality and about opportunistic politicians who are just trying to make a name for themselves,” Tudor, who would prefer a minimum wage that accounts for tips like what New York City has, told the news source.
Employers facing financial hardships can apply for a one-year delay via a waiver with the city.
This increase in pay is reported to go up again on July 1, 2024. The updated hourly total will be posted on the city’s website.
Jorge Zeparak, 52, who is an immigrant from Peru who works at the Beverly Hills Hotel spoke with the Los Angeles Times in an interview stating that he has seen an improvement in his co-workers lives due to the city’s pay increases implemented in the past few years.
“The reality is that hotel companies are making record profits while workers are barely getting by,” said Zeparak.
Other major cities thorough out the country saw minimum wage increases recently with Los Angeles now at $16.68 and San Francisco at $18.07. Hotel workers in the City of Los Angeles who work at hotels with 60 rooms or more saw an increase to $19.73 from $18.86. Hotel workers in the City of Santa Monica are also seeing the same increase.
According to reports, one must make $40 hourly to live comfortably in the State of California. Smart Asset states that the U.S. city that provides people with the most comfort financially is St. Louis, Missouri.