I own a small business in Glendora, California, which is located within Los Angeles County. I just saw something on the news that said that the minimum wage in Los Angeles County increased on July 1. Do I have to pay my employees this new minimum wage?
The minimum wage for Los Angeles County is based upon an ordinance adopted by the county supervisors that is only applicable to work completed in the “unincorporated areas” of the county. “Unincorporated areas” are the areas in the county that fall outside of the city limits of the various cities within the county. The minimum wage ordinance requires that employers pay the county minimum wage to any employee who works at least two hours in a particular week within the unincorporated areas of the county. It does not apply to work completed in incorporated cities as well as the city of Los Angeles (which has its own minimum wage ordinance).
Because Glendora is an incorporated city, the county ordinance does not apply to your business or employees, so long as the employees work within the city limits of Glendora. If your employees work only within the city of Glendora, then your business is only obligated to pay its employees the minimum wage established by the state of California, unless and until the city of Glendora adopts its own minimum wage ordinance — as Malibu, Pasadena, West Hollywood and Santa Monica have.
Employers should consider where remote and traveling employees are working to determine if they are covered by this ordinance because if at least two hours of work are completed in a week within unincorporated areas of the county, the ordinance would apply. However, if an employee spends time in the unincorporated areas of the county solely for the purpose of traveling through it and does not make employment-related or commercial stops, or they are only stopping for gas, meals or personal errands — then the ordinance would not apply.
The Los Angeles County website has a resources page to help businesses determine whether they are subject to its minimum wage ordinance.
To determine if your business is operating within a city, you also can look at your business license to determine if it was issued by a city or by a county. If the license was issued by the county, it is likely that your business is operating in an unincorporated area, and you would be subject to county ordinances.
Sarah Woolston contributed to this story.
CalChamber members can read more about the Los Angeles County Minimum Wage Ordinance and the Los Angeles City Minimum Wage Ordinance on HRCalifornia. Not a member? Learn how to power your business with a CalChamber membership.