Minimum wage increases in unincorporated areas

Several Southern California counties and cities increased the minimum wage July 1, including in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. 

Employers with 26 or more employees must pay a minimum of $14.25 an hour, an increase of $1 from last year’s wage, as of the start of this month. For those with 25 or fewer employees, the hourly rate increased from $12 to $13.25. 

In the Santa Clarita Valley, the wage increase would only affect areas outside of the city of Santa Clarita boundaries, such as Castaic and Stevenson Ranch, which follow the county minimum wage guidelines.

Employers within the city of Santa Clarita follow the state minimum wage, which was last raised on Jan. 1. The next scheduled date to raise the statewide minimum wage is Jan. 1, 2020, to $12 an hour for employers with fewer than 26 employees and to $13 an hour for those with 26 or more workers. 

As part of a six-year plan created by Senate Bill 3, which was signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown, the California minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $15 per hour by 2022 for large businesses, or those with more than 25 employees, and 2023 for smaller businesses. By 2024, the wage would change based on the Consumer Price Index increase. 

“The city of Santa Clarita is on a different schedule,” said Alison Needham with the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. “Those within the city boundaries get wage increases on Jan. 1 and those in (the) unincorporated county get raises on July 1.” 

Just before the statewide minimum wage increase in January, a survey conducted by the SCVEDC showed that more than 70% of local companies surveyed had not incorporated minimum wage increases into their financial plans. Data showed that companies had instead raised prices on products and services as a way to manage the wage changes or add fewer employees, rather than incorporate increases into their growth plans. 


During an informational event on the minimum wage held in August at College of the Canyons, SCVEDC officials and Brian Koegle, a partner at Poole & Shaffery LLP, advised employers to prepare to face risks if they did not keep an eye on recent and upcoming county and state mandates for employment. 

Koegle suggested companies work with human resources professionals, legal counsel or attend information meetings to better address the scheduled wage increases. 

To find out if a local business falls within the unincorporated area of L.A. County, use the county’s precincts map application by visiting lavote.net/apps/precinctsmaps. 

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