LA County: Incorporated vs Unincorporated – Minimum Wage Laws

By Kris Janisch
Published June 20, 2023

LA County: Incorporated vs Unincorporated – Minimum Wage Laws

Navigating minimum wage management for LA County – incorporated vs unincorporated – can be challenging.

LA County: Incorporated vs Unincorporated – Minimum Wage Laws

Employers know Los Angeles County is tricky when it comes to compliance.

The main reason is because of the jurisdiction’s minimum wage law, which applies only to unincorporated areas of Los Angeles Country.

Here, we’ll run down the complexities of managing minimum wage in Los Angeles County.

Minimum Wage Management. Simplified.

LA County – Incorporated vs Unincorporated

Let’s start with the basics.

There are nearly 90 incorporated cities within Los Angeles County, each with its own city council. These bodies, of course, have the authority to pass their own employment laws.

Meanwhile, the areas that are not part of these cities are considered unincorporated county territory. As such, they are subject to LA County employment laws. More than 65 percent of Los Angeles County is unincorporated.

And with so many cities in California having passed their own minimum wage rates in recent years, determining which rate applies can be cumbersome. But why is LA County especially difficult?

LA County: Incorporated vs Unincorporated – Minimum Wage LawsSome of it is because of an antiquated reliance on ZIP codes for employment law compliance and the physical layout of the county itself. (Check out this map for an illustration of how complex minimum wage in LA County can be.)

Organizations that rely on ZIP codes to apply minimum wage rates may not have the correct rates assigned to the proper jurisdiction.

Still, with that in mind, let’s delve into minimum wage for Los Angeles County – incorporated vs unincorporated.

Why ZIP Codes Don’t Cut It for Employment Law Compliance

LA County Minimum Wage – Incorporated vs Unincorporated

For starters, these are the incorporated cities in Los Angeles County.

Agoura HillsHawaiian GardensPasadena
AlhambraHawthornePico Rivera
ArcadiaHermosa BeachPomona
ArtesiaHidden HillsRancho Palos Verdes
AvalonHuntington ParkRedondo Beach
AzusaCity of IndustryRolling Hills
Baldwin ParkInglewoodRolling Hills Estates
Bell GardensLa Cañada FlintridgeSan Dimas
BellflowerLa Habra HeightsSan Fernando
Beverly HillsLa MiradaSan Gabriel
BradburyLa PuenteSan Marino
BurbankLa VerneSanta Clarita
CalabasasLakewoodSanta Fe Springs
CarsonLancasterSanta Monica
CerritosLawndaleSierra Madre
ClaremontLomitaSignal Hill
CommerceLong BeachSouth El Monte
ComptonLos AngelesSouth Gate
CovinaLynwoodSouth Pasadena
CudahyMalibuTemple City
Culver CityManhattan BeachTorrance
Diamond BarMaywoodVernon
DuarteMontebelloWest Covina
El MonteMonterey ParkWest Hollywood
El SegundoNorwalkWestlake Village
GlendalePalos Verdes Estates

Though it looks like a large number, remember that more than 65 percent of Los Angeles County is unincorporated, meaning plenty of employers with locations there must adhere to the county’s employment laws.

Guide: County and City Minimum Wage Rates

Los Angeles County Minimum Wage

As a reminder, the Los Angeles County minimum wage — again, only applying to the unincorporated areas of the county — is $16.90, effective July 1, 2023. (Also, California does not allow employers to take tip credits.)

While we’ve straightened out where in LA County employers need to be aware of potential employment laws, only a handful of cities in the chart above have their own minimum wage rates.

Below are the incorporated cities within Los Angeles County with their own minimum wage laws and the rates as of July 1, 2023.

Of course, there are several other California cities outside Los Angeles County that have their own minimum wage ordinances, especially in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Employers with locations across California should double check to ensure they are paying the correct rate.

And, as mentioned above, employers should also be sure they have the laws correctly applied to the appropriate jurisdiction.

Lastly, some jurisdictions in California have industry-specific rates, adding another piece to the minimum wage compliance puzzle.

California Minimum Wage


While the information above is accurate as of June 2023, employers with locations in Los Angeles County should always keep an eye out for pending legislation and new laws. For example, West Hollywood’s minimum wage went up Jan. 1, 2023, and again July 1, 2023.

Plus, as noted, employers should also audit their locations to ensure they aren’t using ZIP codes to apply minimum wage in the county. GovDocs Minimum Wage, for example, uses geospatial technology to pinpoint the precise jurisdiction of each location and match the applicable laws:

  • Latitude/longitude technology gets the rooftop-accurate location data for client locations
  • Crafted and maintained by the GovDocs Employment Law and Compliance team, jurisdictional mapping technology interacts directly with each client location’s latitude/longitude data to determine which legal jurisdictions to apply to that location

With the spate of new minimum wage activity in recent years, especially in California, employers with locations in LA County would be wise to review their locations and monitor potential changes in the future.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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GovDocs simplifies employment law compliance for large employers in the U.S. and Canada. The GovDocs software platform integrates three solutions in one convenient place to help you master the employment laws impacting your business. Whether you manage a labor law posters, minimum wage or paid leave program, our products cut through research time, provide proactive insights into the everchanging landscape of employment laws and reduce the risk of noncompliance. The company is headquartered in Eagan, Minn.

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