EMPLOYMENT LAW NEWS

Minimum Wage for Healthcare Workers in Los Angeles

By Kris Janisch
Published Aug. 3, 2022

Minimum Wage for Healthcare Workers in Los Angeles

Effective Aug. 13, 2022, Los Angles has a new minimum wage for healthcare workers.

Minimum wage for healthcare workers in Los Angeles is $25 per hour, effective Aug. 13, 2022.

It’s the latest in a long line of issues employers have when dealing with California minimum wage rates.

“The past few years have taken an unimaginable toll on our healthcare workers — often putting themselves at risk to care for the sick and their families,” Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “It is time we put them first. Our healthcare heroes deserve fair compensation for their critical work, countless sacrifices and incredible service to our city and its people.”

The new healthcare worker minimum wage in Los Angeles is expected to impact about 20,000 employees in the city.

Minimum Wage Management. Simplified.

Los Angeles Minimum Wage: Healthcare Workers

As a reminder, the other minimum wage rates in Los Angeles as of July 1, 2022, are:

  • $16.04 (large and small employers)
  • $18.17 (hotel workers)

The healthcare worker ordinance was signed into law in early July 2022 and applies to certain private healthcare facilities. It was initially brought forth through a petition initiative.

It impacts most types of healthcare facilities, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor groups
  • Affiliated clinics
  • Nursing facilities

In addition to the $25 minimum wage starting Aug. 13, 2022, it will be increased annually beginning Jan. 1, 2024, based on the consumer price index for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Minimum Wage Glossary

Covered Employers

As might be expected, a good portion of the LA minimum wage law for healthcare workers involves the definition of covered employers. Such employers are privately owned and within the boundaries of Los Angeles.

They include:

  • A licensed general acute care hospital
  • A clinic that is conducted, operated or maintained as an outpatient department of a general acute care hospital or acute psychiatric hospital
  • A licensed acute psychiatric hospital, including an acute psychiatric hospital that is a distinct part of another health facility
  • A licensed skilled nursing facility that is a distinct part of a general acute care hospital or acute psychiatric hospital
  • A licensed residential care facility for the elderly that is located or licensed at the same address as an acute psychiatric hospital or is located on the same campus or parcel as an acute psychiatric hospital
  • A licensed chronic dialysis clinic
  • All facilities that are part of an integrated healthcare delivery system
  • Covered physician group

More specific definitions for the above can be found in the California Health and Safety Code.

County and City Minimum Wage Guide

Covered Employees

Generally, “healthcare worker” means an employee who works at a covered facility to provide:

  • Patient care
  • Healthcare services
  • Services supporting the provision of healthcare

More specifically, the definition includes nearly every type of employee found at a healthcare facility:

Clinicians, professionals and non-professionals, nurses, certified nursing assistants, aides, technicians, maintenance workers, janitorial and housekeeping staff, groundskeepers, guards, food service workers, laundry workers, pharmacists, nonmanagerial administrative workers and business office clerical workers. It does not include a manager or supervisor.

Lastly, the definition of healthcare worker in the minimum wage ordinance in Los Angeles only includes those employees whose primary place of work is at a covered facility. The city provides an example: “Delivery workers employed principally outside a covered healthcare facility are not healthcare workers for purposes of this article unless employed by such a facility.”

LA County Minimum Wage

On a related topic, a recent episode of GovDocs’ Employment Law Minute covered minimum wage in Los Angeles County.

Conclusion

Employers at healthcare facilities in Los Angeles should review the law — and their own minimum wage payment policies and procedures — to ensure compliance with the new ordinance.

With the federal minimum wage stagnant for more than a decade, the new rate for minimum wage for healthcare workers in Los Angeles is the latest in a continued push from lawmakers. And, of course, the pandemic has also played a role in how legislators view pay rates.

“For the last two years, our community has relied heavily on the medical community to help navigate us through the pandemic — putting their lives on the line and their families at risk. As a representative of a district that was hit hard by the pandemic, their sacrifice inspired me to be a leader in the fight,” Los Angeles Councilmember Curren Price said in a press release. “Working long, grueling hours and absorbing insurmountable stress, the burnout being felt from the pressures of COVID-19 has been prevalent, causing an alarming number of healthcare workers to leave the profession altogether. The approval to raise their wages demonstrates to the countless workers that they are valued, seen, heard and above all, their lives matter.”

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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