Basics of L.A. County's Minimum Wage (for employers)


Beginning July 1, 2016 the minimum wage increases for people who perform work in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

The minimum wage will increase every year until 2021, when it will be $15 an hour depending on the number of employees you employ.

All employers in unincorporated areas of L.A. County must pay the increased minimum wage, with few exceptions.

When does the minimum wage increase?

The County’s minimum wage will increase each year on July 1.

Employers must pay their employees no less than the following hourly rates on the following effective dates.

Minimum Wage Increases in L.A. County

Who qualifies for the new minimum wage?

Anyone who works at least two hours in a one-week period within the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County is entitled to the County minimum wage for the hours worked in the unincorporated area of the County.

The employee’s employment status, where they live, or where your business is headquartered does not determine the minimum wage that applies.

Some of your workers may be exempt from this law. To determine if any of your workers are exempt, call us at (800) 593-8222 or email us at wagehelp@dcba.lacounty.gov.

How do I know if work was done in an unincorporated area of the County?

To determine if work is done in an unincorporated area of L.A. County, enter the address at the County Registrar-Recorder’s website. (Follow our guide for step-by-step instructions.) You also can call DCBA.

If your employees perform work in the unincorporated areas of L.A. County, even if your business or non-profit is not located in an unincorporated area of L.A. County, then you must pay them at least the County’s minimum wage.

If your employee has not performed work in unincorporated L.A. County, you must pay the minimum wage established by the State of California or city where your business is located.

What are my responsibilities as a business or non-profit under the County minimum wage ordinance?

  • Pay employees the minimum wage rate required by the County law for work performed in unincorporated L.A. County.
  • Post a notice in a conspicuous place to inform employees of the current minimum wage rate and their rights under the law; or if you do not have a physical business location, provide a copy of the notice to all employees that perform work in the unincorporated areas of L.A. County. DCBA will make available the notice that you are required to post in the languages needed.
  • Maintain accurate and complete payroll records for each employee for a period of four years.
Addressing a Complaint

What happens if my business or non-profit is contacted by a DCBA investigator?

DCBA works with employees and employers to ensure that violations of the County’s minimum wage law are identified, addressed, and remedied in a timely and effective manner.

If DCBA receives a complaint about your business, we will contact you to check your payroll records and interview you and your employees. DCBA has the authority to issue a citation for any findings of a violation.

DCBA will discuss the investigation with you and allow you to respond to any complaints and correct the situation, if necessary.

It is against the law for you to retaliate against an employee who:

  • Requests to be paid the mandated minimum wage.
  • Files a complaint about a potential minimum wage violation.
  • Informs other people about their rights or a potential violation.
County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Last updated: July 1, 2016.