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In 3-2 Vote, L.A. Rejects Exemptions to New Minimum Wage

Two members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who wanted to exempt some employers from a minimum wage hike lost their battle on Tuesday, and were outvoted 3-2.

Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe had an uphill battle to fight, facing off against well-known leftists Hilda Solis, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl.

Knabe proposed exempting “transitional employment programs” whose employees often include jail members released from jail, such as Homeboy Industries and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, according to the Los Angeles Times. According to the Times,Knabe stated that the training programs “create jobs for people who have to learn or relearn how to keep and maintain employment…I am concerned that if the county’s minimum wage ordinance is wholly applied to these programs, they might be forced to limit the number of program participants they serve.”

Antonovich proposed an exemption for non-profit companies employing fewer than 25 people, and other companies whose rosters ebb and flow seasonally.

Kuehl said, “I don’t know how it seems right to say because someone is beginning their career they should be paid less,” according to Southern California Public Radio.

In July, the Board of Supervisors voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for workers in Los Angeles County and in county-controlled unincorporated areas. The city of Los Angeles voted for the wage hike in June. The vote raising the wage for workers in unincorporated areas of the county was exactly the same as Tuesday’s vote, but the vote raising the wage for county workers saw Knabe join the three leftist members to approve it.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the finalized language at a later meeting.

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