As Los Angeles moves to become the largest city to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour from $9 an hour over the next five years, a key question is which other large cities might follow suit and hike pay.
Los Angeles joins other cities including Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago that have moved independently to raise wages beyond the current, federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
The shift in Los Angeles will now put pressure on other big cities including New York and Washington, D.C., to take similar action, says Holly Sklar, chief executive of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, which supports raising the federal minimum wage. "This ratchets up pressure in these cities," Sklar said. "And as we see more cities do this, it adds pressure on the federal government to take action."
The Los Angeles City Council agreed on Tuesday to draft a proposal to raise wages by 2020. The plan will go to a vote next month and Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he will sign it into law.
Los Angeles joins labor groups and other supporters of higher wages.
Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would convene a wage board to examine fast food worker pay in the state.