Minimum wage law reviewed

Local residents protested a proposed minimum wage increase, but councilmembers’ minds remained unchanged.

The council again voted 4-1 to enact a law raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, with Councilwoman Megan Satterlee dissenting.

Jessica Lynam, director of local government affairs for the Bay Area region for the California Restaurant Association, requested further discussion of the item.

“Los Altos is known for its small and family-owned restaurants,” she said. “Policies at the local level must be thoughtful and incremental to avoid negative consequences for their employees and customers.”

Lynam noted that the council’s decision not to include exceptions for tipped wait staff or allow for a youth wage will force local restaurants to raise prices, cut hours and potentially eliminate jobs.

Laura Auerhahn represented Working Partnerships USA at the meeting. Derecka Mehrens, executive director of Working Partnerships, gave a statement after the meeting.

“When one in three working families in Silicon Valley earns too little to cover even the most basic expenses, we need to act now,” Mehrens said. “If the other cities in the county follow Los Altos’ lead, 250,000 workers will get a raise and our economy will grow by $300 million a year.”

– Asher Kohn

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