California cities' $25/hour minimum wage ordinances for healthcare workers on hold

Ordinances establishing a $25 minimum hourly wage for workers at private healthcare facilities are on hold in Los Angeles and Downey, Calif., as those cities seek to verify signatures petitioning to block enactment of the measures.

Los Angeles is verifying signatures on a petition seeking to repeal the ordinance, Natsuda Natalie Somboonkit, media liaison with the Los Angeles city clerk's office, confirmed.

The ordinance for Downey, Calif., is also on hold while the city completes signature verification, The Downey Patriot reported Aug. 17.

If officials in a city validate enough petition signatures, a repeal of the city's minimum wage ordinance would go before voters.

The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West has petitioned to get minimum wage measures on multiple city ballots in California.

City councils in Los Angeles and Downey approved minimum wage ordinances earlier this year instead of placing them before voters. On July 8 in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti, signed the ordinance into law. 

Since then, coalitions sponsored by the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems have sought to repeal the ordinances.

The coalitions argue that the ordinances are "deeply flawed" and exclude workers at most healthcare facilities. The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West has praised the measures, saying they will help with staffing shortages.

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