The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to exempt three area nonprofits that help "transitional workers" enter the labor force from paying such trainees the city's increased minimum wage, public radio station KPCC reports.
Chrysalis, Homeboy Industries, and the L.A. Conservation Corps will be exempt for 18 months from the plan approved by the council last month to incrementally raise the wage floor from $9 an hour to $15 from 2016 to 2020.
The charities said that schedule would force them to sharply curtail their employment of the homeless, ex-convicts, former gang members, and others who face particular challenges finding work. Their argument swayed critics on the council and labor leaders who had opposed any minimum-wage exemptions. "I have seen an outpouring of compelling testimony from program participants who feel that their jobs and the jobs of future participants could be in jeopardy," wrote David Huerta of the Service Employees International Union in a letter to council members.