News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

What happened when one business owner hiked his workers' wages




SEIU union members join fast food workers that went on strike nation-wide to protest for a $15 minimum wage outside of the Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles.
SEIU union members join fast food workers that went on strike nation-wide to protest for a $15 minimum wage outside of the Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

Listen to story

03:49
Download this story 3MB

Not all business owners object to raising the minimum wage.  But when incomes do go up, there are some unexpected surprises.

Small business owner Darryl Lima knows all about that. He's the president of DJL Audio Video Specialist in San Dimas.

He told us his story on Southern California Public Radio's Public Insight Network.

How much did you increase minimum wage? And when? 

We increased our starting pay from $12 and hour to $14 an hour in 2012.

How has your business changed since it increased minimum wage?

It simply made it much harder to make payroll these days, especially since we did not anticipate how much our tax burden would increase along with the wages.

How did employees react to the increase? Did you notice a difference in the quality of work or employees hired? 

Employees were happy for about one week. After that, the talk went right back to how hard it is to make ends meet in the California economy. Everybody's broke all the time. New employees are still asking for cash under the table so they can continue to get any benefits they are collecting. When we refuse, most refuse the job and move on.



You care about today's news. And you're not alone.

Join others who support independent journalism.