The Los Angeles City Council vote on Tuesday would phase in the increase to $15 by 2020.
An earlier proposal that would have raised the minimum to $15.25 by 2019 would have benefited 40 percent of L.A.’s workforce, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Tuesday’s vote directs the L.A. city attorney to formally draft legislation that will then go before the same council for a vote.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has been pushing for a hike.
“The minimum wage shouldn’t be a poverty wage,” Garcetti has said. “Angelenos working full time should be able to afford to live in our amazing city.”
The small Washington town of SeaTac was the first municipality to institute a floor of $15 an hour, and it was followed by Seattle and San Francisco.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also come out for raising that city’s wage to $15.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but the Obama administration has been pushing Congress to raise it.
Big companies are also hiking worker wages.
Facebook said last week it will require its U.S. contractors and vendors to pay their employees at least $15 an hour and to offer paid time off for sick days and vacation.
Walmart also gave its lowest-paid workers a raise, pledging to give all of its employees $10 an hour by February 2016.
TJX Companies, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s and Home Goods, will hike employee wages to at least $10 an hour sometime next year as well.