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Office of Labor Standards Enforcement

County Contracts Labor Standards Enforcement Program

Introduction 

The Board of Supervisors adopted a Wage Theft Prevention Policy (Policy) to use existing County operations as mechanisms for enforcement to assist workers collect money from outstanding wage judgments and prevent ongoing wage theft. One of those County operations is contracting. The Policy requires all contractors to comply with applicable federal, state, and local wage and hour laws. These include the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the California Labor Code, and any minimum wage ordinance enacted by the County or city/town within the county. 

With the authorization and support of the Board of Supervisors, OLSE has implemented a County Contracts Labor Standards Enforcement Program (Program) to enforce the Policy, which is included in the terms and conditions of each contract. With this Program, the County proactively monitors contractors for wage theft compliance. 

In early 2020, OLSE partnered with the Office of Countywide Contracting Management (OCCM) to launch Program. Under the Program, the County may disqualify a contractor, may suspend, terminate, or decline to renew an existing agreement, and may withhold payment until the contractor remedies the violation.  

Enforcement of the Policy aligns with, and advances, the County’s interest in: 

  1. Ensuring workers contracted to for County work are fully compensated 

  1. Prevents the County from inadvertently financially supporting employers with outstanding wage theft judgments 

  1. Prevents the County from creating a ‘race to the bottom’ amongst bidders for contracts 

The Program also offers other jurisdictions a model to take affirmative steps to prevent public dollars from contributing to wage theft and other worker abuses. 

How it Works

The County uses data from the California Labor Commissioner’s Office to identify outstanding judgments amongst potential and current contractors. Implementation of the Program is two-pronged: 1) proactive screening for outstanding wage theft during solicitation and amendment events and 2) OLSE due diligence research. 

Program Success 

  • In April 2020, OLSE and OCCM identified a contractor providing care home facility services that had an outstanding wage judgment. The County referred the case to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, resulting in the collection of payment of $40,200.42 in wages. 

  • A service provider for the Health System was identified to have an outstanding judgment in early 2022. After OLSE engaged the contractor, they paid the outstanding judgment of $6,128.67. 

  • From July 2022 to June 2023, the Program successfully collected over $86,000 in unpaid judgments for workers.

For more information about the Program, please email [email protected] or call 408-678-3210. 

 

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