Chair Fletcher Brings Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement Policy to Board Tuesday
Chair Nathan Fletcher is fighting for improved protections for workers in San Diego County. Today he held a virtual roundtable with workers, labor and employee rights leaders (link to discussion) to discuss the issues, and on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will vote on Chair Fletcher's policy to create an Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement at the County to assist workers.
“There are bad employers who cheat their workers and the system; this new office will help protect worker rights, hold bad actors accountable and become a valuable information resource for both workers and good-faith employers,” said Chair Fletcher. “Not all workers have a labor union to back them up when their company mistreats them; with this policy, we are creating a safe, accessible place for workers when they need help.”
Unfair labor practices and wage theft is an ongoing problem that Invest in San Diego Families, Chair Fletcher, the Employee Rights Center, Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund, San Diego Building Trades and many others have been fighting for years.
In 2019, a joint Center for Policy Initiatives-San Diego State University (SDSU) survey of 2,600 hourly workers in the San Diego region found that 64% of workers did not receive any sick days, received fewer than they were entitled to or faced retaliation when taking sick days.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated issues that were happening pre-pandemic. Chair Fletcher’s office heard from people exposed to unsafe work conditions at businesses not following health guidelines or that refused to pay full wages or honor mandated sick time. He is introducing a Board Letter to ensure workers are treated fairly and employers follow all laws. The Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement will:
- Offer a central location for information and resources for workers and businesses,
- Address concerns or violations of existing county contracts,
- Deliver education and outreach on important labor issues for businesses and the community,
- Conduct research, data collection and trend analysis for fair and safe workplaces,
- Identify enforcement mechanisms, and
- Report annually to the Board of Supervisors for policy considerations.
Chair Fletcher looked to the County of Santa Clara Office of Labor Standards Enforcement as a model for the office he is proposing for San Diego County. See their latest wage theft report.
During the virtual roundtable discussion on Tuesday Chair Fletcher was joined by:
- Renee Amador, Legal Director, Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund
- Alor Calderon, Director, Employee Rights Center
- Marta Orozco, Worker
- Lorena Corral, Worker
- Carol Kim, Political Director, San Diego Building Trades
The Board of Supervisors will vote on Chair Fletcher’s policy for an Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement tomorrow, Tuesday, May 4 during the regular 9 a.m. Board of Supervisors meeting.
The Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement aligns with Chair Fletcher’s Framework for the Future of San Diego County. The Framework prioritizes communities and populations in San Diego that have been historically left behind. Through this Framework, Chair Fletcher is fighting for: racial justice, health equity, economic opportunity, environmental protection, government transparency, and fundamental changes to county operations.