City of Santa Clara Worker Retention Ordinance

On January 24, 2017 the Santa Clara City Council initiated a discussion to establish an ordinance designed to provide for retention of certain food and building services workers in the City of Santa Clara. On February 7, 2017, the City Council provided staff with feedback on the parameters of the proposed ordinance and requested staff to conduct community outreach. Further, the Council directed that on March 21, 2017 a pass to print action for the proposed ordinance be placed on the Council agenda. The City of Santa Clara provided minimal outreach in a short timeframe coordinating only 1 meeting with stakeholders.

Applicability: The proposed ordinance would apply to: 1) any entity in the City of Santa Clara with more than 25 employees in the State of California that enter into contracts for building services and/or food service and 2) entertainment/convention venues with a capacity of at least 8,000. The ordinance would apply to City of Santa Clara contracts and to contracts with all of the City's related entities such as SOSA, Stadium Authority etc. Other governmental entities such as the County, Santa Clara Unified School District or Mission College would be exempt.

Contracts subject to proposed ordinance: Contracts in excess of $25,000 with a term of three months or longer for regularly scheduled building services and/or food services would be subject to the new ordinance.

Covered Employees: Full or part time employees (8 hours a week or more) whose regular place of work is in the City of Santa Clara during the 90 days prior to a contract transition. Not included are managerial, supervisory, or confidential employees.

The SVO recognizes the need for workforce consistency and values its local workforce, but mandating worker retention and micro-managing local contracts will likely only lead to less competition and rising consumer costs. The ordinance is also very vague in stating how the city would enforce such ordinance and how the intended results would be measured.  


STATUS: Coming to Council on April 21

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Questions? Please contact Victor Cuauhtémoc Gomez, Sr. Director of Public Policy at

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