San José, CA - On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, the SVO policy team advocated before the San José City Council Rules Committee to defer the proposed update of the City’s wage theft ordinance to the Council’s annual March priority setting process. The City Attorney and City Manager both advised that the proposed updates would require further studying, and the item was successfully deferred to the Council priority setting process. If implemented, the proposed updates to the ordinance, authored in a memo to the Rules Committee by Vice Mayor Jones and Councilmembers Peralez, Carrasco and Jimenez, would do the following:
1. Require proposed major construction projects to disclose wage theft and other labor and employment law violations committed within the past five years by the applicant’s prime and subcontractors. Any unresolved violations would disqualify an applicant’s proposal
2. Direct staff to create penalties for economic development incentives on private construction projects to be applied when a labor and employment violation may occur
3. Remove the exclusion of public works contracts from the wage theft ordinance
4. Clarify that judgements also include those from a Civil Wage and Penalty Assessment (CWPA) or from a Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE)
In 2016, the SVO advocated in support of the original Wage Theft Ordinance. The SVO believes that the proposed update may be well intentioned, but the end result would be unintended consequences consisting of onerous regulatory oversight on the development and public works process that would stifle housing production. We believe that the proposed updates, if prioritized, would need to be studied alongside other studies that the Council will be receiving in the near future on issues such as best value contracting, the commercial linkage fee, the downtown high-rise incentive program, and the relationship between increased downtown heights and SJC flights (OEI).
For inquiries contact:
Mason Fong, Director of Public Policy Communications
(408) 291 - 5264 | firstname.lastname@example.org.