The County’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Office of Countywide Contracting Management will administer program to identify potential and current contractors with final outstanding wage judgments
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – The County of Santa Clara launched a pilot program aimed at ensuring that current and potential contractors abide by all County labor provisions, including wage, hour, and equity pay laws. County policy requires all contractors to comply with applicable employment laws. This program, when fully operational, will ensure broad and consistent enforcement across $4 billion worth of County contracts for goods and services.
The County’s Contracts Enforcement Pilot Program launched on May 11, 2021. It will be jointly managed by the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) and the Office of Countywide Contracting Management (OCCM).
Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who represents Central, East, and South San José, called this pilot program a vital effort toward advancing workers’ rights. “The County is committed to being the best place to work in Silicon Valley. This program ensures not only that workers are paid fairly and treated with respect, but also that contractors have a level playing field where everyone plays by the rules,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
The County may disqualify a potential contractor – or suspend/terminate an existing agreement with a contractor – who has violated any wage theft, pay equity, or nondiscrimination laws included in the County of Santa Clara’s Board Policy. OLSE and OCCM will use judgments issued by the State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and final administrative orders issued by the Federal Department of Labor to determine disqualification.
“The Contracts Enforcement Pilot Program comes at an opportune time,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “COVID-19 has been extremely challenging for businesses and this, in turn, has severely impacted our workforce. This program sends the message to potential vendors that the County will not tolerate contractors who commit wage theft, discriminate, or retaliate against their employees.”
A designated contracting unit within the Procurement Department will participate in the pilot and work with OLSE and OCCM to streamline the contract enforcement process. This unit is responsible for the acquisition of products and services relating to facilities and building operations, such as maintenance, furniture, and office equipment, as well as the necessary goods and services to support County operations. The contract managers will identify potential contractors who have outstanding final judgments against them, and work with OLSE and OCCM to confirm any outstanding wage judgments and determine whether the vendor is disqualified from working with the County.
The Contracts Enforcement Pilot Program will continue into the summer. OLSE and OCCM will incorporate lessons from the pilot and expand the program Countywide by the end of 2021.
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About the County of Santa Clara
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.
About the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement
The County of Santa Clara’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, an office within the Division of Equity and Social Justice, exists to advance labor standards countywide through thoughtful community and business engagement, strategic enforcement, innovation and study, and policy development with a commitment to social justice. OLSE was officially launched in September 2019 with the inauguration of its Food Permit Enforcement Program.
About the Office of Countywide Contracting Management
The County of Santa Clara’s Office of Countywide Contracting Management, a division of the County Executive’s Office, was established in 2014 to develop and support the governance of contracting activities across the County. This includes the administration of Board-approved policy provisions in County contracts.
Media Contact: María Leticia Gómez/Laurel Anderson, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119, [email protected]; Jessie Yu, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, (408) 678-3210
Posted: May 12, 2021