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Sonoma County Living Wage Ordinance on Board of Supervisors Agenda Dec. 8

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Sonoma County Living Wage Ordinance on Board of Supervisors Agenda Dec. 8

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will consider a Living Wage Ordinance in the afternoon session on Tuesday, December 8th (575 Administration Dr. Rm100A, Santa Rosa). 

So far the Board of supervisors has agreed to a $13 to $15 an hour minimum wage for some county workers - but those repsenting the In Home Support Service (IHSS) are asking that these workers, who are paid with county funds, be included in this ordinance. Burget restraints have so far kept them out of the umbrella of the ordinance. North Bay Jobs with Justice has been working on a compromise that they hope will provide enough room in the ordinance to cover IHSS workers.

Below is the letter from NBJWJ explaining their stance and campaign on this issue with what they believe is a workable compromise. As the entire country moves forward to raise the minimum wage to a Living Wage, private employers as well as government agencies are tackling how they can accomplish this goal. In many cities the Living Wage has been established by law. So far these cities have found that they can function with this increase in wages and many employers have found it to be more benficial than they realized it could be.

The first thing people think is that they cannot afford the additonal expense. That they will have to raise the cost of goods in order to cover the expense. But in the long run - and that's the key - workers who make a Living Wage are healthier, happier, work better, take less time off, take less breaks, do a better job with their time, etc. And on a government level, people who make a Living Wage do not need supplements to their income in order to survive. It becomes a win/win for everyone. But the bump in the road is how to afford the increase until the benefits are evident. 

If this issue is important to you - please see if you can attend the B of S Meeting Tuesday and continue to let your supervisors know what you think. If this does not pass on the local level it is likely to become a ballot initiative on the state level - and country level over time.

Cost of Living in Sonoma County

 


 

the proposed compromises match to parts of the proposed ordinance below - I admire every person capable of reading and understanding the details in these documents. 

 


 

North Bay Jobs with Justice proposed compromise:

Summary Proposed County of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance (Revised November 2015)

1)  Covered employers: The County of Sonoma, for-profit businesses with contracts of more than $25,000 a year and five or more employees; nonprofit businesses with contracts of more than $50,000 and 25 or more employees; firms receiving economic development assistance of more than $100,000 a year; and businesses receiving county franchises of more than $350,000 annual gross receipts must comply with the following provisions:

2)  Wage rate: $15.00 an hour without benefits and $13.00 an hour with health care benefits and $11.00 an hour with retirement benefits. Wage rate phased-in over three years: $1.00 per year for-profit employers starting July 1, 2016 ($13.00 an hour without benefits) and nonprofit employers starting July 1, 2017. The wage is indexed annually to the CPI (Consumer Price Index) and subject to annual board review and discretion.

3)  Covered Employees: All full-time and part-time employees of covered employers (who work at least two hours a week on a county contract). In-Home Supportive Services Employees (IHSS) for whom the County of Sonoma is the employer of record.

4)  Full-Time Work: Requires that county contractors offer existing part-time employees the ability to work more hours before contractors hire new part-time employees.

5)  Worker Retention: Requires that a new contractor replacing an existing one must retain the current workforce for a minimum of 90 days. This ensures that when the County switches contractors, the existing workforce is not fired wholesale and replaced by a brand new one.

6)  Labor Peace: If workers and a union request, covered contractors must sign agreements with unions preventing disruption of county revenues or services due to labor disputes if workers choose to organize.

7)    Responsible Bidder: Bidders for covered county service contracts must certify in regards to their history as an employer, and their past record of compliance with federal and state labor, health and safety, and environmental regulations. The county when awarding a contract will consider a firm’s history as an employer, along with cost and quality factors.

8)    Waivers: Contractors may apply directly to Board of Supervisors for a one-year economic hardship waiver based upon a detailed written explanation and cost accounting.

9) Private Right of Action: covered employees may bring action in the Superior Court for damages including back pay, attorney fees, litigation expenses, and injunctive relief.

Background: 140 cities and counties have implemented Living Wage Ordinances and 34 in California. The California counties include: Santa Clara, San Francisco, Ventura, Los Angeles, Marin, and Santa Cruz as well as the Port of Oakland and the San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles international airports.

The proposed ordinance: 

An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sonoma, State of California, Adding Article XXVI to Chapter 2 of the Sonoma County Code to Provide for Payment of a Living Wage

The Board of Supervisors of the County of Sonoma, State of California, does ordain as follows:

Section I. Findings. In enacting this ordinance the Board of Supervisors makes the following findings:

(a) The health and welfare of all Sonoma County residents is benefited and advances when Sonoma County workers are paid a living wage;

(b)  The County awards many contracts to private sector employers to provide services to the County in accordance with those contracts;

(c) According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one out of every ten Sonoma County residents lives in poverty. The payment of inadequate wages to those workers tends to negatively affect the quality of services provided to the County and its residents by fostering high turnover and instability in the workplace;

(d)    In 2014, the Board of Supervisors set as a priority the development of a systematic approach to addressing income inequality and poverty in Sonoma County, including the evaluation of a living wage ordinance as one component of a balanced strategy for reducing poverty;

(e) The payment of a living wage will increase the ability of low wage workers to attain sustenance, decrease the amount of poverty and reduce the amount of taxpayer-­‐funded services provided in the County of Sonoma;

(f) Some employers who provide contract services to the County do not provide health insurance benefits to their employees. This factor may negatively affect worker performance and the quality of services delivered to the County and its residents, and could result in unwarranted employee absenteeism and negatively impact local and State health programs. These problems may be favorably impacted if employers provide reasonable health insurance benefits to their employees; and

(g) Living wage jobs will decrease poverty, increase consumer income, and invigorate neighborhood businesses.

(h) It is the intent of the Board of Supervisors that the provisions of this ordinance shall apply equally to all entities who enter service contracts with or receive economic development assistance from the County, regardless of whether those entities are operated for profit or as nonprofits.  However, to avoid unintended impacts to nonprofit organizations, the

Board of Supervisors intends to phase in application of the living wage requirements to nonprofits.

Section II. Amendment of Sonoma County Code. Article XXVI is hereby added to Chapter 2 of the Sonoma County Code to read as follows:

Article XXVI – Living Wage. Sec. 2-­‐373. – Short title.

This article shall be known as the County of Sonoma “Living Wage Ordinance.”

Sec. 2-­‐374. – Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to implement a policy to help low wage workers earn an hourly wage that is sufficient to live with dignity and to achieve economic self-­‐sufficiency. The county contracts with many businesses and organizations to provide services to the public, and provides financial assistance to a variety of entities for the purpose of promoting economic development and job growth. Such public expenditures should also be spent to set a community economic standard that permits workers to live above the poverty level. The establishment of a living wage ordinance is one component of a more comprehensive strategy to address poverty in Sonoma County. The board of supervisors finds that the use of county funds to provide living wage jobs will decrease poverty, increase consumer income, invigorate neighborhood businesses, and reduce the need for taxpayer-­‐funded social service programs.

Sec. 2-­‐375. – Definitions.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this article shall have the meanings defined in this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(a)      “Awarding authority” means the county department, officer, or agency that recommends or is otherwise responsible for the administration of a service contract.

(b)      “Business” means any individual, proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, limited liability company, trust, association, or other entity operated for profit that may employ individuals or enter into service contracts. “Business” does not include nonprofit organizations.

(c)        “County” means the unincorporated area of the County of Sonoma, any county officer or board, commission, committee or other body, any county department or agency head, and any county employee authorized by the board of supervisors to enter into a contract with a covered employer, as defined under this article.

(d)      “County economic development assistance recipient” means any covered employer, as defined under this article, which receives direct financial assistance from the county in the form of grants, loans, or loan guarantees, in-­‐kind services, waivers of county fees, interests in real property, or other valuable consideration totaling one hundred thousand dollars or more in any twelve-­‐month period.

(e)      “Covered employer” means those persons and entities described in Section 2-­‐376(a) of this article.

(f)         “Employee” means an individual employed by a service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient, as defined under this article, performing direct services during any applicable pay period on work funded—either in whole or in part—pursuant to a service contract, as defined under this article, or in connection with a county economic development assistance agreement, unless said employee spends less than two hours per week of his or her work time on work arising from a service contract or in connection with a county economic development assistance agreement, including subcontracts arising thereunder, during the term of the covered service contract or county economic development assistance agreement.  “Employee” also includes a county employee, except full or part-­‐time county employees who are in the student aide or seasonal job classifications and employees subject to a bona fide collective bargaining agreement as described in Section 2-­‐376(c)(12).

(g)       “Nonprofit” means an organization described in Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or any successor statute that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c) of that code, or any nonprofit educational organization qualified under Section 23701(d) of the Revenue and Taxation Code or any successor statute.

(h)     “Service contract” means a contract for services, as defined under this article, entered or to be entered into by the county with (i) a business or other for-­‐profit entity that involves an expenditure in excess of twenty-­‐five thousand dollars within any twelve-­‐month period or (ii) a nonprofit entity that involves an expenditure in excess of fifty thousand dollars within any twelve-­‐month period. Where the same nonprofit entity or business or for-­‐profit entity has or will have one or more contract(s) with the county that, cumulatively, involve an expenditure in excess of the applicable threshold within a twelve-­‐month period, each such contract shall be deemed a “service contract” for purposes of this article. For the purposes of this article, the term “service contract” includes franchises where the contractor has gross revenues in excess of $350,000 per year.

The term “service contract” specifically does not include:

  1. A contract subject to federal or state laws or regulations that would preclude application of the living wage requirement otherwise applicable pursuant to this article;
  2. A contract between the county and another governmental entity;
    1. A concessions agreement or lease not entailing provision of services to the County;
      1. A public works contract wherein the prevailing wage requirements of Division 2, Part 7, of the California Labor Code apply, except as provided otherwise in Section 2-­‐376(c)(8);
      2. Community block grant contracts where the county acts as the fiscal liaison for public entities other than the county.

(i)    “Service contractor” means a nonprofit entity or a business or other for-­‐profit entity that enters into a service contract with the county except those contractors who enter into public works contracts governed by the California Public Contracts Code and subject to the prevailing wage requirements of Division 2, Part 7, of the California Labor Code, and except as provided otherwise in Section 2-­‐376(c)(8).

(j)    “Services” means any professional, technical, or non-­‐technical services provided under a service contract with the county.

(k)    “Subcontractor” means any person or entity, other than an employee, that enters into a contract with a service contractor or a county economic development assistance recipient to assist the service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient in the performance of a service contract or county economic development assistance agreement. The term “subcontractor” specifically includes personnel leasing agencies, temporary employee agencies, and other persons or entities, other than an employee, who supply personnel to a service contractor for the purpose of performing the services covered by a service contract or county economic development assistance agreement.

Sec. 2-­‐376. – Application of this article.

(a)      Covered employers. The persons and entities described below shall comply with the living wage standards established by this article if they employ more than five (5) employees:

(1)   The county, all its agencies, departments, and offices. The County’s In-­‐Home Supportive Services shall be included in this Article if the governing body thereof has adopted a resolution approving such inclusion.

(2)   For-­‐profit service contractors that receive service contract(s) totaling $25,000 or more from the county in a twelve-­‐month period.

(3)   Subject to the provisions set forth in Section 2-­‐376.5, nonprofit service contractors that receive service contract(s) totaling $50,000 or more from the county in a twelve-­‐month period.

(4)   Nonprofit entities and businesses and other for-­‐profit entities that receive more than

$100,000 in county economic development assistance, including loans or other cash assistance in any twelve-­‐month period.

(5)   Subcontractors of any of the persons or entities described in subparagraphs (2) through (4), above, provided that: (i) the subcontractors’ employees are engaged in county funded services and (ii) the subcontractors have $50,000 or more in annual gross receipts from all sources.

Notwithstanding any provision in this article to the contrary, no entity other than the county shall be deemed a covered employer until they receive a new service contract or county economic development assistance from or through the county after the effective date of this article, as more fully provided in Section 2-­‐391 below.

(b)      Exemptions—entities or businesses. The requirements of this article shall not apply to the following entities or businesses:

(1)   Government agencies, including, without limitation, cities, other counties, and state agencies;

(2)   Service contractors, county economic development assistance recipients, and subcontractors with fewer than six (6) employees ;

(3)   Nonprofit organizations and franchisees with fewer than twenty-­‐five     

(25) employees;

(4)       Leaseholders leasing property from the county ;

(5)       In-­‐patient health and mental health providers, unless the county occupies seventy-­‐five percent or more of their beds.

(c)        Exemptions—employees. The requirements of this article shall not apply to the following employees:

(1)   An employee participating in a temporary job-­‐training program approved by the county in which a significant component of the employee’s training consists of acquiring specialized knowledge, abilities, skills, or job readiness.

(2)   An employee employed on a temporary project which does not exceed six (6) months in duration.

(3)   An employee who is hired as an intern where the intern is receiving academic credit or other non-­‐monetary job training benefits.

(4)   An employee who is a student while said employee is actively enrolled in school.

(5)   Volunteers, including part-­‐time firefighters and part-­‐time firefighters with EMT certification, part-­‐time paramedics, and part-­‐time emergency medical technicians, provided there is no replacement or displacement of existing firefighter positions or employees.

(6)   Participants in the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps program.

(7)   Participants in the county’s prisoner work release program pursuant to the provisions of Article VII of this chapter.

(8)   Employees of service contractors engaged on county public works projects subject to the requirements of Division 2, Part 7, of the California Labor Code, or any successor statute, when said code requires compensation greater than that required by this article.

(9)   Employees who are standing by or on-­‐call according to the criteria established by the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 201, or any successor statute. This exemption shall apply only during the time when the employee is actually standing by or on-­‐call.

(10)   Any disabled employee who (i) is covered by a current sub-­‐minimum wage certificate issued to the employer by the U.S. Department of Labor; or (ii) would be covered by such a certificate but for the fact that the employer is paying a wage equal to or higher than the minimum wage.

(11)   An employee for whom application of the requirements of this article is prohibited by state or federal law.

(12)    An employee subject to a bona fide collective bargaining agreement where the waiver of the provisions of this article are set forth in clear and unambiguous terms in such an agreement.

(d)      Waivers. Waivers may be requested by any covered employer or by the county administrator on his or her own volition.

(i)         Financial hardship waivers. Any covered employer which contends that it is unable to pay all or part of the living wage mandated by this article must submit a written request for a waiver to the Board of Supervisors or his or her designee, with a copy to employees or their designated representative. The waiver request shall provide a detailed explanation of the covered employer’s particular hardship and shall do all of the following:

(1)   Set forth the reasons for the covered employer’s inability to comply with the provisions of this article, including a complete cost accounting for the proposed work to be performed under a service contract or in connection with the economic development assistance sought, including wages and benefits to be paid all employees, as well as an itemization of the compensation of the five highest-­‐aid individuals working for said covered employer.

(2)   Demonstrate that the waiver will further the interests of the county in creating training positions which will enable employees to advance into permanent living wage jobs or better and will not be used to replace or displace existing positions or employees or to lower the wages of current employees.

The Board may grant the waiver request only if it makes the findings set forth in subsection (d)(iii)(1) of this section.

(ii)      Policy waivers. In addition, the Board of Supervisors may approve requests for waivers, either with or without conditions, to any of the requirements and regulations set forth in this article where any of the following conditions exist:

(1)   The services to be provided are available from a single source and meeting the requirements of this article would cause that source a demonstrated economic hardship but these services are essential to the County or general public;  or

(2)   The exception is necessary to provide emergency services essential to mitigate or prevent possible threats to public safety or public health for a limited period of time; or

(3)   All bidders for the service to be provided would suffer demonstrated economic hardships complying with the requirements of this article and none of the bidders propose that they can comply with those requirements, and these services are essential to the County or general public;

To apply for such a waiver, a covered employer must submit a written request for a waiver to the Board of Supervisors and provide a copy to its employees or their designated representative. The waiver request shall provide a detailed explanation of the covered employer’s particular request or hardship and shall provide such documentation as the county administrator or designee deems reasonably necessary to make a determination on the request.The board y grant the waiver request only if it makes the findings set forth in subsection (d)(iii)(2) of this section.

(iii)       Findings. Waivers from the article are disfavored and will be granted only where the balance of competing interests weighs clearly in favor of granting the waiver. The Board may grant a waiver only upon a finding and determination that:

(1)   The covered employer seeking the waiver has demonstrated economic hardship and the requested waiver will further the interests of the county in providing training positions which will enable employees to advance into permanent living wage jobs or better; or

(2)   The covered employer has demonstrated that one of the requisite conditions set forth in subparagraph (ii) of this subsection (d) exists to justify the grant of a waiver.

No waiver shall be granted if the effect of the waiver is to replace or displace existing positions or employees or to lower the wages of current employees. If waivers are to be granted, partial waivers are favored over blanket waivers. Moreover, any waiver shall be granted for no more than one year. At the end of the year, the employer may reapply for a new waiver, which may be granted subject to the same criteria for granting the initial waiver.

Sec. 2-­‐376.5. – Application of this article to nonprofits.

(a)   Phased application. The requirements set forth in this article shall apply to nonprofit entities that employ twenty-­‐five (25) or more employees and shall be phased in over a period of time in accordance with the provisions set forth in this section.

(b)   Exemptions. In addition to or in lieu of the exemptions set forth in Section 2-­‐

376(c), the requirements of this article shall not apply to the following employees of a nonprofit service contractor:

(1)   An employee employed on a temporary or seasonal project which does not exceed twelve (12) months in duration, including, without limitation, internships where the intern is receiving academic credit or other non-­‐monetary job training benefits.

(2)   An employee employed by the California Conservation Corps or by community conservation corps certified by the California Conservation Corps pursuant to Section

14507.5 of the California Public Resources Code or any successor statute.

(3)   A part-­‐time employee who voluntarily declines full time work for personal reasons (e.g. retired seniors who only want to work a few hours, full-­‐time students, or similar).

(4)   An employee employed in an overnight position where the employee is compensated to engage in employer-­‐authorized sleep-­‐time at the worksite.

(5)   An employee whose compensation is funded by a federal program that dictates the wages to be paid the employee.

(c)   Nonprofit living wage rate schedule. Nonprofit entities shall pay employees providing services pursuant to a service contract or in connection with a county economic development assistance agreement a living wage as established by Section 2-­‐377 in accordance with the following table:

 

DATE

Living Wage Without Benefits

Living Wage with $2 Employer Contribution Toward Either Health Benefits or Retirement

Living Wage with $4 Employer Contribution Toward Both Health Benefits and Retirement

Effective July 1, 2017

$13.00

$11.00

$9.00

Effective July 1, 2018

$14.00

$12.00

$10.00

Effective July 1, 2019

$15.00

$13.00

$11.00


 

Sec. 2-­‐377. – LIving Wage requirements.

(a)   Phase-­‐in of living wage requirements. Covered employers other than nonprofits shall pay employees at least the following amounts:

 

DATE

Living Wage Without Benefits

Living Wage with $2 Employer Contribution Toward Either Health Benefits or Retirement

Living Wage with $4 Employer Contribution Toward Health and Retirement Benefits

Effective July 1, 2016

$13.00

$11.00

$9.00

Effective July 1, 2017

$14.00

$12.00

$10.00

Effective July 1, 2018

$15.00

$13.00

$11.00

 

 

(b)   Credit for health and retirement benefits. A service contractor who contributes towards the provision of either (i) health care benefits for the employee and his/her dependents or

(ii) a retirement plan for the employee and his/her dependents shall have up to two dollars credited toward its compliance with the living wage. A service contractor who contributes towards the provision of both (i) health care benefits for the employee and his/her dependents and (ii) a retirement plan for the employee and his/her dependents shall have up to four dollars credited toward its compliance with the minimum wage. The service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, or subcontractor must provide written proof of the provision of such benefits to the county purchasing agent or other awarding authority during the procurement or contracting process.

(c)   Adjustments. The final wage rates required above shall thereafter increase on July 1st of each succeeding year by the lesser of (i) the cost of living increase granted to a majority of county employees, or (ii) the annual cost of living increase, if any, during the preceding calendar year in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers in the San Francisco-­‐ Oakland-­‐San Jose Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, as published in October of each year by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Board of Supervisors may review the impact of this COLA on an annual basis to assess any potential adverse impact and may by resolution modify or suspend adoption of a COLA otherwise provided by this subsection. The new rate shall be posted by the county administrator on the county’s website for the notice of all county departments, contractors, and subcontractors.

(d)   Preventing Discrimination in Hours Against Part-­‐Time Employees. If a covered employer has additional hours of work to provide in job positions covered by this Article, then it shall offer those hours of work first to existing qualified part-­‐time employees before hiring additional part-­‐time employees or subcontractors. The foregoing shall not be construed to require any employer to offer overtime work paid at a premium rate nor to constrain any employer from offering such work. Each covered employer shall seek to maximize the number of full-­‐time job positions relative to part-­‐time or subcontracted positions except as precluded by business necessity. “Full-­‐time” shall mean at least 32 hours per week. The employer shall be rebuttably presumed in violation of this requirement if more than half of the employer’s workforce is comprised of part-­‐time or subcontracted workers. The employer shall be rebuttably presumed in compliance with this requirement if over 90% of its workforce is comprised of full-­‐time employees. Nothing herein shall be construed as encouraging or requiring any employer to discharge part-­‐timers hired prior to public notice being given of the pendency of the ordinance giving rise to this Article.

Sec. 2-­‐378. – Bidding preference.

A five percent bidding preference shall be provided to any service contractor who certifies that at least fifty percent of the workforce that will be used to perform the service contract will be

 

Sonoma County residents. Said bidding preference shall be applied in accordance with the procedures set forth in the county’s local preference policy for services.

Sec. 2-­‐379. – Responsible Bidders and required language for all bid documents and contracts.

(a)  All bid documents, economic development assistance applications, and service contracts shall contain the following paragraph or substantially similar language:

The contractor/franchisee/economic development assistance recipient shall comply with any and all federal, state, and local laws—including, but not limited to the County of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance—affecting the services provided by this contract/franchise agreement. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the contractor/franchisee/ economic development assistance recipient expressly acknowledges and agrees that this contract/franchise/economic development assistance agreement is subject to the provisions of Article XXVI of Chapter 2 of the Sonoma County Code, requiring payment of a living wage to covered employees. Noncompliance during the term of the contract/franchise/economic development assistance agreement will be considered a material breach and may result in termination of the contract/franchise/economic development assistance agreement or pursuit of other legal or administrative remedies.

(b)  As part of any bid, application or proposal for any contract or other arrangement with the County covered by this Article, the submitter shall complete a form to be created by the County administrator indicating to what extent submitter has received any wage, hour, workplace safety, environmental or consumer protection charges, complaints, citations or findings of violation of law or regulation by any regulatory agency or court within the last ten years, including but not limited to California DFEH, OSHA, Department of Industrial Relations (Labor Commissioner), and EPA. By seeking such contract or arrangement from the County the submitter shall be deemed to have authorized the County to obtain additional information upon request about the submitter’s history as an employer, including but not limited to information about employee turnover and complaints lodged by employees (unless disclosure is prohibited by their legal right of privacy or other applicable law), so that the County may ascertain the submitter’s ability to provide the promised services without disruption and without adverse effect on the County’s proprietary interests. To the extent permitted by law, the board shall consider such matters in deciding whether to award the contract, financial assistance, or other arrangement being sought from the County.

Sec. 2-­‐380. – Contractor certification and eligibility.

(a)      During the term of a service contract or county economic development assistance agreement, the service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, and any subcontractor shall certify to the county and maintain documentation demonstrating that each employee employed any percentage of time on county financed activities is: (1) being compensated at no less than the living wage rate while working in connection with services provided pursuant to the service contract or in connection with the county economic development assistance agreement, or is otherwise exempt pursuant to the provisions of this article, and (2) for those employees being compensated at the lower rate with benefits specified in Section 2-­‐377, subsection (c), documentation must be maintained demonstrating that each such employee was provided the applicable benefits. Such documentation must be retained for at least two years following completion or termination of the contract. County representatives shall be permitted to review and make copies of such documentation at all reasonable times during performance or following completion or termination of the service contract.

(b)      All service contractors, county economic development assistance recipients, and subcontractors who render services covered by the provisions of this article shall furnish to county a certification(s), under penalty of perjury, by the service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient stating that the service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient, and any subcontractor(s), is in full compliance with the provisions of this article. The certification shall be in substantially the following language:

I hereby certify under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the State of California, that the services invoiced have been rendered and that contractor and any subcontractor(s) are in full compliance with the provisions of the County of Sonoma Living Wage Ordinance (Sonoma County Code, Chapter 2, Article XXVI).

(c)        Service contractors, county economic development assistance recipients, and subcontractors must provide written notice to each covered employee who is engaged in work pursuant to a service contract or in connection with a county economic development assistance agreement. The notice shall specify the living wage rate, minimum health benefit, if applicable, and that an employee has grievance rights if he/she believes his/her rights under this article are being violated. A copy of the notice must be made available to all covered employees, must be posted prominently in languages spoken by at least twenty-­‐ five percent of the workforce, and a copy must be submitted to the awarding agency.

(d)      Service contractors and county economic development assistance recipients covered by this article acknowledge that they are subject to and will be selected in accordance with the responsible bidder provisions set forth in the county’s purchasing policies and procedures for goods and services.

Sec. 2-­‐381. – Administration of this article.

(a)      Responsibility for administration of this article will be shared among awarding authorities, the county purchasing agent, and the county administrator’s office. The county administrator’s office will be responsible for general oversight of this article and for developing a procedure setting forth how this article is to be applied, and describing complaint and appeal processes for determining compliance with this article.

(b)      The county administrator or his/her designee shall have the right to conduct an investigation as to whether a service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, or subcontractor is complying with the terms of this article. Such investigation shall include the right to audit the books of the service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient and/or subcontractors, if any, and the right to inspect all records of the service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient and/or subcontractor relating to the service contract or county economic  development assistance agreement.

(c)        The county purchasing agent and all awarding authorities are directed to incorporate appropriate language into all relevant bid documents, requests for proposals, county economic development assistance applications, and similar materials relating to service contracts or county economic development assistance agreements, and into all purchase order and other service contracts, issued, renewed, or extended on or after the effective date of this article, requiring the contractor and any subcontractors to comply with the requirements of this article.

(d)      Annually, each awarding authority within the county is directed to submit information to the county purchasing agent regarding the status of service contracts and county economic development assistance agreements within its purview. Commencing on February 1, 2016, and during each subsequent February, the county purchasing agent will prepare and submit a report to the county administrator’s office listing those service contracts and county economic development assistance agreements that required payment of a living wage rate pursuant to this article and any information the county administrator or his/her designee deems necessary in order to assess the impact of this article.

Sec. 2-­‐382. – Contract sanctions.

If a service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient violates any provision of this article, the county may take one or more of the following actions:

(a)      Suspend or terminate the service contract or county economic development assistance agreement;

(b)      Require the service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient to pay: (1) any amounts underpaid in violation of this article, and (2) an administrative fee and/or penalty of up to two thousand five hundred dollars to reimburse the county administrator’s office for investigation and enforcement, including county counsel’s time as a condition of avoiding suspension or termination;

(c)        Recommend to the board of supervisors that a service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, or subcontractor be barred from award of future county service contracts, county economic development assistance agreements, or subcontracts for a period of time consistent with the seriousness of the violation, not to exceed three years.

Sec. 2-­‐383. – Annual reports.

The county administrator shall provide annual reports to the board of supervisors on the implementation and effect of this article.

Sec. 2-­‐384. – Grievances.

An employee who believes his/her rights have been violated under this article may file a grievance with the county administrator’s office within ninety days of the alleged violation. Grievances are to be reviewed within a sixty day period. If the complaint is substantiated then the county may apply any of the following administrative remedies:

(1)   Require the service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, or subcontractor to pay restitution of the difference in wages paid and the appropriate living wage rate for the complainant and all co-­‐workers similarly affected; the service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, or subcontractor shall pay such restitution and provide proof to the county administrator of such payment;

(2)   Terminate the existing service contract or county economic development assistance agreement;

(3)   Disqualify the service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, or subcontractor from contracting with county for a period of up to three years; and/or

(4)   Impose an administrative fee to reimburse the county administrator for its investigation and enforcement, including county counsel’s time and the imposition of a penalty. The administrative fee and/or penalty shall not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars.

Sec. 2-­‐385. – Employer retaliation prohibited.

No employer shall take an adverse action causing a loss of any benefit of employment, of any contract benefit or any statutory benefit to any employee, who has reported a violation or perceived violation of this article to the board of supervisors, the county administrator’s office, an awarding authority, or the county purchasing agent. No covered employer may fund wage increases or other costs required by this Article, or otherwise respond to the adoption of this Article, by reducing the health insurance, pension, vacation or other non-­‐wage benefits of any of its non-­‐management employees nor by increasing charges to them for uniforms, parking or any other items.

Sec. 2-­‐386. – Employee retention.

In the event that any service contractor or county economic development assistance contract for an amount greater than $50,000 is terminated , any new contract with a subsequent service contractor or county economic development assistance recipient for those same services shall include the following term:

Contractor/economic development assistance recipient shall offer employment to qualified employees of the prior contractor/economic development assistance recipient for the performance of this contract, and shall retain them for at least 90 workdays absent just cause for their discharge. Such retention shall not be required in regard to employees who are (a) supervisory, managerial or confidential under the National Labor

Relations Act(b) employed by prior contractor for less than 90 days, or (c) convicted of a job-­‐related or workplace crime. Upon request by the county, the contractor/economic development assistance recipient shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the county administrator or designee that contractor/economic development assistance recipient of their compliance with this provision.

Sec. 2-­‐387. – Employee remedies.

This article shall not be construed to limit an employee’s rights to bring any legal action for violation of his/her rights under the article. An employee may bring an action against a service contractor, county economic development assistance recipient, or subcontractor in the courts of the state of California for damages caused by an employer’s violation of this article and/or for injunctive relief, and may be awarded attorneys fees and litigation expenses if he or she prevails. This article does not authorize an award of costs, expenses, or attorney’s fees against the county.

Sec. 2-­‐388. – No criminal penalty.

Notwithstanding any provision of this article or any other ordinance to the contrary, no criminal penalties shall attach for any violation of this article.

Sec. 2-­‐389. – Labor peace.

If the County has a proprietary interest in the operation of a covered employer, then such employer must enter into Labor Peace Agreements with each labor organization seeking to represent or representing the employer’s workforce promptly after such organization has requested such agreement. “Labor Peace Agreement” means an agreement by which the labor organization has waived its right to strike, picket, boycott or otherwise interfere with the benefits to the County anticipated from the employer’s operations. Nothing herein shall be construed as requiring that employees become members of any labor organization nor that the employer already be unionized at the time of its bid.

Sec. 2-­‐390. – Procedures for implementation.

The county administrator or his/her designee is hereby authorized to develop procedures to implement and enforce the provisions of this article.

Sec. 2-­‐391. – Effective date.

This article shall apply only to new contracts made after the effective date of this article that are for a term or extended term beginning on or after July 1, 2016. For purposes of this article, the term “new” includes any arrangement entered into after the effective date or the extension or renewal of a preexisting agreement or arrangement which involves newly negotiated or modified terms other than adjustment of terms pursuant to a formula or pre-­‐set schedule, such as a Consumer Price Index. A subcontractor shall be deemed to have received a new service contract through the county when the business to whom it is subcontracting receives a new service contract or economic development assistance.

Section III. Severability. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be unconstitutional and invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this Ordinance. The Board of Supervisors hereby declares that it would have passed this Ordinance and every section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared unconstitutional or invalid.

Section IV. Compliance with CEQA. Adoption and implementation of this ordinance is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the State CEQA Guidelines because it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that this

ordinance may have a significant effect on the environment. Adoption and implementation of the provisions of the ordinance will not result in any direct physical change to the environment on their own. The County Administrator’s Office is directed to file a notice of exemption in accordance with CEQA and the State CEQA Guidelines.

Section V. Inclusion in the Sonoma County Code. It is the intention of the Board of Supervisors that the text in Section II of this ordinance be made a part of the Sonoma County Code and that the text may be renumbered or relettered and the word “ordinance” may be changed to “section,” “article,” or such other appropriate word or phrase to accomplish this intention.

Section VI. Effective Date and Publication. This Ordinance shall be and the same is hereby declared to be in full force and effect from and after   ,  201_, and shall be published once before the expiration of fifteen (15) days after passage, with the names of the Supervisors voting for or against the same, in The Press Democrat, a newspaper of general circulation published in the County of Sonoma, State of California.

 

 


 

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