June 3, 2016 — This month the Los Angeles Coalition Against Wage Theft invited members of the group to share in a celebration of key policy changes in the city.
Since the minimum wage raise in 2015, the coalition organized successfully for stronger local wage theft protections. During the meeting the coalition received a briefing on behalf of Los Angeles City from John Reamer, head of the Bureau of Contract Administration, which is charged with opening the city’s Office of Wage Standards on July 1st. The office will handle wage theft claims for the city and work with community based organization to carry out intake, outreach, and enforcement. Reemer also presented Los Angeles’s new website for wage enforcement, which centralizes the most pertinent information for workers, business owners, and advocates in LA City.
In the unincorporated areas of LA County, Brian Stiger, head of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), will head up the county’s “Honest Work, Fair Pay” enforcement program. The program will be housed under the county’s existing DCBA and is also scheduled to begin on July 1st. The county plans to work with community based organizations to bring in claims and target key industries.
After celebrating these major wins, attendees broke out into small groups to share their hopes and concerns about the upcoming implementation process. The small groups returned with recommendations for the coalition to move forward and ensure Southern California effectively implements these new measures and widely communicates them to the public.
Attendees included representatives from the Black Worker Center, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), CLEAN Carwash Campaign, Community Coalition, Garment Worker Center, Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA), Koreatown Immigrant Worker’s Alliance (KIWA), Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Pomona Day Labor Center, Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC-LA), Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), UCLA Labor Center, and the Wage Justice Center..