Contractors’ employees to be protected by new rules

A frequent problem for many workers in San Diego is having their employee rights violated. That includes not being paid the wages they are supposed to under the law, being sexually harassed, being misclassified and more.

In many cases, they are unsure of what to do to address the problem and make sure they are treated fairly based on the law.

They might be afraid of making a bad situation worse if they speak out. Some do not want to lose the job despite the poor treatment. It is important that workers who may have had their rights violated be aware of the rules and laws that are in place to shield them from this type of behavior.

County facilities will now protect contractors’ employees

It is often the hardest workers who are treated the most unfairly. Ironically, this often occurs at county facilities.

To address the problem, county supervisors recently enacted a policy to ensure these workers do not need to worry about various forms of employer mistreatment.

The county supervisors voted unanimously to implement the policy.

It will apply to security personnel, landscapers and janitors who are employed by private contractors. There are nearly 1,100 such workers. In addition, the county will have a fund to repay workers who faced wage theft.

The policy also seeks to encourage contractors who are seeking work on county property to offer their workers better benefits including higher wages, sick days, training and workplace protections. The following will be put in effect: the wage theft fund; a minimum wage; paid days off; protection from sexual harassment and guidance with how to address having been harassed; 90 days to transition to the new situation if there is a change in ownership; and the right to collective bargaining.

Employers who break the law can be held accountable

Although this is a positive step for a specific segment of workers who had long been mistreated, there are still employers who do not adhere to state worker protection laws.

If an employer is breaking the law in any way, it is imperative to understand worker rights under state labor and employment law.