A list of California city and county ordinances, proclamations, mayoral directives, and orders that expand labor standards for workers affected by the pandemic, such as paid sick leave, health care, worker retention/right of return, and policies that lift workers’ voices in firm, industry, and government responses to the pandemic.
March 29, 2021
The Labor Center welcomes new Low-Wage Work Program Director
April 15, 2021
The downstream benefits of higher incomes and wages
March 2, 2021
The Fast-Food Industry and COVID-19 in Los Angeles
February 18, 2021
Paid sick leave will help protect us in this pandemic
October 19, 2020
Labor Center research and Proposition 22
Research & Publications
Low wages and exploitative practices in the resident construction industry cause profound hardship for workers and their families. It also costs the public. This analysis finds almost half of families of construction workers in California are enrolled in a safety net program at an annual cost of over $3 billion. By comparison, just over a third of all California workers have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net program.
The study, by Ken Jacobs and Kuochih Huang of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, finds that almost half of the families of construction workers in California are enrolled in a safety net program at an annual cost of over $3 billion in public funds. By comparison, just over a third of all California workers have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs.
The ultimate impact AB 257 will have on the state budget will depend on to-be-made decisions by the council. But even with a small increase in fast-food workers’ wages resulting from the bill, the net fiscal effect is likely to be positive for the state.
The Labor Center is working to provide research on how California is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic; analysis of new policies, what they offer the state’s workers and businesses, and what is still needed; and curated lists of resources, information, and tools for workers and their advocates.
Resources on COVID-19
- June 9, 2021 COVID-19: Local Labor Standard Policies in California
- July 1, 2020 COVID-19: Resources on Federal and State Policy and Assistance
- October 21, 2020 Public Sector Impacts of the Great Recession and COVID-19
Enrique Lopezlira, a labor economist at the University of California at Berkeley and an expert on the low-wage workforce, said the stories were a sign, albeit anecdotal, that the market was functioning as it should in the face of excessive demand for workers.
“If the companies lose, it may garner the attention of other states who are looking for what to do here,” said Ken Jacobs, the chair of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California at Berkeley. “California isn’t the only one with lots of these suits.
The technology needed to fulfill orders is costly for stores, and the workers who pick items off the shelves often feel the pressure of being tracked.
UC Berkeley’s Labor Center estimated that it worked out to having a wage floor of $5.64 per hour, a little more than a third of what New York City drivers are guaranteed now.
A report in March by the UCLA and UC Berkeley Labor Center reported that in Los Angeles County, nine out of ten fast food workers are people of color, including nearly three-quarters who are Latinx, a community that has faced disproportionate disease burdens and death during the pandemic.