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California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies

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UC Berkeley Labor Center

Factsheet: Workforce Standards for an Equitable Economy

California’s economy is growing, but millions of workers are being left behind. The state can do more to ensure every Californian has access to a family-sustaining career by incorporating workforce standards into public spending and regulations. This factsheet describes workforce standards and how policymakers can apply them in this critical moment for climate and infrastructure spending.

Laurel Lucia, Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

California health care minimum wage: New estimates for impacts on workers, patients, and the state budget

This brief analyzes the impact SB 525 is projected to have on workers, patients, and the state budget in the first year of the policy. It is an update of our June 2023 and April 2023 briefs, both of which analyzed preliminary versions of the bill.

Miranda Dietzand Laurel Lucia

Measuring Consumer Affordability is Integral to Achieving the Goals of the California Office of Health Care Affordability

Consumer health care affordability has deteriorated over the past two decades in California due to rising premiums along with increasingly common and increasingly large deductibles for job-based coverage. This report documents these trends and their implications for Californian’s health and financial well-being, and recommends how California’s new Office of Health Care Affordability can monitor consumer affordability metrics in order to ensure that consumers benefit from the office’s efforts to control growth in per capita health care spending.

Savannah Hunter, Sara Hinkley, Adriana Hernandez Castanedaand Enrique Lopezlira

Civil Service Vacancies in California: 2022–2023

We find that job vacancies in local government appear to be a widespread and significant problem for the public sector affecting a wide range of occupations across wage levels and educational requirements. We offer suggested policy solutions raised by subject matter experts and other reports and analyses on job vacancy challenges in local government.

Sam Appeland Jessie HF Hammerling

California’s Climate Investments and High Road Workforce Standards: Gaps and Opportunities for Advancing Workforce Equity

This report presents a current snapshot of the state’s progress in implementing several of the strategies outlined in our 2020 report A Jobs and Climate Action Plan for 2030. Specifically, we review existing high road standard policies in California, and assess the reach of high road standards across the state’s proposed climate investments in California’s 2022-23 state budget.

Laurel Lucia, Miranda Dietzand Tynan Challenor

What can we afford? Considerations for aligning Office of Health Care Affordability spending target with Californians’ ability to afford increases

The California Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA) will establish statewide and sectoral health care spending targets with the goal of achieving a more sustainable per capita rate of spending growth on health care provided by a range of health care entities. This policy brief will discuss the various economic indicators that can be used in setting the statewide target.

Nari Rhee

Public Pensions Support Race, Class, and Gender Equity in California

This report finds that public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement security of every major demographic group in California, with the strongest impact on women and people of color. It is also a powerful tool for reducing wealth inequality. As private pension coverage declines, public pensions remain a critical bulwark of middle-class retirement security alongside Social Security, particularly for marginalized communities who have been historically shut out of other wealth-building opportunities.

Nari Rhee

Closing the Gap: The Role of Public Pensions in Reducing Retirement Inequality

This study analyzes the impact of defined benefit pensions, especially public pensions, on retirement income security and wealth distribution by race, gender, and educational attainment in the U.S. It serves as a companion report to Closing the Gap fact sheets, which are designed to inform the public about the social equity impact of pensions in each state and the District of Columbia.

Steve Viscelliand Eric Balcom

Ensuring the Supply of Agricultural Truck Drivers: What the State of California Can Do

This report is the first in-depth look at the labor market for agricultural truck drivers in California and the first study of this workforce anywhere in the U.S. in almost 30 years. It found that better efforts in recruiting and training drivers would ease turnover and improve job satisfaction, particularly for agricultural trucking, which is critical to California’s economy but can often be seasonal or require specialized equipment.

Savannah Hunter, Annette Gailliot, Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

California Union Membership and Coverage: 2023 Chartbook

Chartbook comparing California union membership and coverage from 2001-2002 and 2021-2022. Findings show that at least half of all of California’s 2.5 million union members are women and that the majority of all union workers are people of color. By contrast, 20 years ago the typical union member in California was a white man.

Laurel Lucia, Enrique Lopezlira, Ken Jacobsand Savannah Hunter

Proposed health care minimum wage increase: State costs would be offset by reduced reliance on the public safety net by health workers and their families

In this brief we estimate the new costs to the state resulting from SB 525 as well as the savings it would generate through reductions in safety net program enrollment of affected workers and their family members.