Santa Clara County, the Bay Area’s most populous, is stepping up to tackle a statewide issue: employers who dodge wage settlements even after being legally mandated to pay.
While many businesses cheat their employees and then elude payment by restructuring or hiding assets, Santa Clara has devised a unique strategy to hold the food retail industry — notorious for wage violations — accountable.
The county’s approach in addressing unpaid wages for workers centers on the food permits it grants. Local eateries and food providers with unsettled labor law infringements risk losing their operating licenses in the county.
Specifically, the licenses of around 1,800 businesses hinge on their adherence to workplace regulations, including minimum wage.
“This method holds great promise. Businesses are deterred from wage theft when the risk of shutting down their restaurants is real,” noted Ruth Silver Taube, a lead at the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition.
Since its 2019 inception, the Food Permit Enforcement Program has reclaimed over $110,000 for workers. Initiated in selected cities, the program resumed across the county post-pandemic.
Jessie Yu, who heads the county’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, elaborated on their focus on food permits, emphasizing their intent to ensure workers are compensated fairly.
Jenn Round from Rutgers University’s Workplace Justice Lab praised Santa Clara’s pioneering initiative. “No other county has taken such a unique step to enforce judgments passed by different state agencies,” she remarked.
If you find yourself being unfairly deprived of the earnings you’ve worked hard for, don’t stay silent. Wage theft is not just an individual problem; it’s an issue that affects communities, families, and the integrity of industries.
The Labor Law Advocates are here to stand by your side. With a team of dedicated professionals, we aim to ensure that every worker gets their due. Whether you’re dealing with withheld overtime pay, unauthorized deductions, or any other form of wage injustice, it’s time to step forward.
Let the Labor Law Advocates guide you through the legal process, defend your rights, and help you secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.