Newsletter: No More Cheating Workers

News Date

Your morning coffee. Your afternoon commute. Your annual checkup. They’re all made possible by the work of everyday San Diegans. 

From nurses to teachers to baristas to road repair crews and so much more, workers are the backbone of our community. But when a worker is treated poorly by their employer, it hurts all of us. Think about it like this:

  • When an employer cheats a worker out of fair wages, they cannot afford to pay for their basic needs, which hurts the local economy and can result in more people on the streets.
  • When an employer does not offer proper health care for their workers, they are forced to use government programs, which costs taxpayers more.
  • When an employer does not provide a safe work environment for their workers, it increases the risk of on-the-job injuries, which is harmful to the worker’s health and contributes to overcrowded hospital emergency rooms. 
  • And, when an employer does not pay a worker wages they worked hard to earn, it’s just plain unfair and wrong.

This is why I’ve made workers’ rights a central focus of my first term on the Board of Supervisors. As we celebrate Cesar Chavez Day on Sunday, I wanted to take a moment to share what we’re doing to provide additional protections to all workers in our region.  

The Fight for Workplace Fairness

This month we hosted a Week of Action designed to educate businesses and employees about workers’ rights. 

Since 2021, I’ve worked with our community to protect employee rights, fight for good working conditions, and ensure fair wages for all workers.

One big example is my legislation to create the new Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement

The impact has been huge:

  • 30,000: The number of people who have been served by the Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement between 2021 and 2023
  • Nearly 2,000: How many businesses in the region have been trained by the office on employment laws
  • More than 8,000: Calls into the new office for information or legal assistance  

And last December, we launched the Workplace Justice Fund – the first program in the nation to provide financial assistance to workers who have won a legal judgment for wage theft issued by the California Labor Commissioner against their employer. Our County provides the wronged workers a portion of the funds they are owed, and then works separately to collect payment from the employer. 

  • 35: Workers who have been supported by the Workplace Justice Fund since it was created three months ago; eligible workers received up to $3,000 from the fund. 

But that’s not all. Since 2021 my office and our County have:

  • Passed contracting standards policy to hold County contractors accountable
  • Adopted the Working Families Ordinance
  • Approved historic union contracts with SEIU Local 221 and United Domestic Workers of America (UDW) Local 3930

Read more here

How to Get Help 

The Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement is here to ensure that any of the things I outlined in the beginning of this email happen to you or someone you know, there is a place to go.

You can reach them at their website, via phone at 619-531-5129, or email at

Speaking of Cesar Chavez Day…

To commemorate the Cesar Chavez Day holiday, all San Diego County offices, family resource centers, libraries and animal shelters will be closed to the public Monday, April 1. The County’s website has more information about what’s closed.

In service,