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May 27, 2014 > Board of Supervisors approves study of living wage ordinance

Board of Supervisors approves study of living wage ordinance

Submitted By Michelle Osorio

Supervisor Dave Cortese announced that on May 20 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to analyze, gather stakeholder input, and report on the feasibility and fiscal implications for the County of a County living wage ordinance. This proposal, which was put forward by Supervisor Cortese and Supervisor Yeager, also calls for the creation of a Family Friendly Employer Certification Program.

ÒWe live in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation,Ó Cortese said. ÒYet, nearly 30 percent of families who work full-time earn less than the self-sufficiency standard. These families deserve to earn a wage that is sufficient to survive without county assistance programs. Santa Clara County cannot continue to be part of the income problem. Instead, it must set an example and be part of the solution.Ó

The self-sufficiency standard measures the income required to cover all individual or familyÕs basic expenses without public or private assistance. Today, in Santa Clara County, two working adults with two school-age children must each earn $17.22/hour to be self-sufficient, according to the Insight Center for Community and Economic Development. Minimum wage in Santa Clara County falls far short of this self-sufficiency wage requirement. Based on todayÕs proposal, Santa Clara County will examine what the impacts of a living wage ordinance will have on the county.

In addition, the county will create a Family Friendly Employer Certification Program. This voluntary program will provide a way to identify businesses in the county that are family friendly with respect to wages and related standards.

ÒThrough the Family Friendly Employer Certification Program, residents will easily be able to identify businesses that meet minimum wage and similar standards. It will provide valuable information for those looking for a job and those who want to do business with family friendly employers,Ó said Cortese.

County staff is expected to return with more information about this proposal. For more information or questions, contact the office of Supervisor Dave Cortese at (408) 299-5030.

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