Cultural diversity of Los Angeles County

Living Wage Program

LWO Program Exemptions

How Living Wage is Monitored

Enforcement and Remedies

Annual Report

LWO Contractor Guide

Living Wage Program
 

The County of Los Angeles is a principle provider of social and health services. Because the County contracts with employers who do not pay health benefits, an additional burden to County resources is created. In response to this issue, the Board of Supervisors (Board) approved the Living Wage Ordinance (LWO) which became effective on October 22, 1999. The Board increased the living wage rates which became effective June 15, 2007.

The LWO is applicable to all County Proposition A and cafeteria services contracts. Proposition A contracts are those services that could be performed by County employees, but are more economically performed by contractors. The basic requirements of the LWO are as follows:

  • Full time contract employees must be paid a living wage of $9.64 per hour with health benefits of $2.20 per hour or more; or
  • Full time contract employees must be paid a living wage of $11.84 if health benefits are not provided; and
  • Contract employees must be informed of their rights under the LWO through the annual distribution of LWO Notice to Employees handouts; and
  • The Contractor must display a LWO Notice to Employee poster in a conspicuous place at each contract work-site where contract employees can see it; and
  • Use of full time employees; and
  • Minimum of 40 hours per week or a less number of hours in accordance with recognized industry standards approved by the CEO, but no less than 35 hours per week; and
  • To use part time employees:
    • Contractor must demonstrate the necessity to use non-full time employees based on staffing efficiency or the County requirements of an individual job; and
  • Non-full time employees can be paid less than the Living Wage.

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LWO Program Exemptions

Contractors may be exempt from the LWO if they meet one or more of the following:

  • The contractor has a collective bargaining agreement in place that expressly supersedes LWO - the bargaining agreement must refer directly to the LWO;
  • The contractor is a non-profit corporation;
  • Total County contracts don't exceed $25,000 in any 12 month period; and/or
  • Contractor is a small business.

The contractor is a small business if the following criteria are met:

  • Has 20 or fewer full and part-time employees; and
  • Is not an affiliate or subsidiary of a business dominant in its field of operation; and
  • Preceding fiscal year gross revenues added to the annual amount of the contract to be awarded does not exceed $1 million or $2.5 million if the business is a technical or professional service.

To apply for an exemption from LWO, an Application for Exemption must be completed and submitted with the proposal. If approved, the continuing qualification for LWO exemption will be evaluated annually.

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How Living Wage is Monitored

The County Board of Supervisors has mandated that the LWO be strictly enforced and monitored by County Departments. In order to meet these requirements, contractors will provide requested documents and access to authorized County staff, for example:

  • At contract start-up
    • Contractor shall submit a staffing plan listing all employees assigned to the County contract and required identification/employment information
    • If health coverage is to be provided, contractor shall submit copies of the health care plan and health care provider's premium payment schedule
  • On-going during term of contract
    • Contractor shall complete payroll form provided by the County for each employee working on the County contract and submit to the County by the 15th of the month following the month worked
    • If health coverage is provided, contractor shall submit copy of canceled check whenever health insurance premium is due/paid
  • On an as-needed basis, access to County staff of the following
    • Contractor's payroll source and related records
    • Contractor's staff for on-the-job interviews
    • Contractor's premises

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Enforcement and Remedies

If contractor fails to comply with the requirements of the LWO, the County shall have the rights and remedies described in the Contract and remedies provided by law or equity. These rights/remedies include the following:

  • Withhold from payment to contractor up to the full amount of any invoice
    that would otherwise be due, until contractor has satisfied the concerns of the County;
  • Assess liquidated damages from any payments otherwise due the
    contractor based on the per diem amounts described in the Contract;
  • Terminate the Contract; and/or
  • Debar Contractor from the award of future County contracts for a period
    of time consistent with the seriousness of the breach, in accordance with Los Angeles County Code, Chapter 2.202, Determinations of Contractor Non-Responsibility and Contractor Debarment. Generally, the period of debarment should not exceed five years. However, if circumstances warrant, the County may impose a longer period of debarment up to and including permanent debarment.

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