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CA State Agencies May Not Withhold Funds from Local Jurisdictions Applying Their Own Labor Standards

  • October 3, 2002

A law signed by Governor Davis on August 30, 2002, allows local jurisdictions, such as cities, counties, districts or agencies, to enact and enforce their own ordinances regulating wages, hours, and other conditions of employment as long as they do not conflict with state laws. These local jurisdictions will not be subject to a reduction of state funds or assistance as a result of the local standards. Employers in these jurisdictions will have an additional layer of workplace regulation in the form of higher wages or tighter restrictions on working conditions, resulting in higher labor costs and increased vulnerability to claims by employees.

California Assembly Bill 2509: Local Labor Standards

Purpose: prohibits state agencies from requiring that a local jurisdiction refrain from applying its own labor standards in order to receive state funds or assistance.

Effective Date: January 1, 2003

Consequences: Allows local governments, such as a city, county, district, or agency, receiving state funding to use that money to create and enforce their own local labor standards so long as the local standards do not conflict with and are not preempted by state law.

View full text of AB 2509

Press release issued by the Office of Governor Davis:

Governor Gray Davis signed legislation that gives local governments the right to enforce local labor standards on all economic development projects within their jurisdiction.

"This bill allows local entities to enforce their own local labor standards," Gov. Davis said. "It eliminates the need for local governments to negotiate with state agencies on the right to enforce such standards on a project-by-project basis."

Existing state law provides a framework for the enforcement of minimum labor standards relating to wages, hours, conditions of employment, occupational safety and health, and special labor relations. Local governments are not precluded from establishing more stringent standards for public and private entities within their respective jurisdictions, unless specific state or federal preemption exists.

AB 2509, by Assembly Member Jackie Goldberg (D - Los Angeles), exempts state agencies that provide funding to projects in local jurisdictions from requirements that those jurisdictions not enforce local labor standards as a condition of receiving state funds.

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