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Research and Policy

The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement's (OLSE) approach to data collection, management and analysis forms one of our critical approaches to advancing labor standards. We collect and analyze data to assess and assist with ongoing program implementation and development, and to inform future policy recommendations. 

OLSE is uniquely positioned to be the definitive authority on the status of wage theft and vulnerable worker populations in Santa Clara County, a mission the Office fully embraces. To inform its work and progress, OLSE will obtain and use data from a variety of sources, including Santa Clara County-specific judgment data from state and federal agencies that investigate and adjudicate labor violations as well as data OLSE itself collects through its enforcement and education programs. 

Judgment Data 

As part of its enforcement model, OLSE receives periodic judgment data from the Federal Department of Labor (DOL) and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

This data forms a basis for OLSE enforcement actions, but the value of this data extends beyond enforcement actions: together with data collected through OLSE’s own engagement activities, data obtained from federal and state partner agencies will allow the Office to capture a big picture view of wage theft and workplace violations throughout the County, which in turn will inform OLSE’s education, outreach, and enforcement priorities as well as future policy development. 

Labor Standards Outreach and Education Initiative 

The Labor Standards Outreach and Education Initiative (Initiative) serves as OLSE’s primary avenue of engagement with workers and businesses. With data collected through the Initiative, OLSE will be able to measure the effectiveness of Initiative programming for workers and business owners as well as the impact OLSE has on labor standards enforcement. 

In its first year of programming, OLSE will focus heavily on the collection and analysis of input and output data to determine baseline measures for success that will be used to evaluate effectiveness and impact. This will be a constant and iterative process through which OLSE can determine whether and how to modify its activities and services in order to maximize the impact of an office Administration has envisioned becoming the primary governmental resource in Santa Clara County dedicated to advancing labor standards. 

County Contract Enforcement 

The BOS Policy Manual promulgates the County’s Wage Theft Policy, the Living Wage Policy, Pay Equity Policy and Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy. Board policy requires all entities contracting or seeking to contract with the County to comply with these policies and authorizes the County to investigate potential violations of these requirements. OLSE will advance and enforce these policies on two fronts: administrative review of contractor requests for waivers and in the enforcement of judgments against contracted vendors. 

OLSE’s data management priorities include tracking requests for exceptions and violations of the various mandatory labor provisions in the Board Policy Manual. This data will help us measure the effectiveness and impact of our current policies through County contracting to inform future policy development. 

Prior to the establishment of OLSE, the Office of Countywide Contract Management had begun to develop processes to review vendors’ requests for waiver of the County’s mandatory labor provisions in contracts, address violations brought to the County’s attention, and identify solutions to data management needs. OLSE is now working with Procurement and OCCM to refine and operationalize these administrative review and data management processes. 

Planned Publications 

  • OLSE Dashboard
    Data dashboards provide reporting by aggregating and extracting value from all collected data to provide easy to understand key performance indicators. The value provided by dashboards is in the organization of complex information into visual data representations providing an accurate reflection of performance to facilitate informed decision making, investments and planning.

    In the future, OLSE plans to generate periodic performance dashboards that will be publicly available on OLSE’s website.
  • OLSE Annual Report
    OLSE will publish an annual report on its enforcement activities, programming, and engagement with workers and businesses. The comprehensive report will provide an inventory of OLSE operations in addition to a year-end analysis of data points and output collected throughout the year. The first Annual Report is tentatively planned for release on Labor Day 2020.
  • Santa Clara County Wage Theft Report
    The County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy supported development and publication of the “Santa Clara County Wage Theft Report” in 2015. The report was a one-time initiative. However, organizations continue to use the data and analysis presented in the report to develop policy and programming addressing wage theft. OLSE will support ongoing development of similar data, analyses, and reports as part of its regular programming, with a particular and expanded analysis of the status of vulnerable worker populations. 
Last updated: 9/12/2019 4:19 PM