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County of Santa Clara Launches Enforcement Program to Collect Owed Wages for Food Workers

The County will now suspend food facility permits from businesses with outstanding wage theft cases to protect vulnerable workers

In Spanish or Tagalog


Santa Clara County has the highest number of wage theft claims in the state of California, a pervasive problem that disproportionately affects immigrants and low-wage workers. The County’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Department of Environmental Health are launching a Food Permit Enforcement Program that will enable the County to start suspending food permits from business owners who have not paid their judgments. At the news conference, County leaders will discuss the importance of the new initiative to fight against wage theft and its impact on vulnerable workers. Workers will talk about their wage theft cases. A business manager from a local restaurant will discuss best practices for supporting workers.


Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Vice President, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors
Supervisor Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors
Miguel Márquez, Chief Operating Officer, County of Santa Clara
David Campos, Deputy County Executive, County of Santa Clara 
Betty Duong, Manager, County of Santa Clara Office of Labor Standards Enforcement
Michael Balliet, Director, County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health
Jessica Vollmer, Fair Workplace Collaborative
Worker Testimonial in Spanish
Worker Testimonial in Tagalog
Angelina Ramos, Business Director, Luna Mexican Kitchen


Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 
Luna Mexican Kitchen
1495 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126


The County of Santa Clara Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) is committed to addressing wage theft, a pervasive problem in the county, by ensuring existing judgments are paid out to retail food workers who are owed money. These new steps to enforce wage laws will better protect employee rights, particularly vulnerable individuals such as immigrants and low-wage workers. Decreasing and preventing unfair labor practices also levels the playing field and supports business owners who pay their employees all the wages they have earned. 


About the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE)

The County of Santa Clara created the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) in 2017 as a response to the high number of wage theft claims in the county and to enforce wage laws on a local level. Enforcement of judgments is usually carried out on the state and federal level, but with those agencies over-extended, many local governments over the past decade have taken similar steps to advance labor standards and fight wage theft at the local level, leveraging the powers reserved for municipalities. The OLSE’s mission is to ensure existing judgments for wage theft are paid out to workers who are legally owed money. The office will do this by partnering with the community and local business owners to provide education on labor standards, encourage compliance and, together, decrease retail food workplace violations to improve the quality of life for workers and business owners. For more information on OLSE, visit

About the County of Santa Clara, California

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the sixth largest county in California. With a $8.17 billion budget, more than 70 agencies/departments and nearly 22,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services, including public health and environmental protection; behavioral health and medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Hospital and Clinics), O’Connor Hospital and Saint Louise Regional Hospital; child and adult protection services; homelessness prevention and solutions; roads, parks and libraries; emergency response to disasters; protection of minority communities and those under threat; access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need. 

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Media Contact: Betty Duong, County of Santa Clara Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, 408-678-1020; Laurel Anderson/Quan Vu, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119. 

Posted: September 20, 2019. ​

Last updated: 9/20/2019 12:50 PM