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A. The City of Berkeley is committed to protecting the public health, safety and welfare. The construction industry involves unique labor standards compliance challenges. Construction workers who do not receive all of their wages and mandatory benefits are likely to discover that despite the best efforts of State enforcement officials, many employees continue to be victims of wage theft because they are unaware of their rights or the State lacks adequate resources to advocate on their behalf. General contractors and Developer/Owners who receive City-issued permits and licenses and who benefit from the construction workers’ labor may disclaim responsibility for making underpaid workers whole.

B. Testimony presented to the State of California’s "Little Hoover" Commission stated that existing studies suggest that "the underground economy" is at least a $10 billion problem in California. Statewide, the construction industry is the industry with the second highest level of labor standards violations (as measured by State Labor Commissioner penalty assessments), surpassed only by the restaurant industry. Deputy Labor Commissioners conducted 985 inspections in the private construction industry in 2012-13, yielding 595 citations that assessed $5.3 million in penalties. Enforcement actions, however, are dwarfed by the number of contractors and projects in California, including projects in Berkeley. Over 300,000 state-licensed contractors performed about $48 billion worth of private construction work in the State in 2014. The mismatch between the resources of the State and the scope of the issue of fundamental wage projections through disclosure and transparency requires the involvement of local government police powers.

C. Assembly Bill 469, also known as the Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011, went into effect on January 1, 2012, adding section 2810.5 to the Labor Code. The act requires that all employers provide each employee with a written notice containing specified information at the time of hire.

D. This Chapter will ensure compliance with the Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011 by requiring confirmation by owners, contractors and subcontractors of the rate of pay and other legally required information pursuant to Labor Code section 2810.5. (Ord. 7668-NS § 1 (part), 2020)