A measure coming up for a vote this fall would require San Jose employers to offer more hours to part-time workers before bringing on new hires.
The City Council on Tuesday, in its final meeting before the summer recess, will vote on whether to run the full text of the “Opportunity to Work” initiative on the November ballot and whether to allow rebuttals, which would up the cost.
Silicon Valley labor leaders asked the council to adopt the proposal as an ordinance, which would save the $928,000 it costs to bring it to voters. But it looks like it’s headed to the General Election ballot.
The proposal, backed by the South Bay Labor Council, exempts businesses with fewer than 35 employees. Proponents say it would up wages for 64,000 part-time workers in San Jose. Those employees are predominantly women and minorities, according to a study published earlier year.
Critics, including the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, fear the measure would hurt businesses by limiting their ability to hire a workforce that meets their needs.
Councilman Johnny Khamis urged voters to kill the measure and said the city should pay the extra cash to include a rebuttal on the ballot. The proposal, he said, should more aptly be called the “Opportunity to Destroy Jobs” initiative.
“The initiative will eliminate job opportunities for non-privileged students who, like me, work part-time to put themselves through college so that they can make a better life for themselves and their families,” he wrote in a scathing memo.
Proponents argue that the initiative remedies an abusive employment practice, which businesses take advantage of to avoid paying benefits. The result is a crisis of under-employment that forces part-time workers to take on multiple jobs with no benefits.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for June 28, 2016:
- The city has identified a possible site for a “tiny home” community to house the homeless, a property on Evans Lane near Curtner Avenue in south San Jose.
- Churches and other religious organizations will be able to offer temporary shelter to the homeless if the city suspends permitting requirements.
- The city plans to spend $5 million over the next three years to house homeless veterans. According to the latest homeless census, Santa Clara County is home to the fifth largest population of homeless military veterans in the nation.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHRE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260
This article has been updated.