Could equal pay for equal work become a reality in Riverside County?

It will if County Ordinance 440, which relates to salaries, is amended to include language that the Riverside County Board of Supervisors supports equal pay for equal work.

Supervisors are scheduled to consider the proposed amendment on Tuesday, March 27. Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez is proposing the amendment – not only for current employees but also all new hires.

Perez Seeks Equal Pay for Equal Work in Riverside County

(Photo courtesy of V. Manuel Perez)

“Riverside County Supervisors, past and present, have modified county policy to recognize issues of importance to our present and future labor force,” Perez said in making a case for the proposed amendment. “Adding the requested language of equal pay for equal work sends a strong message to our labor force that the Board of Supervisors and the county leadership team value the contribution and commitment of its entire work force of dedicated women and men equally.”

Perez’s proposal directs the CEO, COO, and Acting Assistant CEO of Human Resources to modify County Ordinance 440 to include this language in the law and ensure this language is also added to county recruitments to ensure potential applicants for initial hire understand the Board of Supervisors fully supports equal pay for equal work for all individuals who serve on county or special district staff

California Labor Code 1197.5, The Equal Pay Act, prohibits employers from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.

“As one of the largest employers in the region, the County of Riverside should continue to lead by example and set high standards for fairness and equity in our compensation process” Perez said.

Perez is asking that this provision also be included in all recognized employee organization memorandums of understanding (MOUs).

If approved, it will be on a fast track. Perez’s proposed amendment requires the modification to be completed by the Human Resources Department within 120 calendar days or sooner and be returned to the Board of Supervisors for a final vote.

Perez is seeking election to the seat he now holds in the June election. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Perez to the District 4 seat, which covers the Coachella Valley, until the November 2018 election. He was appointed to fill the seat left vacant in the wake of Supervisor John Benoit’s death in December 2016.

Perez is being challenged by Jan Harnik, a Republican and a member of the Palm Desert City Council. Voters will elect the supervisor in June.