With a 5-0 vote, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday ensured county employees will receive equal pay for equal work.

Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez sought an amendment to County Ordinance 440, which relates to salaries. The newly approved amendment includes language that the Riverside County Board of Supervisors supports equal pay for equal work.

Perez proposed the amendment not only for current employees but also all new hires.

Riverside County Supervisors Approve Equal Pay for Equal Work

(Photo courtesy of V. Manuel Perez)

“I am pleased my colleagues joined me in unanimous support of Equal Pay for Equal Work,” Perez told Uken Report. “Our county has a long history of supporting updates to policy to reflect changes in state law. As someone who is supportive of fair and equitable pay without regard for gender, I am glad we have begun the process of adding a statement on Equal Pay for Equal Work to our hiring practices and official policies.”

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.”

The amendment 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.

This provision also will be included in all recognized employee organization memorandums of understanding (MOUs).

The 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.

The Fourth District is the largest of the county’s five districts, stretching from Desert Hot Springs to Blythe.