Politics

County Considers Wage-Theft Ordinance

Santa Clara County will consider an ordinance to punish employers for wage theft, a charge that would disqualify businesses from public contracts and give workers a formal recourse to lodge complaints against stingy bosses. The motion going before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday would direct the county to come up with a draft ordinance over the coming months. Supervisor Dave Cortese brought forward the idea, citing a 2008 study by the National Employment Law Project that says two-thirds of the 4,387 low-wage workers polled in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago were denied full compensation.

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Federal Ruling Slashes Cost of Out-of-State Inmate Phone Calls

A federal ruling will dramatically cut the cost of out-of-state phone calls for Santa Clara County inmates, making it actually cheaper to dial long distance than local. The Federal Communications Commission handed down a directive this month that drops the price for inmates calling to another state by 85 percent, though it’s been met with legal opposition from the phone companies that have a monopoly on jail and prison telecommunications. Global Tel-Link, the service provider for the 700 phones at both Elmwood Jail in Milpitas and the main jail in San Jose, is asking a judge to delay the ruling.

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San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Takes Long View in Final State of the City Speech

Chuck Reed spent much of his eighth and final State of the City speech thanking his predecessors while noting that a mayor’s work goes on long after he or she leaves office. Noting that he and past elected officials in San Jose have stood “on the shoulders of giants,” Reed said the work he and the council have carried out in recent years must be viewed outside the prism of four-year term limits. “We have to think in much longer timeframes,” he said.

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