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FEB 2023 NEWS: The fight against wage theft continues

FEBRUARY newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Policy Updates: OLSE
  • Budget Advocacy Updates 
  • SEJ Application Due Mar 5th
  • In Other News
  • Job Opportunities


Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement

Have you been told you need to set up before your shift starts? Have you worked for 10 hours but were only paid for 8? Have you been denied your sick time and told to come in when you’re sick? Have you been scheduled for work and sent home without pay? All of these are forms of wage theft that make it almost impossible for San Diegans to make ends meet and care for themselves and their families.  

In 2021, after many years of advocacy, CPI and our partners Employee Rights Center and Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund won the creation of an Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement (OLSE) at County of San Diego where San Diegans can now report wage theft and labor law violations. An OLSE protects workers’ rights to safe and healthy workplaces, to be paid for all their work, and have protections against discrimination and harassment.

How OLSE is supporting workers: Last month, janitors who are contracted by NOVA to work at the San Diego County Administration building went on strike to stand up against their employer’s unsafe working conditions and illegal terminations, and fight for their right organize a union with SEIU-USWW. A recent investigation by the San Diego County OLSE found that NOVA had violated labor laws and retaliated against workers. San Diego County OLSE ordered NOVA to rehire fired employees and to pay workers for the time they were illegally out of work.  Congratulations to the janitors for speaking up for their rights and fighting for a union in their workplace!  

CPI staff at the picket line in solidarity with SEIU-USWW and county janitors. 


City of San Diego

CPI convenes the Community Budget Alliance (CBA), a coalition of community, labor, and faith-based organizations united to ensure that the City of San Diego’s budget equitably spends public dollars. We believe that elected officials should prioritize communities and neighborhoods with the greatest need and actively combat systemic racism, discrimination, and income inequality when they make budget decisions. 

Our budget demands for the FY2024 budget are now available on our website and CBA organizations and their members are already working to inform city council members and the mayor about what they should include in this year’s budget.  Here are some CBA priorities to look out for in this budget cycle: 

  • Hiring additional staff in the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE): Staff would proactively investigate cases of wage theft and partner with community organizations to provide outreach and education to vulnerable workers. 
  • Increasing funding for the Housing Instability Prevention Program (HIPP) to $24 million:  HIPP pays up to $500 per month for up to 2 years to help tenants cover security deposits, past-due rent, utilities, and other housing expenses. 
  • Piloting a Community-Led Youth Care and Development Program: This program would have two drop-in centers located in the Mountain View and Memorial areas. These drop-in centers would provide access to mental health counseling, pathways for job training and career guidance, youth recreation and other activities.  


Students for Economic Justice

We are currently accepting applications for our 2023 Students for Economic Justice (SEJ) internship program. The SEJ internship is a full-time, paid, 6-week program that empowers the next generation of social justice leaders through leadership and professional development opportunities. This internship is open to current undergraduate students at 2-year or 4-year institutions. 

Please help share this opportunity with students in your network. The deadline to apply is Sunday, March 5, 2022. 

ICYMI: Last week, we hosted info sessions and interviewed SEJ alumni on Instagram Live. You can watch them on our Instagram @cpisandiego 


Co-Governing Toward Multiracial Democracy Report Launch

CPI is featured in an upcoming report, Co-Governing Toward Multiracial Democracy, by Race Forward and Partners for Dignity & Rights. The report features powerful models of collaborative governance led by communities of color across the country. 

Join us for a webinar on February 28th at 1-2:30pm. You’ll hear from three inspiring movement leaders from Black and immigrant community organizations to learn about their work. They will share lessons and challenges for communities and local governments interested in collaborating to advance racial and economic justice.  

Press Mentions


We are currently hiring for the following positions. Click to learn more:  

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As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CPI relies on the generous support of our community to operate. If you would like to support our fight for economic and social justice, please consider becoming a monthly donor or making a one-time donation. Thank you so much!

Written by CPI San Diego

Justice for Warehouse Workers/ Justicia Para Trabajadores de almacen

join the fight against wage theft/ Unéte a la lucha contra robo de salario