City strengthens Wage Theft Ordinance

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In an effort to protect more victims of wage theft, the El Paso City Council approved an amendment today to the City’s Wage Theft Ordinance. The amendment allows the City to deny certain businesses found in violation of wage theft from receiving City licenses, permits, and registrations.

Prior to today’s approved amendment, the Wage Theft Ordinance only allowed for City contracts to be terminated or denied if a business was to be found in violation of wage theft. This meant that the reach of the Wage Theft Ordinance only applied to businesses that are seeking or actively doing business with the City of El Paso.

Upon input from victims and advocates, the City Council proposed last year that an amendment be considered that would be applicable to businesses that require permits and licenses, for example, food and food handling establishments, laundries, dealers in secondhand goods, vendors, flea market operators, and contractors. After an extensive research and outreach period, staff returned with today’s recommended amendment which will now allow the City to deny a business’s permit and license application for a period of five years from the wage theft adjudication judgment date.

The approved amendment will also allow for businesses that have been denied a permit or license to appeal the decision. City staff may grant an appeal if the employer provides proof that the wage theft adjudication has been annulled, withdrawn, overturned; employer provide proof of full payment of outstanding wage theft adjudication judgment; five years or more has passed since the date of the employers most recent wage theft adjudication; or if the wage theft adjudication is not applicable to the employer.

Today’s approved amendment will go into effect immediately.

For more information on the City of El Paso’s Wage theft Ordinance, please contact the Purchasing & Strategic Sourcing Department at (915) 212-1181.

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