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Proposed Objectives

These objectives are subject to ongoing input from, and ratification by, our members. Finalized objectives will be substantiated by accompanying policy proposals in our upcoming Policy Agenda.

Establish family-friendly workplace practices and policies that are good for employees and employers

Eliminate regulatory obstacles for small and medium size employers and independent contractors

Encourage and support the ability to save, and access to safe, fair and affordable financial services

We recognize that our proposed Employment objectives are currently framed in open-ended language. Our draft policies offer far more precise and substantive proposals to meet the urgent needs set out in the Context section below. These draft policies are available for review by members of the Collaborative.


California’s economy depends on people working productively, having the skills to fill needed jobs and lifelong opportunities to retrain or continue their education, and also on their ability to form new businesses that can flourish.


A prosperous, thriving California also depends upon people’s ability to be reliable and engaged family members, community volunteers, voters, and more. All of these roles ought to be reflected in how we think about work both for employees and employers.

By 2025, California is expected to be two million degrees and credentials short of those needed to fuel the workforce.
1 Employers need well-trained workers, and it’s in the state’s interest for every person who wants one to have a path to work in a well-paid growth career. Dual Enrollment, Linked Learning and Career Pathways programs are mentioned elsewhere in this document; along with the Newsom Administration’s Cradle to Career vision, data shows these approaches are moving in the right direction.2 

Moreover, California’s employers in all sectors will benefit greatly from systems that enable workers to retrain throughout their lives as their work changes (by preference or necessity). And for the eight million plus Californians who struggle to access employment due to a criminal record,3
 the state must make the connections needed to help these people get to work, which will help them rejoin their families and communities.  

Nearly half of California’s two million residents who work full time, including in agriculture, cleaning and maintenance, food service, and healthcare support, nonetheless live in poverty. A full 25% of professionals caring for California’s kids lives in poverty. And 28% of single working parents are living in poverty.

If people are performing their jobs, the incomes they earn should be at least sufficient to pay their bills, with some left over for emergency and retirement savings. This means two things: employers should be expected to compensate their employees fairly, and government needs to step in when the “cost” side of the equation in which income should be equal to or greater than the broadly-experienced cost of living, breaks down.5

Furthermore, job satisfaction and performance aren’t merely a function of earnings. Because every one of us has life responsibilities outside of work, workplace conditions are as important as wages. No matter what the job, people need to be able to plan a life around it. Many people are parents of children, or children of aging parents; people need some flexibility around parenting kids, parenting parents, and other family obligations. And certainly, every person deserves to work in an environment free of discrimination
,6 and whenever possible, opportunities to continue learning and move up in title and/or salary.

Finally, there is a narrative in California that the state is inhospitable to small and medium sized business. We must put this to rest. California employers are highly-valued job creators and our economic engine. They often are risk takers, builders and civic leaders. Let’s set high expectations for California’s employers, while taking every action we can to help them succeed – especially small and medium sized enterprises



[2] , ,,






[5] The California Business Roundtable provides a thorough examination of these interrelated factors in a recent study of California’s working poor:


[6] Ibid. The same report finds discrimination in the workplace is cited by a significant share of the population they studied as a barrier to upward mobility.

Indicative Resources

These links are included because the Collaborative considers some data or analysis in their body to be relevant, irrespective of the overall perspective or tone of the writing. They are far from exhaustive, and represent only a small fraction of the data and perspectives that shape our objectives.

Jobs, Poverty, and Upward Mobility: A Closer Look at California’s Working Poor


Employment and Entrepreneurship: The State of Latino Economic Wellbeing in California

Talent is America’s most precious resource: It’s time economic development organizations focus more on developing it

Working Up: A Convergence Dialogue for Action to Increase Economic Mobility Full Report 

A Practical Analysis of San Francisco’s Predictive Scheduling and Fair treatment for Formula Retail Employees Ordinance  

California workers would still get paid if their boss cancels a shift under proposed law


Report on San Francisco Predictable Scheduling and Fair treatment for Formula Retail Employees Ordinance 

It’s About Time: How Work Schedule Instability Matters for Workers, Families, and Racial Inequality

Want to Close the Pay Gap? Pay Transparency Will Help. It may not be the cure-all to inequity, but we need a starting point

Why radical transparency about salaries can pay off 

How Much Does Your Boss Make? The Effect of Salary Comparisons 

Paid Family Leave and Health Equity: California’s Paid Family Leave Program and the Health of Low-Income Women and Women of Color and their Infants

Left Behind: How California’s Paid Family Leave Program is Failing People in Low-Wage Jobs and the Gig Economy

The Future of Work Commission

What is the Annual California Franchise Tax?

Analysis of Proposed EITC Expansion

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