The Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC) stands at the intersection of economic and racial justice, pushing for systemic change and access to quality jobs that will transform the local economy.
Local enforcement of California’s Anti- Employment Discrimination laws is an important step towards ensuring equal opportunity in the city’s workplaces.
However, the State of California preempts legislative action that duplicates the purpose of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The path forward must include comprehensive, strategic, and creative approaches to increasing access to workers’ rights for the City of Los Angeles, by utilizing the contracting power of the City of Los Angeles, and addressing employment discrimination through a public health lens.
Senate Bill 491
Our Anti-Discrimination Campaignwhich addresses the lack of local employment discrimination enforcement processes by advocating for new programs at the City, County, and State level, as well as collaborative enforcement models. Our members advocated for the adoption of SB 491, which goals were to empower local governments to fill a critical enforcement gap.
SB 491 clarified that local governments have authority to enforce California Fair Employment and Housing Act laws within their legal boundaries.
When local governments can effectively enforce California’s fair employment laws, black workers who experience discrimination can have claims reviewed in a timely manner, get back to work faster, and recover lost wages.
Our movement “#Black Workers United” to #Heal Black Futures” successfully moved Governor Brown to go on the record supporting the need for California to strengthen employment discrimination protections at the local level, issuing a directive to establish a workgroup to review and report back to him findings on how local governments can implement California’s anti- discrimination laws in the workplace.
Though we fell short of the signature, the Governor made it clear in his message that “It Is Time” for the state to look at this urgent issue of stronger local enforcement of anti- discrimination employment protections.
Black Workers United TO Heal Black Futures
Black Workers United is a broad coalition of workers, organizations, labor unions, civil rights advocates, and allies working towards a common agenda that brings justice to workers and increases access to employment.
An important step in increasing access to employment is addressing the persistent discrimination in hiring that remains an obstruction for Black workers and strengthening enforcement of workplace discrimination.
Black Workers United Coalition ultimately reflected a diverse constellation of more than 45 organizations. who believe that employment discrimination is a moral and economic crisis that affects every Californian and that local enforcement is needed now to fill the enforcement gap created by Trump era cuts to civil rights protections nationally.
In 2017, this amazing coalition put focus on CA committing to resist attacks on civil rights protections through action including:
- EIGHT lobby days; TEN rallies; 4 press conferences; 1 Working While Black Art Exhibit on the Capitol Lawn; produced 1 original stage play- “ The Discrimination Diaries” in Hollywood; and generated more than 4,000 petition signatures in support of expanded anti- employment discrimination protections.
- Together, we will continue to move the needle on discrimination free worksites in CA and build an equitable economy where Black workers, their families, and neighborhoods thrive.