San Jose “Opportunity to Work” Ordinance

San Jose, California

By Deborah H. Petito, Esq.

San Jose is the next city to pass an ordinance that regulates employers. In what appears to be partially motivated to prohibit employers from hiring part-time employees to avoid providing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, San Jose has passed the “Opportunity to Work” ordinance. The San Jose ordinance prohibits employers from hiring a temporary employee or employees through staffing agencies before offering additional hours to existing employees who, in the employer’s good faith and reasonable judgment, have the skills and experience to perform the necessary work. This ordinance also requires that the employer use a “transparent and nondiscriminatory” process to distribute these extra hours among existing employees. Employers do not have to provide additional hours to existing employees if it would require payment of overtime.

Employers will be required to post a notice prepared by the City and employers will be required to keep records for any new hire documenting that current employees were offered additional hours. Employers will also be required to maintain records, such as employee work schedules, and any other records the City requires employers to retain.

There are no fines, fees or civil penalties for the first violation. The Ordinance also provides a hardship exemption and small business exemption.

The Ordinance is effective April 6, 2017. As local government becomes more active in the employment area, employers need to keep abreast of local government actions.

Thank you for joining us on CIarkTalk! We look forward to seeing you again on this forum.  Please note that views expressed in the above blog post do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to substitute the need for an attorney to represent your interests relating to the subject matter covered by the blog.  If you have any questions about San Jose’s “Opportunity to Work” Ordinance, please feel free to email Deborah H. Petito at or Leonard Brazil at, or contact our office at (213) 629-5700.

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