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Hudson County, NJ: Freeholders moving to extend coverage under 'living wage' ordinance to vendors' part-time workers
The Jersey Journal
Kate Kowsh

September 7, 2011
View the Original Article

Hudson County freeholders intend to update the county’s living-wage ordinance to make it apply to part-time workers who work for vendors doing business with the county.

According to Freeholder Chairman Bill O’Dea, the county’s current living wage ordinance requires certain minimum salaries and benefits for “full-time” employees with vendors doing business with the county.

But some of the companies now winning contracts with the county only employ part-timers, O’Dea said.

To even the playing field, O’Dea proposed at yesterday’s caucus meeting an amendment that would require vendors with employees “who work at least 20 hours per week” to pay those employees an hourly rate equal to 150 percent of the federal minimum wage.

In addition, the vendors would have to provide part-timers five annual vacation days and a list of specified medical benefits within 60 days of hiring, according to the proposed ordinance.

O’Dea said he was prompted to seek an amendment to the county’s 2005 ordinance when the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees District 1199J, the Hudson County Central Labor Council, and other groups brought it to his attention that companies were circumventing the law by hiring part-timers.

The amendment will be introduced at the freeholder’s meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the County Annex building, 567 Pavonia Ave.