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Crosscurrents

Enforcing Oakland's new minimum wage

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City of Oakland
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More than three months after Oakland implemented a higher minimum wage, the city is working to enforce the new law. Yet, job postings have been placed on Craigslist advertising positions that pay below the legal minimum wage of $12.25 per hour, some receiving dozens of applications. How is the city responding to this kind of confusion?

Deborah Barnes, the city's Manager for Contracts and Compliance for the City of Oakland is on the front lines of the issue, trying to keep businesses up to date and honest in paying their workers the legal wage. She sat down with KALW's Jen Chien to talk about how she's doing that.

DEBORAH BARNES: We are targeting areas where there is a high concentration of small businesses and restaurant owners. We started in Chinatown going block by block. Our next target is the Fruitvale area. So that’s how we’re approaching it.

Click on the audio player above to listen to whole segment.

Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.