OCEA in the Register

OCEA General Manager Jennifer Muir Beuthin writes a bi-weekly column in the Orange County Register about issues impacting working people.

Workplace protections for farmworkers a historic achievement

September 16, 2016

Most of us learned in school that Americans can count on job protections like the 40-hour work week, maternity leave and weekends because working people stood together to fight for those rights as part of their unions.

Court reporters essential to an effective system of justice

September 2, 2016

Labor Day is truly America’s day. It is the one day that is devoted to, and celebrates, the dignity of working-class Americans. In other words, it is the day that recognizes and honors the 99 percent of us who go to work each day, take pride in the work we do and pass down to our children and grandchildren the work ethic that constitutes the core of America’s greatness.

Workers losing millions to wage theft

August 19, 2016

If you have followed this column you know I’ve often written about workers’ wages: Fair wages, a living wage, gender wage disparity. I address the subject of wages frequently for three reasons.

Trump's treatment of women hits close to home

August 5, 2016

This week, the United States presidential discussion struck a particularly raw nerve here in Orange County.

Orange County risks failing our foster kids

July 22, 2016

More than 2,300 children in Orange County have been removed from the care of their biological parents and are currently living in foster care.

County in Need of Homeless Plan

July 8, 2016

I recently wrote about homelessness in the Civic Center area in Santa Ana. The county has now created a new executive position dedicated to addressing homeless issues and filled that position with a director who we are told will have the authority and support to impact real change for Orange County’s homeless community. She is expected to be knowledgeable and experienced and is collecting information to conduct an assessment and develop a strategic plan.

Orange County workers at hub of innovation

June 24, 2016

Vilifying public employees has been a hobby of some for more than a decade. Yet most of us recognize that public employees often deliver critical services that the private sector cannot or will not provide, or will only perform if exorbitant profits are virtually guaranteed and performance expectations are set inordinately low.

Closing gender pay gap in O.C. government

June 10, 2016

A state audit revealed last week that female employees with the county of Orange earn an average of 27 percent less than their male counterparts.

Homeless making Civic Center unsafe

May 27, 2016

At Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, an employee walking into work earlier this month stepped on a used hypodermic needle. On a different day, a work crew of plumbers making repairs outside the courthouse was attacked by rock-throwing residents of a nearby homeless encampment.

Show working moms how much we care

May 17, 2016

It has become axiomatic that on Mother’s Day we honor our moms with greeting cards, flowers and some food-related event like brunch or breakfast in bed. That’s how I honored my mom last week. That’s what many of us do, often mindlessly, year after year, whether our mom is 19 or 90.

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