Equal Benefits Ordinance: Oakland, Calif.

Passed in 2001
Effective on  July 1, 2002

Applies to:

  • City contracts exceeding $25,000.
  • Businesses’ operations with the city. However, if the actual work related to the city contract is being performed in another state, the law applies. Also applies to city-owned real property outside of the city if work related to the contract is being performed there.

Exceptions & Waivers

City manager can waive compliance if:

  • Contract is responding to an emergency.
  • The contractor is a sole-source provider.
  • When there are no qualified responsive bidders.
  • Contact is pursuant to bulk purchasing arrangements.
  • Contractor is a public entity.
  • There are no compliant contractors capable of providing goods or services.
  • The ordinance requirements are inconsistent with a grant or agreement with a public agency.
  • It is a specialized litigation contract.

The ordinance does not apply:

  • If the contract is for certain investments of trust or city monies.


  • An employee who alleges violation of any provision of the law may report such act to the city.
  • Once a report is made, the city manager investigates. If the manager finds that the law has been violated he or she can: suspend and/or terminate the contract; prohibit the contractor from future bidding until all penalties and restitution have been paid in full; require contractor to repay any or all of the contract amount; impose a fine; require the payment of liquidated damages; require the payment of reasonable attorney fees.
  • An aggrieved employee can also bring an action in Superior Court.


Oakland Municipal Code, §2.32.010


Office of the City Manager
Contract Compliance and Employment Services Division
250 Frank Ogawa Plaza
3rd Floor, Suite 3341
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-238-6270
Fax: 510-238-3363
Email: dbarnes@oaklandnet.com