Strengthening Labor and Housing Rights in 2022

March 23, 2022

Announcing TechEquity’s 2022 Policy Agenda!

This year we’re releasing our policy agenda: a framework that guides the public policy and corporate practice work that we’re doing in 2022. Read the full policy agenda below, and check out our Public Policy page to learn more about how you can help us make equal pay and fair rent a reality for all Californians.

A Framework for TechEquity’s 2022 Policy Priorities 

We believe that creating a just economy requires all of us to think deeper than unemployment rates to examine a more holistic set of issues and relationships: who of us earns enough money to live where we work? How does where we live affect the opportunities available to us, or the likelihood of gentrification and displacement? How does concentrating power—corporate, financial, grasstops, electoral, etc.— into fewer and fewer hands distort the systems that affect the quality of our jobs and our lives? 

TechEquity’s work sits at the intersection of tech industry regulation and the intractable problem of rising inequality. We work on systems change that enables economic stability for workers and society as a whole. We bring tech worker capacity to grassroots movements for labor and housing justice. Taking our leadership from those directly affected by economic inequality, TechEquity will advance policy that achieves the following: 

Rebalance Power Between Workers and Corporations

From automation to the gig economy, technology and the tech industry are changing the nature of work. We advance public and corporate policy that ensures everyone has good jobs, and the power necessary to maintain them. 

Make Equal Pay for Equal Work A Reality for All Workers

TechEquity’s Contract Worker Disparity Project revealed that there is a shadow workforce in the tech industry made up of workers hired through third parties. The employment agreements for these workers often entail lesser pay, benefits, and protections than those of directly-employed workers, despite frequently performing the same roles. Existing protections, such as the Equal Pay Act, aren’t available to such workers, who are categorized as temps despite employment that sometimes spans years for the same company. Moreover, data sources do not readily capture this workforce, hiding the scale and disparities of the phenomenon. 

This year we prioritize: 

  • Creating transparency around the contract workforce. In order to ensure that workers hired through third parties and staffing agencies have high-quality jobs, we must bring the practice of ‘contracting out’ out of the shadows.
  • Extending Equal Pay protections to workers who earn disparate wages despite performing comparable work for the same parent company.   
  • Expanding the social safety net so that all workers have access to a floor of support. 

Stable Housing for All 

Fix the Housing Crisis Using Models That Permanently Stabilize Renters and the Housing System

We are experiencing an unprecedented housing and homelessness crisis. TechEquity advances systemic policy change in three areas: production, protection, and preservation, and recognizes that each plank must prioritize the needs of the vulnerable and underserved. California needs strategic, nimble solutions with a specific focus on the Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and women-led households disproportionately likely to experience housing injustice. We advocate for the critical technical fixes necessary to ensure good policy is implemented well and equitably.

This year we prioritize: 

  • Creating transparency about the statewide rental market. We must end the information asymmetries that hurt renters and obstruct good policymaking. A database of rental units, including the landlords and business entities that own them and the monthly rental charges, is essential to mapping displacement before it happens, and designing strategic solutions to the housing crisis. 
  • Building more housing with permanently affordable and reparative models including social housing, land trusts, co-ops, nonprofit-ownership, real estate transfer taxes, or other value capture mechanisms. 
  • Addressing the corporate consolidation of our housing stock, as well as the emergence of iBuyers and algorithms flipping single-family homes into investment portfolios with little transparency or oversight.

We’re trying to make equal pay and fair rent a reality for all Californians, but we need your help. Add your name to our policy agenda to be the first to learn about key actions you can take to turn these key bills into law.