California Labor Policy Strategies

Workshop Description:

In this strategy discussion with the California Labor Federation, Caitlin Vega and Chloe Osmer will discuss the ways in which California labor has worked on policy with strategic campaigns in the past. What policies have worked and which haven’t? What policy goals are realistic given the current political climate? And how can researchers help improve chances of policy coming to life? Prepare to discuss all of these topics in the session.

Workshop Leaders:

Caitlin Vega is the General Counsel for the California Labor Federation. The daughter of a Laborer, she joined the Labor Movement as an organizer when she was eighteen and has never left. After working for Teamsters Local 490 and SEIU Local 614, she spent sixteen years at the California Labor Federation where she served as Legislative Director. Caitlin is a labor lawyer, specializing in legislative efforts to combat misclassification and the fissured workplace. Among her achievements, she was the lead lobbyist on the landmark bill AB 5 in 2019, codifying the “ABC test” of employment status. She also worked on laws to impose joint liability on companies that use temporary and contract labor, expand whistleblower protection, and penalize companies that use immigration-related threats to deter workers from enforcing their rights. In addition, she helped to negotiate, pass, and implement a package of bills to address the impact of the Janus decision on unions and workers. Caitlin worked her way through California State University, Hayward, majoring in Sociology and Latin American Studies. She attended UC Davis School of Law. She is a member of the Union Lawyers Alliance of the AFL-CIO and the Labor & Employment Section of the California State Bar. She was named an Influencer by the Sacramento Bee. Her chapters on working as a labor lobbyist were published in A Practitioner’s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy in California (Kendall-Hunt, 2019) and Perspectives on State Lobbying in California: Essays by Advocates in California’s Capitol (Kendall-Hunt, 2022). In all her work, she is guided by the memory of her dad who taught her to never give up hope that a better world is possible.

Chloe Osmer is the Organizing Director for the California Labor Federation. Chloe has worked on workplace rights and organizing for the past twenty years. She previously served as Senior Advisor to the California Labor Commissioner, where she assisted with the creation and implementation of enforcement plans for new workplace laws. Prior to that Chloe was the Organizing Director for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, where she created a new department that supported organizing campaigns and trained hundreds of union and worker center members on organizing. Chloe also worked on organizing and policy campaigns with unions in multiple industries as a senior organizer with the AFL-CIO and was the Strategic Campaign Coordinator and Acting Director of the CLEAN Carwash Campaign. Her work on CLEAN included developing strategies to help carwash workers improve safety conditions, and she led policy work and communications for the Campaign. Chloe earned her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UCLA, where she completed her Applied Policy Project on an analysis of legislation affecting carwash workers.