Submitted Anonymously Through Yolo Leaks
This article addresses two claims that have been made by some Davis City employees according to confidential sources:
1) Davis unfairly discriminates against employees with Hispanic backgrounds by proportionately hiring fewer Hispanics than are represented in the regional population. Those Hispanics that are hired are compensated at lesser rates and promoted less often than their non-Hispanic counterparts.
2) Davis is relying more and more on temporary labor workers; many of whom are paid close to minimum wage and often terminated at or near the 90th day of their employment in order to avoid having to pay them benefits otherwise available to full-time employees.
Overall Compensation of Davis City Employees
The website TransparentCalifornia.org reports on all municipal employment in California. At the end of 2015 (the latest year for which data is available), the City had 306 permanent full-time employees with annual payroll and benefit costs of about $36,000,000.
Permanent full-time City employees are compensated very, very well. The average salary (without benefits) of a City of Davis employee in 2015 was was $83,821. This is 5.1% greater than the average salary for an Assistant Professor at UC Davis in 2016 of $79,721 and 55.2% greater than the estimated average median salary of all private sector workers in the Davis area of about $54,000.
Minority Levels of Employment and Compensation Levels in the City of Davis
For purposes of ethnicity determination, Asian and Hispanic were identified on the basis of the employee’s surname as shown in the employee lists below in Appendix A. Black employees were identified by other employees familiar with their ethnicity. All of employees were presumed to be White/Other. Obviously this methodology will incorrectly identify and mischaracterize some ethnic minorities which are a limitation of this study and will introduce some level of error. With that caveat, following are statistics of compensation paid to various employee ethnic groups.
Median total (all salary and benefits) compensation of Hispanic employees ($98,730) is 15% less than White/Other median total compensation ($116,129), 14% less than Black employees total compensation ($114,456), and 13% less than Asian employee total median compensation ($113,096).
Following are the ethnic distribution of people in Davis CA and Yolo County according to the US Census Bureau (
Following are the number of full-time City of Davis employees of different ethnic backgrounds along with their pay distribution.
Although the percentage of City employees of Hispanic background (12.5%) is identical to the ethnic make-up of the City of Davis as a whole (also 12.5%), this percentage is far lower than the Yolo Co.-wide percentage of Hispanics (31.5%). Thus, in addition to receiving approximately 15% less pay than their White/Other City employee counterparts, they are represented numerically at a far lower percentage than the regional percentage of Hispanics in the population.
And while the number of Asians and Blacks in the City-employee population is substantially less than the comparable percentage of these ethnic groups in the City- and County-wide populations, they receive average total compensation almost equivalent to their white counterparts employed by the City. The number of Asians in the populations is also influenced by the large number of Asian students at UC Davis so direct comparisons to employment representation by Asians in City of Davis employment compared to available private sector workers is not accurate.
The distribution of employee compensation by ethnicity are displayed in the following graphs:
Based on this analysis, it can be justifiably argued that Hispanic workers in the City of Davis are numerically underrepresented based on their ethnicity in the larger regional population AND receive substantially lower compensation as a group than other ethnic groups employed by the City of Davis.
Use of Part-Time vs. Full-Time City Employees
Part-time temporary workers do not receive benefits and typically are laid off (and often immediately rehired) after 90 days to deny them the right to such benefits. This is an administrative tactic most famously employed by Walmart and other large retailers to avoid the additional costs associated with full-time employment such as the provision of medical benefits under Obamacare. While these tactics are often decried by progressive labor activists, their ire over such abusive worker employment strategies is typically directed to larger retail and food-service establishments.
Following are the percentages of temporary, part-time workers employed by the cities of Davis, Woodland, and West Sacramento from 2011 through 2015
The City employed 521 part-time workers during 2015 representing 63% of total workers employed by the City. On a percentage basis, this represents the highest percentage of part-time workers employed by the City over the past 5 years. With the exception of 2014 where the City of West Sacramento employed a slightly greater percentage of temporary, part-time workers, Davis employed a substantially greater percentage of part-time workers than either Woodland or West Sacramento in every year since 2011; the earliest date for which such data is available. It would seem that the City of Davis is now wholeheartedly embracing such cost-cutting measures to the disbenefit of those affected part-time, temporary workers.
Based on this analysis, it can be justifiably argued that the City of Davis is systematically increasing the percentage of part-time, temporary workers to a much greater extent that neighboring cities.
APPENDIX A – List of City of Davis Full-time Employees Segregated by Presumed Ethnicity