The Los Angeles City Council late Wednesday adopted emergency Right to Recall and Right of Retention ordinances for businesses in the hospitality industry, as well as property management service businesses and airports.
At least one Valley business organization opposed the Council measures, with Valley Industry & Commerce Association President Stuart Waldman calling in during the e-meeting to voice concerns.
“It’s extremely disheartening. This targeting of the hospitality industry, which every elected official and economist has said is the lifeblood of Los Angeles, is going to make it that much harder to recover when we do get that opportunity,” Waldman told the Business Journal. “Hotels, event centers, sports stadiums – that’s why people come to L.A.”
According to the recall ordinance, hotel, janitorial, stadium, airport service and event center employees discharged during the COVID-19 pandemic would be offered their positions back based on seniority, retroactive to Jan. 31.
Businesses would be required to offer employment in writing by mail, email and text message; former employees would have five days to respond.
As written, the ordinance would be in effect indefinitely and applies to hotels with 50 or more guestrooms, or have earnings exceeding $5 million last year; event centers with at least 50,000 square feet or 1,000 seats; airport employers that comply with the city’s Living Wage ordinance; and employers with 25 or more janitorial, maintenance and security workers.
The city’s retention ordinance would require employers in the above-mentioned industries to keep employees for 90 days if a business changes ownership.
Restaurants are exempted from the ordinances, unless located on hotel premises and owned or operated by the hotel. Those contracted, leased or sublet by a restaurant operator on hotel grounds also fall under the ordinance. Airlines and employers with rental car service agreements are also exempted.
The city authorized a study to look into possible permanent employee recall and retention ordinances for those in the hospitality, tourism and janitorial service areas; Council members and the city attorney are due to report back on the matter in 30 days.