The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved Right to Recall and Worker Retention ordinances that will force businesses in the hospitality industry to rehire those laid off, if they rehire at all.
According to the recall ordinances, hotel, janitorial, stadium, airport service and event center employees discharged during the COVID-19 pandemic must be offered their positions back based on seniority, retroactive to Jan. 31.
If they staff back up after the pandemic, businesses would be required to offer employment in writing by mail, email and text message; former employees would have five days to respond.
The city’s retention ordinance also requires employers in those industries to keep employees for 90 days if a business changes ownership.
Employer representatives such as the Valley Industry and Commerce Association opposed the ordinances.
“They tie one arm behind the backs of hotels who will be trying to hasten a recovery,” Stuart Waldman, president of VICA, said in a statement. “It is a sad day today. But when hotels are closing and the recovery fails, it will be the result of the Los Angeles City Council’s failed policies.”
However, employers were somewhat relieved that the ordinances didn’t affect more industries. The city council originally had recall and retention ordinances aimed at all businesses – the all-encompassing policies were tabled at an 11-hour emergency e-meeting on March 27.
According to some reports, however, the City Council later may consider expanding the ordinances to include restaurants and possibly some other businesses.