MARCH 27, 2020
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
LA CITY COUNCIL WANTS FRAGILE BUSINESSES TO PICK UP THE TAB FOR COVID-19
Today, businesses are just trying to survive. Tomorrow, the Los Angeles City Council will consider three extremely detrimental motions at a time when business has never been more fragile: Paid Sick Leave , Right of Recall , and Worker Retention . Collectively, the motions eliminate a business’ hire and lay-off rights, establish a mandatory recall of formerly laid-off employees when rehiring, and dictate to businesses who can and cannot keep their jobs based on seniority. All motions brazenly admit to placing the burden on business in order “ to reduce the demand on government-funded social services”.

These ordinances are part of an Emergency COVID-19 package that the Council first voted on March 17th. They will be heard at tomorrow’s Council meeting on Friday 3/27 at 11am, and you can tune in live HERE . A rundown of what you need to know:

The motion "requires all employers in the City to provide its employees with supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons.” An Employee who has been employed with the same Employer from February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020, would be entitled to Supplemental Paid Sick Leave as follows:

  • Full-time employees working at least 40 hours per week would receive 80 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, calculated based on an Employee’s average two week pay.
  • Employees not classified as full-time would receive Supplemental Paid Sick Leave in an amount no greater than the Employee’s average two week pay.
  • The Employee takes time off because a public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends the Employee isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Violations of this are punishable by law.

Protections for employees if a business changes ownership.
  • This ordinance would make it illegal to terminate an employee based on financial impacts due to the COVID-19 crisis. Employers would only be able to terminate employees based on “just cause”. If a business did lay off employees due to financial impacts, they would be subject to legal actions.
  • Requires the business to maintain a preferential hiring list of former employees who were previously laid off. Employers would then be required to re-hire from that list, based on seniority.

  • Employers would be required to hire previously laid-off employees any position which comes available that the former employee is qualified to perform.
  • Employer shall retain employees by seniority within each job classification, and must also rehire employees based on seniority.
  • The formerly laid-off employee would then be given ten days to accept or decline the offer.
  • The employer would be subject to punative damages and actual damages, no less than $1,000, as well as payment of attorney’s fees.
  • There is an exemption for parties subject to Collective Bargaining Agreements.
  • Applicability is retroactive until March 1, 2020.
 
All ordinances are eligible for extensions to become permanent. 

If you have any questions related to the City of LA, please contact BIA-LAV Senior Director of Government Affairs, Christine Rangel .