When the COVID-19 pandemic ends, more than 50,000 displaced hospitality workers throughout Los Angeles and Long Beach will have the legal means to return to their jobs, thanks to city and county elected officials and the efforts of UNITE HERE Local 11.
In short measure, the Los Angeles City Council, the Long Beach City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have each formally passed Worker Return and Recall and Worker Retention policies. These policies are designed to protect workers in the hospitality and janitorial industries – including cooks, servers and room attendants – who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy provides a “right of recall” guaranteeing that laid off workers have the ability to return to their jobs once the crisis has ended. Employers must attempt to rehire laid off workers before offering open positions to new employees. In addition, workers whose companies have changed owners or have gone bankrupt or been foreclosed upon will also be protected under the new policies.
“UNITE HERE Local 11 is leading the country in a recovery that is centered on providing economic security for workers, not welfare for corporations,” Local 11 Co-President Kurt Petersen said in a press statement. “We are putting workers – not corporations – first.”
The Los Angeles City Council passed the first policies on April 29 and the policies were signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Los Angeles County and the City of Long Beach followed suit, passing similar legislation within hours of each other on Wednesday.
In the City of Los Angeles, the Recall Ordinance applies to airport employers, commercial property employers, event center employers and hotel employers.