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L.A. ordinance to provide rehiring protections for laid-off service workers

Los Angeles city officials are drawing up an ordinance intended to guarantee the rehiring of some laid-off service workers when businesses begin to reopen. Council members planned to vote Wednesday on calling on the city attorney to write a law that would offer protections to airport, hospitality and other service workers, including maintenance and security […]

Los Angeles city officials are drawing up an ordinance intended to guarantee the rehiring of some laid-off service workers when businesses begin to reopen.

Council members planned to vote Wednesday on calling on the city attorney to write a law that would offer protections to airport, hospitality and other service workers, including maintenance and security personnel, according to council President Nury Martinez’s office.

Councilmen Mike Bonin and David Ryu are proposing that the ordinance apply only to businesses with more than 50 employees. Restaurants should be exempted, according to council members Joe Buscaino and Monica Rodriguez.

Angelenos who wish to submit a comment for consideration by officials can do so online.

On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he’ll sign the ordinance as soon as it arrives at his desk.

The law could offer some certainty to thousands of workers who lost their source of income during the outbreak, the mayor said.

It’s intended to prevent companies from hiring newer or lesser-paid employees instead of rehiring those who have been on the job for years, according to Garcetti.

The retention ordinance will “allow those workers to come back to those jobs where they greet visitors, protect us and our buildings, where they do the work to help a meal get on to a plane flight, or to make sure that we can contain this crisis by being the janitors who make sure our buildings and spaces are safe,” the mayor said.

A survey from the University of Southern California found that the L.A. area saw job losses significantly higher than the national average.

Only 45% of residents still held a job, according to the survey conducted from April 1 to 14. That’s a drop of 16%, or about 1.3 million jobs, from mid-March.

That compares to the 10% drop in employment nationally, USC researchers found.

Workers of color, especially African Americans, were most likely to have lost their jobs. In the U.S., employment losses were reported among 15% of whites, 18% of Latinos, and 21% of African Americans, according to USC.

The percentage of employed people with no more than a high school education dropped by 11%.

Most of the job losses were reported as temporary layoffs, researchers said.