Van Nuys, Calif. – Tomorrow, the Los Angeles City Council will be meeting to adopt several urgency clauses, which means they will go into effect immediately. Included in the urgency clauses is a Right to Recall Ordinance, which would dictate how employers can react to the financial crisis resulting from COVID-19.
The Right to Recall Ordinance would:
- Require businesses that have discharged employees to recall employees based on seniority rather than skills, competence, specific employer needs or legitimate pay scale considerations.
- Require a 10-day waiting period after a business has recalled an employee in which the employee would need to accept or decline the offer.
- Create a rebuttable presumption that any termination which occurred on or after March 4, 2020, was due to a non-disciplinary action forcing litigation.
- Not provide exemptions for first responders or essential businesses, creating a disastrous effect on Los Angeles’ ability to combat COVID-19.
- Eliminate waivers of this ordinance which will cancel all separation agreements and legal settlements related to employment.
- Make businesses responsible for damages suffered by the discharged employee.
- Be in effect until March 4, 2022.
While VICA appreciates the City Council withdrawing its initial efforts to impose a policy in which workers would be discharged in order of seniority, we still have concerns with a Right to Recall ordinance.
VICA President Stuart Waldman said:
“If you run a business in the City of LA, you should be furious with the fact that the City Council wants to tell you how to run your business during this crisis. It’s even more upsetting that they are selling this as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“To make things worse, businesses that have already laid off workers due to financial hardships caused by COVID-19 will be sued and taken to court under the rebuttable presumption provision. This is clearly a just cause termination policy and the wrong approach to workers.
“Requiring businesses to follow these rules until 2022 creates a lot of mistrust. It’s seems COVID-19 is being used as an opportunity to pass measures that would otherwise be hard to pass under normal circumstances.
“I just don’t see many businesses surviving in LA after this crisis subsides if this ordinance is approved by the Council.
“Our city leaders should be working with employers to ensure we are able to open our doors and restart the economy - not looking at ways to drown businesses.”
The mission of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is to enhance the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley region by advocating for a better business climate and quality of life. Visit www.vica.com for more information.