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Some Laid-Off Workers In LA Will Be First In Line For Their Old Jobs

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A worker at Burbank Airport. (File photo by Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
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Some Los Angeles workers who were laid off as businesses were closed during the coronavirus pandemic will get first dibs on getting their jobs back when the city reopens.

The L.A. City Council has passed a worker recall ordinance that covers businesses like hotels, airports and performance venues and aims to help workers like maids, janitors and security guards.

Reopened businesses must give laid-off workers the opportunity to return to their jobs. If an employee doesn't respond or claim their jobs, then businesses can hire new workers.

Council Member Paul Koretz says this rule is needed to protect experienced workers.

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"In some cases, without that, a company will decide that this is a great opportunity for them to bust their union, basically leave everybody fired from their current workforce and hire all new employees."

A second ordinance requires places like hotels to retain workers when a business is sold to new owners. Both ordinances exclude smaller businesses like hotels with fewer than 50 rooms.

Koretz said the council tried to balance the needs of both businesses and workers, and that this could simplify the rehiring process for businesses when they reopen.

"Everybody's harmed in this pandemic, so we try to help as much as we can without overdoing it, and I think in this case it does exactly that. I don't believe this ordinance will do any harm to employers, but it helps guarantee that longtime, loyal employees get hired back."

Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week he would sign both ordinances.

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