LA City Council Wants to Run Businesses During Economic Crisis

Stuart Waldman
President, Valley Industry & Commerce Association

The current global health crisis has ushered in a rapid recession which is decimating the economy, jobs and businesses. In the midst of this global health crisis, the Los Angeles City Council will meet on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 to adopt several emergency measures. Two of the measures will dictate how employers can react to the financial crisis resulting from COVID-19.  Councilmembers Bonin, Harris-Dawson, Koretz and separately, Cedillo have introduced motions to instruct the Los Angeles City Attorney to draft ordinances, which will require:

  • Businesses to lay off employees based on seniority.
  • If a business survives the recession, employees will have the right of recall based on seniority.
  • If a business is sold, the laid off employees will have the right of retention.
  • Additionally, businesses will need to have ‘just cause’ to terminate an employee.
  • Retroactive to March 1, 2020.

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) continues to oppose these measures. 

Businesses are struggling to survive, and the City Council wants to dictate who a business can lay off?

This is a huge overreach by the LA City Council.

It is never easy for a business to lay off their employees. But that decision needs to be made by the business itself, not politicians. Whether it is based on seniority, efficiency, merit or cost, it should be up to the business. 

These measures discriminate against the younger, newer employee. Thousands of young people who are just starting their careers will be thrown on to the street if the Council approves this measure. 

Making this measure retroactive to March 1 means that some businesses will have already violated the law and will be subject to fines and lawsuits.

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