Van Nuys-based advocacy group Valley Industry & Commerce Association has voiced opposition to a Los Angeles City Council motion to regulate business.
In a press release titled “L.A. City Council Wants to Run Businesses During Economic Crisis” on Sunday, VICA President Stuart Waldman railed against proposed measures for a March 24 meeting to address industry sustainability issues.
“Two of the measures will dictate how employers can react to the financial crisis resulting from COVID-19,” Waldman wrote, singling out a measure by Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Paul Koretz and, separately, a motion by Gil Cedillo.
According to Waldman’s release, the ordinances will prescribe that businesses lay off employees based on seniority. Also, if a business survives the recession, employees will have the right of recall based on seniority and if a business is sold, the laid off employees will have the right of retention. Furthermore, businesses will need “just cause” to terminate an employee.
The moves, Waldman noted, would be retroactive to March 1, 2020.
Waldman blasted the proposed measures as “absolutely ridiculous” at a time when “businesses are struggling to survive.”
The VICA president, who called the motions “a huge overreach by the L.A. City Council,” added: “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,” Waldman continued, “would 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.”
Waldman also observed that by making the measure retroactive, some businesses will be found to have already violated the law, which may make said businesses subject to lawsuits and fines.
The Business Journal attempted to reach representatives of Bonin, Harris-Dawson and Koretz but did not hear back at press time.