SR Holguin, PC is a union-side labor and employment law firm with nearly four decades of experience representing private sector unions, public sector unions, and multi-employer trust funds. SR Holguin, PC is committed to providing full-service legal representation to each of our clients.
One way in which SR Holguin, PC ensures our clients and their members stay informed is by keeping you updated on recent developments relating to workers’ rights. Today’s updates come following the release of the December 15, 2020 Los Angeles City Council Meeting agenda. There are two items in particular that could impact you.
1. Workers Who Could be Impacted: City of LA Employment Applicants
On November 10, 2020, a Motion was introduced by Council President Pro Tempore Joe Buscaino (15th District) and Seconded by Councilmember Curren Price, Jr. (9th District). The Motion provided in part “Los Angeles has lost more than 500,000 jobs due to the economic fallout of COVID-19. The data indicates that the newly unemployed are disproportionately women and people of color, demographics that are already at a disadvantage in the workforce. These disparities often begin with widely-used hiring systems. More than 60% of employers use pre-hire tests or assessments for sorting applicants…Widespread tools and tactics like employee referral programs and elite campus recruiting prioritize the most privileged and connected job candidates, systematically leaving many qualified candidates at the door… Employers are increasingly turning to technology to help screen large volumes of candidates remotely…Without adequate safeguards, these technologies could mimic the existing bias found in traditional pre-hire assessments and human decision-making, thereby protracting long-standing discrimination in hiring practices…vendors should be required to adhere to industry standards and evaluate assessment tools for potential bias, conduct on-going evaluation when in use, and share the results with users regularly Applicants should also be notified when they are being assessed by any such tool. It is vital that the City of Los Angeles ensure transparency and fairness in hiring and rehiring.”
Therefore, the Motion called for “the Chief Legislative Analyst, with the assistance of the Bureau of Contract Administration, City Attorney, and any other departments, as needed, be [directed] to report with recommendations to establish standards for third party automated employment selection tools to promote equitable hiring across race, ethnicity, and gender.”
On November 10, 2020, the Motion was referred to the City Council’s Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee. On November 16, 2020, Council President Nury Martinez (6th District) changed the referral to the City Council’s Economic Development Committee. On December 8, 2020, the Economic Development Committee approved the Motion.
Now, agenda item 8 of the December 15, 2020 Los Angeles City Council Meeting agenda calls for the calls for the full City Council’s consideration of the Motion and the Committee’s recommendation for its approval.
2. Workers Who Could be Impacted: California Teachers
On December 9, 2020, a Resolution was introduced by Councilmember Mike Bonin (11th District) and Seconded by Council President Nury Martinez (6th District).
The Resolution provided in part “despite the unprecedented nature of the public health crisis, school districts and educators across the state stepped up and adapted to the significant challenges caused by school closures by shifting towards new online distance learning formats…the disproportionate health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on Black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Native American families, including higher rates of job loss and COVID-19 infections compounded by limited access to technology and reliable internet access, have only exacerbated the educational challenges that students of color have had to endure during this crisis…for many working families, the continued closure of schools has forced many parents and caregivers to make an impossible choice between leaving their jobs and foregoing their family’s income, or leaving their children home alone without the care or supervision of an adult…there is general agreement among parents, educators, school administrators, and public health professionals that schools should be able to reopen as long as the rates of COVID-19 transmission remain low in the general population, and there is adequate school testing, screening, monitoring, sanitation, personal protective equipment, and emergency response protocols in place to ensure that educators and students can safely return to an in-person school setting…
Providing vaccines to all school site personnel, including teachers, paraprofessionals, janitors, and other support staff, will be key to reopening schools safety and efficiently…because initial vaccine supply will be limited, California state health officials are developing a phased distribution plan…that will establish the priority populations for vaccination…the state has indicated that health care workers and first responders who are likely to treat or be exposed to COVID-19 patients are expected to be the first phase of vaccine recipients, and these workers are being divided into subgroups in case of a shortage in the first rounds…the definition of an essential worker in the distribution guidance is still being developed by state health officials…public school educators are arguably among the most essential workers…while educators are generally considered essential workers, it is still unclear where educators will fall in the state’s priority ranking, which will be decided in the coming weeks.”
Therefore, the Resolution calls for the “Los Angeles City Council [to] urg[e] Governor Newsom, the California Department of Public Health, and all other state health officials to prioritize the recovery of our public education system by providing teachers and school support staff with vaccines immediately after health care professionals so that we can safely reopen schools and get students back into the classroom as soon as possible; and [further]…that the Los Angeles City Council urg[e] Governor Newsom, the California Department of Public Health, and all other state health officials to ensure that the costs of COVID-19 vaccines for all educators and school support staff be subsidized by our state and federal government to ensure equitable and timely access to these vaccines.”
The Resolution was referred to the City Council’s Rules, Election, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee who waived consideration of the matter.
Now, agenda item 24 of the December 15, 2020 Los Angeles City Council Meeting agenda calls for the calls for the full City Council’s consideration of the Resolution.
We hope these updates are helpful to you.
SR Holguin, PC