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 of the November 10, 2020 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda and supplemental agenda. There are two items in particular that could impact you.
1. Workers Who Could be Impacted: Workers throughout Los Angeles County
Supplemental Agenda Item 65-D “Establishing the Public Health Councils Program to Keep Los Angeles County Safe and Protect Workers from Retaliation”
A Motion will be introduced by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (3rd District) and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (2nd District). The motion states in part “[a]s Los Angeles County considers re-opening additional sectors of our local economy, it is important to continue taking steps to contain the spread of COVID-19. LA County, like other jurisdictions, has realized that infections will rise as the economy reopens because County Health Officer Orders (HOOs) are not strictly followed. HOOs are necessary to keep people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, but they are only effective if all residents comply with the orders. While many businesses have been diligent in their efforts to comply, many have not. This creates a public health risk not only for the businesses’ workers and customers but also for the communities in which the businesses are located and in which their customers and workers live…
[The Department of Public Health] still needs help to ensure that businesses across the County are following the HOOs. For this reason, the Board of Supervisors (Board) is directing the implementation of the nation’s first Public Health Councils (PHCs) Program. Through this innovative program, workers will help to monitor the safety of their own workplace with guidance from Certified Worker Organizations and DPH… As we see cases begin to rise again, we must develop additional tools to monitor compliance with the HOOs. In the case of PHCs, DPH’s proposal will…enlist the help of workers who care about the safety of both their work environment and their communities to help monitor their worksites for compliance. DPH will also enlist the help of Certified Worker Organizations, who are selected based on their qualifications and trained on the HOOs, to conduct outreach and education to workers interested in forming PHCs. These PHCs will work to ensure that their coworkers are trained on HOOs and to develop recommendations for monitoring compliance with the HOOs at their worksite. Although workers participate in PHCs on a voluntary basis, workers who choose to participate will be protected from retaliation for reporting, or expressing their concerns about, potential noncompliance with the HOOs.
Considering the importance of this work, employers should cooperate with the PHC at their business to help ensure compliance. By working together, workers and employers can ensure a safe environment for their customers and for their broader community at a critical time. Employers are encouraged, but not required, to pay their workers for their time participating on PHCs, to allow PHCs to use their business premises for PHCs activities, and to cooperate with [Certified Worker Organizations] in making this opportunity known to their workers. Through the cooperation of all stakeholders, including DPH, Certified Worker Organizations, workers, and employers, we can work to contain the spread of COVID-19 without the need for additional business closures.”
Therefore, the Motion calls for “the Board of Supervisors [to] direct: 1. The Department of Public Health (DPH) to begin implementation of a Public Health Councils Program as provided in the report back to the Board on November 5, 2020. 2. DPH to report back to the Board in six months and, again, in one year on the progress and effectiveness of the Public Health Councils Program and other efforts to encourage voluntary cooperation with reporting violations of the Health Officer Orders and Public Health Protocols; 3. County Counsel to prepare and file an urgency anti-retaliation ordinance so that it may be heard on the next Board agenda in 14 days, which emphasizes a collaboration between DPH, the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), and County Counsel; 4. DCBA to use no more than $1.9 million in Consumer Protection Settlement funds for the investigation and enforcement, in consultation with County Counsel, of worker retaliation protections in the workplace due to reporting actual or potential violations of Health Officer Orders; and 5. The Chief Executive Office and relevant department store port back to the Board during FY 2021-2022 Recommended Budget with ongoing funding sources for countywide investigations and enforcement of workplace retaliation issues that arise from the reporting of public health issues.”
2. Workers Who Could be Impacted: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Parks Bureau
Supplemental Agenda Item 65-H “Parks Security Services Memorandum of Understanding”
The County’s Acting Chief Executive Officer sent a Letter dated November 10, 2020 to the Board entitled “Del[e]gate Authority to the Department Of Parks And Recreation and The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department To Enter Into A Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) For Parks Security Services.” The Letter provides in part “[o]n December 15, 2009, the Board merged the Office of Public Safety (OPS) into [the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD)]. OPS had three operational bureaus, one of which was Parks Services. The Parks Services Bureau provides public safety services to all of the parks and facilities (i.e., trails, lakes, golf systems, etc.) operated by [Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)] and is funded by the County General Fund. LASD assumed responsibility for providing these services effective July 1, 2010, and has continued to do so since that time. LASD is now indicating it plans to discontinue these services…On September 29, 2020, the Board approved the FY 2020-21 Supplemental Changes Budget, which restored the LASD services…and shifted all cuts required under the eight percent curtailment scenario to Custody Operations. In addition, all potential layoffs were completely mitigated. This resulted in 203 budgeted positions…being restored to LASD’s operating budget to ensure public safety services continued at DPR’s parks and facilities…
Despite these actions, on or about October 15, 2020, LASD gave notice to Parks Services Bureau staff of its plan to redeploy staff from Parks Services Bureau to other areas within LASD, including Custody Operations. Redeployments were originally noticed for November 1, 2020, and now scheduled for December 6, 2020. If implemented, this redeployment will eliminate dedicated safety and law enforcement services from County parks and require DPR staff and park patrons to rely on local law enforcement or LASD patrol…DPR and LASD, with the support of the Acting CEO, have engaged in regular discussions to reach an agreement to maintain the status quo. The actions recommended in this letter authorize DPR and LASD to execute an MOU to maintain the status quo through June 30, 2021. However, based on information provided by LASD management to its deputies and staff, dissolution of the Parks Services Bureau and the redeployment of Parks Services Bureau staff is still scheduled to occur on December 6, 2020. Because of this, the actions recommended in this letter require that the MOU be executed on or before November 30, 2020, subject to the prior review and approval of CEO and County Counsel.”
Therefore, Supplemental Agenda Item 65-H contains the Acting Chief Executive Officer’s recommendation that the Board “[i]nstruct the Director of Parks and Recreation, and request the Sheriff, to develop and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Sheriff Security Services at County parks no later than November 30, 2020, effective through June 30, 2021 and must maintain the same level of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) services for County parks currently provided, at no additional cost (i.e., the status quo); authorize the Director and the Sheriff to execute the MOU by November 30, 2020; authorize the Acting Chief Executive Officer and the Auditor-Controller to transfer $18,490,000 in appropriation from LASD’s County Services budget unit to the Parks and Recreation budget unit, only if the MOU is not executed by both Departments on or before November 30, 2020, approval of the transfer in appropriation is void if the MOU is executed by both Departments on or before November 30, 2020; and direct the Acting Chief Executive Officer to notify the Board of any budget actions taken.”
We hope these updates are helpful to you.
SR Holguin, PC