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 October 13, 2020 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda and supplemental agenda. There is one item in particular that could impact you.
Workers Who Could Be Impacted: Essential Workers in the Fast Food Industry Throughout Los Angeles County
Supplemental Agenda Item Number 59-I: “Protecting Essential Workers in the Fast Food Industry”
On October 6, 2020, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 721 President Bob Schoonover sent a letter to Chair Pro Tem Solis requesting the Board “address the public health threat raised by the McDonald’s on 1716 Marengo Street in Los Angeles. This McDonald’s is operating in noncompliance with even the most basic COVID-19 safety precautions and has retaliated against employees who raised safety concerns. The Board can address these violations and protect the public health, including…by exercising its authority to direct the Los Angeles County Health Officer to enforce and update its Health Orders; by enacting an ordinance addressing COVID-19 whistleblower retaliation; and by directing the County Counsel to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue a public nuisance lawsuit… Protecting the rights of essential workers to report safety issues and advocate for safer working conditions is critical to ensuring that essential business comply with the COVID-19 safety measures instituted by health officials, which in turn is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19.”
At the October 13, 2020 LA County Board of Supervisors meeting, a Motion will be introduced by Chair Pro Tem Hilda Solis (1st District) that seeks to address the concerns raised by President Schoonover. The Motion provides in part “[t]he COVID-19 crisis continues to impact some communities more than others with disproportionate health and economic burdens in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. That reality is especially felt in certain sectors such as the fast food industry where workers are overwhelmingly people of color. These are employees whose work often goes unnoticed – but they are the definition of essential. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that clear. Fast food workers took no time off and when the shelves of grocery stores were bare, many people relied on fast food restaurants for their meals. This impact was most felt on the Latinx community, many of whom are unable to work from home. Yet, still, their treatment does not always reflect their essential role. There have been reported instances of retaliation against these workers when they rightfully request safety measures in response to COVID-19. Their calls for action must be addressed.”
Therefore, the Motion calls for the Board of Supervisors to “1. Direct County Counsel and the Department of Public Health, with other relevant departments, to investigate the complaints raised in the letter dated October 6, 2020 from SEIU Local 721 and to issue a response within 15 days to all points raised in the letter. [and] 2. Direct the Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Economic Resiliency Task Force, to contract with faculty or researchers from local academic institutions whose research focuses on working conditions and labor standards of low wage workers to investigate working conditions in the fast food industry, including by partnering with organizations that advocate for fast food workers in Los Angeles County to document workers’ first-hand experiences in fast food workplaces.”
We hope these updates are helpful to you.
SR Holguin, PC