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LA Gives Retail Workers More Scheduling Control

Los Angeles City Council approves Fair Work Week ordinance, which could take affect in April.

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iStock, jacoblund
iStock, jacoblund

The Los Angeles City Council may have given workers at large retailers there an early Christmas gift on Tuesday, when it passed a new law that requires such employers to give employees their work schedule at least two weeks in advance, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The law, dubbed the Fair Work Week ordinance, also requires businesses to give workers at least 10 hours’ rest between shifts or provide extra pay for that work. The new law is backed by the labor-aligned group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, or LAANE, and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. San Francisco, Seattle, New York and other cities have passed similar measures.

City Councilmember Curren Price said an estimated 70,000 workers in L.A. would be affected by the law. Many of them are people of color, women and heads of household, he said.

“As we enter the holiday shopping season, we are reminded of our responsibility to support and protect our retail and grocery workers, many of whom have been on the frontlines throughout this pandemic,” Price told his colleagues at Tuesday’s meeting.

The law applies to retail businesses in Los Angeles with at least 300 employees worldwide, which includes chains such as Target, Ralphs and Home Depot and many others.

Employers that violate the law could be assessed penalties of up to $50 per person a day.

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City Council will vote on the ordinance again next week, CBS Los Angeles reports. If it passes again, it will take effect in April. However, the California Retailers Association is asking the council to delay implementing the ordinance until September to give companies more time to prepare for the change.

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