LAANEPressReleaseFWWCounty

L.A. County Board of Supervisors Vote to Approve Fair Work Week Ordinance

2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Wednesday, April 10, 2024

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Traci Borgh, LAANE – ‭(209) 712-8751‬ // tborgh@laane.org 
Bertha Rodriguez, UFCW 770 – (213) 453-6276 // bertha.rodriguez@ufcw770.org 

The policy guarantees retail and grocery workers in unincorporated L.A. County two weeks advance notice of schedules and compensation for canceled or on-call shifts.

LOS ANGELES – The L.A. County Board of Supervisors, led by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, voted to approve a Fair Work Week ordinance on Tuesday that would make work schedules more fair among other protections for retail workers. The ordinance, which will impact an estimated 5,000 retail and grocery workers in unincorporated L.A. County, is expected to go into effect in 2025. 

“Fair Work Week laws are critical in supporting equity, justice, and poverty alleviation for retail workers in our unincorporated communities. The ordinance language introduced yesterday will promote the health and safety of some of our lowest-income workers, many of whom are women of color, and allow for better business practices that help retain workers. Thank you to LAANE, UFCW 770, and all the coalition partners for their tireless advocacy and to the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs for working with the community to craft an ordinance that protects our front-line workers. I look forward to voting on a finalized version of the County’s Fair Workweek ordinance in the upcoming weeks,” said Supervisor Mitchell

The policy guarantees retail workers the following protections:

– Schedules in Advance: good faith estimate at hire; 14-day advance notice; can request confidentiality
– Predictability Pay: for all employer-initiated changes; right to decline; no on-going consent
– Right to Request: employees may a change in their shift; denial in writing
– Anti-Retaliation: prohibits any form of retaliation, including immigration status of worker/family; 90-day rebuttable presumption
– Right to Rest : no shifts under 10 hours apart without consent; “rest shortfall premium” of time and a half for entire 2nd shift
– Access to Hours: offer hours/shifts to existing employees first; 48-hour window to accept before hiring others

“This is a crucial expansion of a hard-fought victory for workers across the region,” said Amardeep Gill, Director of the Grocery & Retail campaign at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). “This campaign was created with the vision of a retail economy that provides reliable jobs and stable incomes for working families. Now, we are closer to that vision with even more retail workers having the ability to plan their lives and budgets.”

Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve a Fair Work Week ordinance on November 22, 2022. That ordinance, which impacts 70,000 retail and grocery workers citywide, went into effect April 2023

“Dealing with a constantly changing schedule and little advance notice takes a huge toll on our physical and mental health,” said Ja’Nasha Carter, a Food 4 Less worker and UFCW Local 770 member. “Sometimes we have to skip meals, skip sleep, and even skip doctors’ appointments as a result of unpredictable work schedules. A fair work week law would provide much-needed balance, fair compensation for unscheduled shifts, and crucial time for rest, self-care, and family.” 

Retail makes up one-tenth of the private sector workforce in the county and is its second largest employer. Over half of these workers are women, and 75% are people of color.

“Unpredictable scheduling harms frontline workers in the retail sector, with a particularly heavy toll on communities of color and women in Los Angeles county unincorporated areas. By implementing fair workweek policies, we enable employees to maintain a healthier work-life balance, increase productivity, and better support their families and communities,” said Kathy Finn, President of UFCW Local 770.

A second reading of the ordinance, signaling final approval by the Board, is expected in the coming weeks.

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Founded in 2019, Fair Work Week LA is a coalition of worker rights advocates, clergy, community groups, health and safety groups, and retail and grocery workers across Los Angeles calling for a fair scheduling policy and higher workplace standards and protections.