City of San Diego extends law requiring hotels to rehire veteran workers laid off during pandemic

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego City Council has extended an ordinance requiring hotels to rehire veteran workers that were laid off during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ordinance was extended for one-year, was set to expire Monday.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports, the law “aims to prevent the hotel industry from using mass layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to replace higher-paid veteran workers with cheaper employees.”

Hotel industry leaders are critical of the law because they believe it is too vague, and believe they should have been involved in the negotiations.

San Diego City Council’s lone Republican, Chris Cate, was the only one to vote against extending the ordinance. Cate voted against it because he doesn’t believe anyone on City Council know the hotel business enough to dictate who they hire.

Others, including those in the industry, are concerned that the law is a favor to the unions from the politicians who support them.

KUSI viewers have also reached out to us voicing their concern for younger, new employees who have been hoping to receive a promotion at their place of employment. They wonder if those employees trying to earn their stripes are being left behind.

Attorney Michael Curran joined KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego to explain the problems he sees with this legislation.

Curran said, “the problem with an ordinance like this, is it’s in contradiction with actual state law.” Adding, “California State Labor Code says, that employment in the county, in the state, is at will. Meaning the employer/employee, can terminate the relationships at any time, with or without cause or notice, provided it’s not a discriminatory or retaliatory reason.”

Curran further explained the problem with forcing companies to hire certain people. Explaining, “forcing employers to recall certain workers when frankly, over the last year everything has changed. The way we do business has changed, the job descriptions have changed, the ability of hotels to fund their salaries has changed. Occupancy levels have changed. So everything has changed, and what we have here is politicians, who are not business people, attempting to tell hotels, commercial property and event locations, how to run their business when they have no experience running that business.”

Curran said ordinances like this one are “ignorant” to the real problems these business owners are facing.

The complete SDUT report can be read here.

Categories: California News, Coronavirus, Good Morning San Diego, Health, Local San Diego News, Politics