LA City Council Meeting - Photo courtesy of LACC livestream

The City Council gave final approval Tuesday to an ordinance that requires retail employers in Los Angeles to provide work schedules to employees at least 14 days in advance, and provide at least 10 hours rest between shifts.

The Los Angeles Fair Work Week Ordinance, proposed by Councilman Curren Price in 2019, has been through various discussions and edits over the past three years. It was conceived as a way to soften the unpredictability of retail employee schedules.

Price said the ordinance will impact an estimated 70,000 workers at large retailers in Los Angeles.

“We must recognize the gaps and wide range of concerns faced by our workers, and we must put their needs over corporate profits,” Price said. “This is the least we can do to give them our sincere appreciation and thanks for the work that they do.”

According to a UCLA study cited in the ordinance, 80% of the 140,000 Los Angeles residents working in the retail sector have “unpredictable, last-minute and fluctuating work weeks over which they have no control,” and over three-quarters receive less than a week’s notice of their schedules.

The ordinance, which will take effect next April, only applies to retail businesses with 300 or more employees globally.

Council President Paul Krekorian described the ordinance as a “catalytic change in the way the retail industry is going to be operating in our city,” and Councilman Paul Koretz called its passage “one of the proudest moments of the L.A. City Council.”

“It makes a lot of things in life possible and functional without causing an undue harm to the employers,” Koretz said.

The ordinance also requires employers to provide employees with a “good faith estimate” of their work schedule upon hiring. If employees work a shift that begins less than 10 hours from the previous shift, employers would have to provide one-and-a-half times pay.

The council approved 11 new positions in the Bureau of Contract Administration to help implement and enforce the ordinance.

The ordinance “represents the strength and the value of the labor movement,” according to Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.

“This monumental change and adoption of this new ordinance is going to help, I believe, be a catalytic force in helping to assist us in uplifting more families out of poverty,” Rodriguez said.

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