State regulators have reached a $1.52 million settlement with Terranea Resort over a citation the company issued in March, alleging the resort violated California legislation by failing to rehire laid off employees in a well timed method.
The California Labor Commissioner’s Office mentioned the settlement resolves the primary case ever below California’s recently-enacted return-to-work legislation. The company additionally agreed to recall a number of veteran staff.
Signed into legislation final year, Senate Bill 93 requires resorts, occasion facilities and different hospitality companies to provide staff who have been laid off due the COVID-19 downturn in tourism a possibility to return to work in open positions for which they’re certified so as of seniority.
David Gomez Martinez, who was laid after working on the Rancho Palos Verdes resort for 10 years, mentioned his life hasn’t been simple.
“Being laid off during the pandemic has been devastating for me and my family,” Martinez mentioned in an announcement. “We’ve struggled to pay our bills and keep food on the table.”
The Labor Commissioner’s investigation was spurred by complaints from staff alleging violations of the recall legislation. More than a dozen Terranea employees — together with servers, cooks and room attendants — filed complaints.
The investigation discovered that the resort failed to recall, or to well timed recall, 57 former employees. They will every obtain a share of the $1.52 million settlement, with a median payout of $26,500.
Under the statute, damages are calculated primarily based on the variety of days a employee waits to be supplied open positions for which they’re certified. The company can even pay $5,300 in civil penalties to the state of California.
In an announcement issued Friday, Terranea mentioned it made a dedication to carry again its pre-pandemic workforce in a course of that began effectively earlier than SB 93 went into impact.
“We made good on that commitment, with more than 800 employees back on property today,” the company mentioned. “This investigation was a consequence of vague and poorly-defined language in SB 93.”
Terranea denies all the allegations made within the wage citation.
Terranea employees have been on the forefront of the marketing campaign to enact SB-93. Regulators say the company terminated most of its staff with out making a binding dedication to rehire them and in addition reduce off their healthcare at first of the pandemic.
Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, which fought for the legislation and helped the employees file complaints, deemed it “a tremendous victory.”
“This massive settlement sends a powerful message to the entire hospitality industry that these worker protections have real teeth and that companies may violate them at their peril,” Petersen mentioned.
Martinez is proud of the settlement.
“I am really glad to know I will be getting my job back,” he mentioned. “Sad it took the state stepping in to make sure Terranea followed the law.”