LAX Workers Allege Concession Contractor Violates ‘Rehire and Retention’ Law – Orange County Register
Six LAX dealership workers who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic have filed lawsuits against their employer, alleging the company failed to rehire them or delayed bringing them back in violation of California’s ” rehiring and retention.
The employees, represented by Unite Here Local 11, worked for Hudson News, a chain of airport concessions owned by Hudson Group. They claim that dozens of less experienced colleagues have been called back to work when they have not yet got their jobs back or have been slow to be rehired.
Senate Bill 93, which took effect April 16, 2021, requires hospitality employers to offer employees laid off due to the pandemic the opportunity to return to work in vacancies for which they are qualified – in order of seniority.
This did not happen for Marlu Lucia Prada, one of the six plaintiffs. She had worked at Hudson News at LAX since 2007 but was fired in April 2020.
“For more than two years, I waited to get my job back at Hudson at the airport,” said Prada, who earned $19.50 an hour. “But instead of following the law, Hudson fired me and recalled over 100 employees with less seniority than me.”
Coworker Daniela Cuevas, who also filed an SB 93 claim, worked at a Hudson warehouse in Carson before she was laid off in March 2020. She was rehired in July 2021, but noted that dozens of other less experienced people had found their jobs. in front of her.
“When I was rehired, the company had recalled at least 39 employees to associated positions who had less seniority in the company than me,” the Gardena resident, 32, said in the complaint.
In a Friday, July 8 interview, Cuevas said the experience left a bad taste in his mouth.
“It makes me feel a little disrespectful,” she said. “I gave this company almost 10 years, but they just ignored my seniority.”
Representatives for the Hudson Group could not be reached for comment.
Application of recall rights
The complaints filed against Hudson represent the latest effort by hospitality workers to enforce their recall rights under SB 93.
In the first case under the statute, the California labor commissioner alleged that Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes violated SB 93 by failing to recall, or timely recall, 57 workers to their former positions.
In May 2022, the Commissioner reached a $1.52 million settlement with the resort. The company has also agreed to recall several veteran employees.
“Laid-off workers now have the right to return to their pre-pandemic jobs and we expect Hudson News — and all affected employers in the state — to respect that right,” said Susan Minato, co- president of Unite Here Local 11. statement.
SB 93 applies to the following:
—Hotels with 50 rooms or more
—Private clubs that operate a building or building complex with at least 50 rooms
— Airport hospitality operations that provide food or drink
—Airport service providers who provide services directly related to the transport of people, goods or mail
—Employers who provide janitorial, maintenance or security services to offices, retail or other commercial buildings
Cuevas got unemployment benefits for the nearly 16 months she was out of work, but said she was nervous as things wound down.
“Towards the end, it was stressful not knowing if my benefits were going to run out,” she said. “My boyfriend was also fired from another department at the airport, but he hasn’t been called back at all.”
Prada hopes to get her job back in the near future.
“With the support of the union and the complaints we have filed, I hope to be recalled soon,” she said. “It’s sad. I gave about 16 years of my life, my youth and my happiness for this job, and they called back people with less seniority because it cost them less.