California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
Jul 31, 2009

Los Angeles Grocery Worker Retention Law Struck Down By Court

Topics: Court Decisions

In December 2005, Los Angeles enacted a city ordinance that required that when a large non-union grocery store buys another grocery store, the new owner must retain most of the workers working under the previous owner. (For a copy of the ordinance, click here.)

A similar ordinance had been enacted in San Francisco andseveral smaller cities including Santa Monica and Gardena, and many in the grocery industry were fearful that other cities would continue the trend, or a similar state law could be passed.

The Los Angeles Ordinance was challenged in the courts by the California Grocers Association (CGA) as being unconstitutional and preempted by state and federal law. Yesterday, the Second District Court of Appeal issued its decision in the lawsuit, finding that the CGA's petition was valid. The Court of Appeal struck down the ordinance as being preempted by both the California Retail Food Code and the National Labor Relations Act. Unless the City of Los Angeles seeks and obtains a writ with the California Supreme Court, this decision should effectively wipe out the other similar ordinances and prohibit future attempts at similar type regulations.

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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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