CA Labor Commissioner Issues $3.3 Million Citation to Terranea Resort for Failing to Rehire Laid Off Workers

Press Contact: Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 | mhernandez@unitehere11.org

In first-of-its-kind legal action, agency alleges resort violated state “return-to-work” law for workers laid off during the pandemic

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA-  The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) issued a citation Wednesday totalling $3,264,484 to the swanky but controversial Terranea Resort, alleging that the hotel failed to recall, or to timely recall, workers to their former positions in violation of a recently-enacted state law. The Terranea resort is the first company known to be cited by the agency for allegedly violating workers’ rights under the law.

Signed into law last year, SB-93 requires hotels, event centers, and other hospitality businesses to offer employees whom they laid off due the COVID-19 downturn in tourism an opportunity to return to work in open positions for which they are qualified in order of seniority. The law provides job protection to some 700,000 laid-off housekeepers, cooks, waiters, and others across the state.

David Gomez Martinez, who was laid off by the Terranea after working 10 years at the resort, said: “Being laid off during the pandemic has been devastating for me and my family. We’ve struggled to pay our bills and keep food on the table. I am really glad to see the state stepping in to make sure Terranea complies with the law.”

The DLSE, which is led by California’s Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower, conducted an investigation in response to complaints from workers alleging violations of the recall law. More than a dozen Terranea workers–including servers, cooks, and room attendants–filed complaints.

After investigating Terranea’s entire recall process, the DLSE issued the citation to Terranea for $3,264,484 in liquidated damages and interest owed to 53 workers for Terranea’s alleged failure to recall, or timely recall, workers laid-off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Terranea was also assessed $5,300 in civil penalties ($100 for each worker whose rights were violated).

Terranea workers were at the forefront of the campaign to enact SB-93. The company terminated most of its employees without making a binding commitment to rehire them and cut off their healthcare at the beginning of the pandemic.

Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11, the hospitality workers’ union that fought for the law and helped the workers file complaints, said: “The Terranea has treated its veteran workers like they are disposable. This kind of behavior is not only immoral, but as the agency’s massive citation shows, it can also be illegal.” He continued: “I commend the Labor Commissioner for conducting such a thorough investigation and showing that our worker protection laws have real teeth.”

###

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona that work in hotels, restaurants, universities, stadiums, sports arenas, convention centers, and airports.

COVID-19 VARIANTS AND VACCINE BOOSTERS

We still have a lot to learn about the Omicron variant of COVID-19, so protect your family and community!

1) Get your COVID booster shot today

2) Vaccinate your kids, ages 5 and up.

California members: Vaccines available at pharmacies, Kaiser, or MLK by calling (424) 529-6755–>Option 2, vaccine appointment.

Click to find a vaccine near you!

Los Angeles County

Orange County

Elsewhere in California

Maricopa County

Pima County

Elsewhere in Arizona
(Click “View Locations as Text” if the page is too slow)

UPCOMING FOOD BANKS

UPCOMING FOOD BANKS

Mission Hills Food Distribution

  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021
  • 9:00 AM  12:00 PM
  • LIUNA Office
  • 14800 Devonshire Street, Los Angeles, CA, 91345
  • OPEN TO MEMBERS OF ANY UNION & THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY
  • Drive-thru distribution. Must wear face mask.

Carson Food Distribution

  • Friday, May 14, 2021
  • 11:00 AM  2:00 PM
  • Carson Community Center
  • 801 East Carson Street, Carson, CA, 90745
  • OPEN TO MEMBERS OF ANY UNION & THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY
  • Drive-thru distribution. Must wear face mask.

Painters Food Distribution

  • Saturday, May 15, 2021
  • 9:00 AM  12:00 PM
  • Painters Union
  • 1155 Corporate Center Drive, Monterey Park, CA, 91754
  • OPEN TO MEMBERS OF ANY UNION & THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY
  • Drive-thru distribution. Must wear face mask.

Paramount Food Distribution

  • Thursday, May 20, 2021
  • 9:00 AM  12:00 PM
  • Bianchi Theater
  • 7770 Rosecrans Avenue, Paramount, CA, 90723
  • OPEN TO MEMBERS OF ANY UNION & THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY
  • Drive-thru distribution. Must wear face mask.

West Covina Food Distribution

  • Saturday, May 22, 2021
  • 9:00 AM  12:00 PM
  • West Covina City Hall
  • 1444 West Garvey Avenue South West Covina, CA, 91790
  • OPEN TO MEMBERS OF ANY UNION & THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY
  • Drive-thru distribution. Must wear face mask

Maywood Food Distribution

  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021
  • 9:00 AM  12:00 pm
  • OPEN TO MEMBERS OF ANY UNION & THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY
  • Walk-up distribution. Must wear face mask. Please bring a cart to pick up food.

Women have been hit hardest by COVID’s economic toll