California Labor Commissioner Delivers Checks to Terranea Resort Workers Whose Rights to Return to Work Were Violated

PRESS CONTACT: Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 | mhernandez@unitehere11.org

California Labor Commissioner Delivers Checks to Terranea Resort Workers Whose Rights to Return to Work Were Violated

Los Angeles, CA-  The Labor Commissioner’s Office has begun distributing more than $1.5 million to 57 workers laid off at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes during the COVID-19 pandemic who were not offered job positions promptly as required by the Right to Recall Law.

The distribution of checks to workers began during an in-person press conference led by Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower.  The Labor Commissioner’s Office cited Terranea alleging violations of the recall law in March and subsequently reached a settlement with the resort, resulting in the payments for workers.  More information regarding the citation is available here.

Virginia Eredia, who was laid off by the Terranea after working nearly six years as a turndown attendant.  Eredia said: “After losing my job, I lost my house, my car, and had to go into a lot of debt. This money will help ease some of that and will help me buy a car to get to work. I would have never received this had I not chosen to stand up for my rights. I hope other hotel workers see this and know what is possible.”

Terranea workers were at the forefront of the campaign to enact SB-93. The resort had 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: “When the Terranea Resort exploited the pandemic to fire most of their workers, the hotel caused incalculable chaos and harm on those workers and their families. Rather than walking away, these brave workers decided to fight to return to their jobs.  And today we celebrate their victory and courage.  We also want to thank the Labor Commissioner and her staff for their extraordinary effort to return these workers back to work.”

The distribution of checks resolves the first case brought under California’s recently-enacted Right to Recall 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 statute provides job protections to some 700,000 housekeepers, cooks, waiters, and other laid off workers.

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