In a tentative decision, a California state court ruled that a Los Angeles grocery ordinance is void. A complaint by the California Grocers Association challenged the Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance (GWRO), which set limits on the termination of employees, including requiring grocers to retain employees for 90 days after a change in ownership.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that the GWRO conflicts with state safety legislation and violates the equal protection rights of grocers. Specifically, the judge ruled that the GWRO conflicts with provisions of California’s retail food health and safety codes, which were intended “to occupy the field of health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities.”
The court also ruled the ordinance was unconstitutional under the equal protection provisions of the California Constitution and the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The court found that the city of Los Angeles did not have a rational basis for exempting stores smaller than 15,000 square feet from the ordinance or for excusing firms with union-represented employees from complying with the 90-day retention requirement.