State law—not local ordinance—may govern worker retention — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

State law—not local ordinance—may govern worker retention

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The Court of Appeal of California has refused to reinstate a Los Angeles ordinance that tried to force some employers to retain the employees of businesses they acquired. The case may signal a judicial effort to rein in municipal regulation of California companies.

Recent case: Los Angeles passed an ordinance requiring companies that purchased large grocery stores to retain the employees for at least 90 days. A grocery store trade association sued, arguing the California Retail Food Code took precedence over the city law.

An appeals court agreed, concluding that the California Legislature meant for the state law to help ensure health and food safety by keeping staff on during buyout transitions. It already addressed the issue the Los Angeles law attempted to cover. (California Grocers Association v. City of Los Angeles, No. B206750, Court of Appeal of California, 2009)

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