Grocery bill offers workers job protection in transition - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Grocery bill offers workers job protection in transition

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Tuesday by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez that aims to protect grocery workers from being fired following a change in store ownership.

 According to Gonzalez, AB 359 protects workers from being fired during a 90-day transition period if a store is undergoing a change of ownership.

Following the transition period, the new employer must provide a written performance evaluation and consider an offer of continued employment following a satisfactory evaluation.

Employers retain the right to terminate an employee for cause at any time during and following the transition period, according to Gonzalez's office, which called the law the first in the country to require grocery stores to retain employees after a change in ownership.

"Wall Street mergers and acquisitions that make big money for corporations and private equity firms should not jeopardize jobs of the grocery workers who live and work in our communities," Gonzalez said. "This is a common sense opportunity to save people's jobs and make sure the most experienced, best prepared workers stay on the job during a complicated transition period."

Brown's signed the law just days after the Haggen grocery store chain announced it would put up 27 stores for sale -- including six in San Diego County.

The grocery chain announced last month that around 700 employees in Southern California would be laid off.

California boasts an estimated 383,900 employees of large grocery stores whose jobs will be protected by the law during mergers or sales, according to Gonzalez's office.

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