California enacts law to protect grocery store workers

California enacts law to protect grocery store workers

Providing a significant protection to grocery store workers, California has enacted a new law that that will require supermarkets to retain employees after a change in ownership.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Monday that he signed Assembly Bill 359 into law to protect supermarket workers from being fired after a supermarket changes ownership. The law will prevent stores from firing workers for at least 90 days after the change.

The measure proposed by San Diego Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez applies to grocery stores with at least 15,000 square feet of space. It is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2016.

The California Grocers Association condemned the law, arguing that is an illogical and unnecessary measure. The group also argued that it would force many stores to shut down.

Condemning the law, the association said, "Unfortunately, given all its shortcomings, [the law] actually creates a greater likelihood companies will be forced to shutter locations that are no longer viable rather than identify a successor to operate in the location. Jobs will be lost . food deserts will be created."

But Mickey Kasparian, the president of United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 135, welcomed the new law, saying it would give a fair chance to workers to keep their jobs in an industry that is changing fast.

The new law will possibly cover as many as 384,000 supermarket employees in the golden State.