The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has fined Flying Food Group a staggering $1.2 million. The Inglewood-based airport caterer allegedly neglected to rehire 21 staff members laid off amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a violation of the state’s Right to Recall law.
The majority of the affected employees worked at the company’s Los Angeles International Airport location, with a few from its San Francisco International Airport site. Their roles spanned from station attendants and cooks to drivers and dishwashers.
Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower remarked, “These workers, some with a decade of service, were unfairly displaced. This law protects them, and we’re committed to ensuring they receive what’s rightfully theirs.”
The inquiry into the worker rehire failures began in November 2022 when Unite Here Local 11, on behalf of the laid-off employees, reported a violation. These workers claimed they weren’t given a chance to reclaim their positions based on seniority when business ramped up in 2021.
Post-investigation, Flying Food Group was hit with penalties including $1,190,500 in liquidated damages, $2,100 in civil penalties, and $27,730 in interest, totaling $1,220,330. The workers will receive the liquidated damages and interest once collected, while the civil penalties will be directed to the State’s general fund.
The Right to Recall law, effective from April 16, 2021, to December 31, 2024, safeguards employees in various sectors, including airport services, hotels, and building services at retail and commercial spaces.
If you believe you’ve been wronged at your workplace, don’t stay silent. Reach out to the Labor Law Advocates to explore your rights and potential compensation. Consultation is confidential and free of charge.