Baltimore Mayor Vetoes Bills Requiring Hospitality Firms to Rehire Laid-Off Employees

The Mayor of Baltimore has decided to veto two bills that were supposed to protect the jobs of employees in the ailing hospitality industry amid the prevalent coronavirus crisis.

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has decided to veto two bills that were supposed to protect the jobs of employees in the ailing hospitality industry amid the prevalent coronavirus crisis.

The first bill was supposed to require hospitality businesses to rehire laid-off workers once they reopen and the second one was aimed to ensure that hotels would retain their staff despite unprecedented management or ownership changes.

Regardless of objections from businesses in the hotel industry, the Baltimore City Council still approved both measures last month. 

Many workers from the hospitality industry have been suffering from widespread unemployment as the pandemic outbreak forced several businesses from the tourism and event sector to close down to curb the spread of the notorious illness.

Several organizations that represent workers from different sectors supported the legislation, including Unite Here, a union that represents workers in the hospitality industry.

However, Young still decided to block the bills upon reaching his office this week, saying that the measures have overreached the authority of the government, as well as the City Council.

“While I appreciate the intent of this bill and agree that the City needs to continue doing everything it can to help our service workers weather the COVID-19 pandemic, I cannot in good conscience sign this particular piece of legislation which overreaches the authority of the Council and of City Government,” the mayor wrote in his veto letter.

Unite Here Local 7 President Roxie Herbekian then refuted Young’s claims, saying that “the legislation oversteps the law is bogus.”

Herbekian said that similar measures were already implemented in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Providence, without facing any legal challenge.


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