Store Buyers Must Retain Workers: Court

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court here ruled Wednesday that retailers who take over a business must retain existing employees for at least 90 days after taking ownership of a store.

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court here ruled Wednesday that retailers who take over a business must retain existing employees for at least 90 days after taking ownership of a store.

In a 6-1 vote, the court overturned lower court decisions, saying a 2005 law passed in Los Angeles did not usurp state or federal law and did not violate constitutional guarantees.

A spokesman for the California Grocers Association said it had not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to the majority opinion, the law "applies equally to unionized and non-unionized workplaces. It does not selectively preserve or favor unionization or unionized workers; it simply preserves, temporarily, the status quo, whatever that might be."

In a dissenting opinion one justice wrote, "The city's ordinance requires a new grocery employer ... to function during the important initial period of its operations with a workforce it deems, for entirely legitimate reasons, unsuitable for its planned operations."