LOS ANGELES — A judge who ruled in July in favor of a union representing employees of the Los Angeles Police Department, which is suing the city over its requirement that employees not vaccinated against the coronavirus pay for their own testing for COVID-19 is in question. and filed to reinforce his order directing the city to bear the costs.
The Los Angeles Police Defense League argued that putting the cost of testing on employees violated the state labor code. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rupert A. Birdsong delivered his ruling after a short jury trial on July 13.
But on Sept. 15, the city’s human resources department issued an order for unvaccinated employees who applied for an exemption from the city’s mandate to vaccinate against COVID-19, according to court documents from the bar union. The city’s directive says workers screening with the city’s contracted-only COVID-19 test provider Bluestone must provide Bluestone with employee health coverage information by Friday, according to court documents from the legal union.
The union returns to court on Monday to ask Birdsong for a temporary restraining order preventing the city from enforcing its Sept. 15 order.
“Paying Bluestone by an employee’s health insurance for COVID-19 testing costs, even if Bluestone accepts that payment as payment in full, still passes on the city’s operating costs to employees” in violation of the Labor Code, union lawyers allege in their court filings .
If employees do not provide the required health insurance information by the due date, they will be required to be tested by third party testing providers and will also be subject to any applicable insurance premiums and co-payments, according to the bar union court. the documents.
The union’s lawsuit, filed on October 19 last year, challenged the city’s requirement that unvaccinated employees pay $65 per test twice a week for their COVID tests.
The state labor code requires employers to compensate workers for all necessary expenses or losses incurred by an employee “as a direct result of his or her performance of his or her duties or his or her obedience to the instructions of the employer,” according to the union’s ruling. court documents.
In their court filings, attorneys for the city’s attorney’s office argued that the union could not prove that the costs of COVID-19 testing incurred by its members were “necessary” expenses requiring the city to compensate under the Labor Code.
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