On October 9th, Heidi Butzine, President & CEO of the Lomita Chamber of Commerce; Donna Dupperon, President & CEO, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and Elise Swanson, President & CEO, San Pedro Chamber of Commerce met with Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn (4th District) to discuss Public Health Councils, a motion put before the LA County Board of Supervisors.
Public Health Councils would be made up of employees at a workplace working with other organizations certified by the Health Department, to monitor, document, and report any violations of the public health guidelines.
The Health Department engaged various labor organizations and some businesses to discuss the formation of public health councils, which would add another obstacle for businesses already struggling to remain open and keep employees working during the COVID-19 recession.
Bringing questions and concerns forward, Butzine, Swanson and Duperron focused discourse with Supervisor Hahn on recommendations and clarification on four areas of importance. These include prioritizing industries of greatest concern where outbreaks are supported by data, concentrating public health councils in those companies and industries with a documented record of noncompliance and violations; focusing the program’s application to those businesses with 75+ employees; further definition and explanation of the “third party organizations” qualifications and clearly defined authority; ensuring that labor unions or bargaining groups are exempt from consideration as “third party organizations”; specifications for how a business may have the chance to defend or implement changes if reported; and the need for better outreach to the business community and a robust public service campaign that supports existing reporting mechanisms for COVID-19 violations.
The Lomita Chamber will continue to monitor and participate in this ongoing dialog.