LA County Animal Care and Control Forced to Cease Imposition of Unpaid Weekend Work

In December 2019, LA County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) agreed to cease its years long efforts to force veterinarians to work unpaid overtime on weekends doing vaccination clinics. This issue was a prime motivator behind DACC veterinarians’ decision to become represented by UAPD in 2018. During bargaining in 2018, the issue was raised, and the Department ceased, but then started again a few months later. Veterinarians notified their UAPD representative, and in September 2019 he wrote a letter to the Department demanding they cease and desist and negotiate this change in working conditions as required by law. This led to a series of meetings with management led by a highly motivated UAPD committee of veterinarians who raised a host of other issues, including serious health and safety violations, supervision duties, and other changes in work rules and policies illegally imposed on employees. Finally in December 2019, in a major victory for the veterinarians, the Department agreed to suspend the weekend clinics, and has not dared to reimpose them since. This process has also resulted in significant improvements in health and safety practices and conditions, negotiations on other policies, and a group grievance challenging the imposition of supervision duties that as of June 2021 was pending arbitration.