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Los Angeles adopts day laborer rules

Los Angeles City Council has passed a new ordinance that will require home improvement stores to develop a plan for day laborers who seek work in the parking lots of big-box stores, with an emphasis on providing shelter. The ordinance would affect only new and, in some cases, renovated stores.

The ordinance mandates that proposed big-box stores obtain conditional-use permits for those parking lot areas. Retailers could be asked to provide shelter, bathrooms, trash cans and drinking water for individuals congregating outside to seek work.

The ordinance has been in the works since 2004. The unanimous city council vote prompted a standing ovation from day laborers in attendance, according to the Los Angeles Times.

AHome Depot spokesman said the retailer was disappointed with the decision.

"This is a broader social issue that goes beyond the Home Depot, and the solution is certainly more complicated than placing mandates on businesses," spokesman Ron DeFeo. "This matter is one that can only be solved by laborers, nonprofits, government, law enforcement, neighbors and businesses working together."

New stores and stores making major renovations both could be required to go through the conditional-use permit process, and the city plans to take each store on a case-by-case basis. Big-box retailers will be asked to create certain standards and a plan to deal with the issue of day laborers.

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