Monday, November 26, 2012

The El Monte lifeguards are NOT being reinstated


Remember the story of the El Monte lifeguards who were terminated for their Gangnam Style video? Remember all the fuss that everyone raised over the terminations? Remember how in October they were all going to be rehired?

Here's what the San Gabriel Valley Tribune was saying on October 21.

FINALLY, the El Monte City Council has come to its senses and moved to reinstate the 14 part-time lifeguards it fired back in the summer for making and posting a harmless music video using the city's pool.
Well, three of the five members have.

Still, we're glad to see the majority of the Council reverse itself for what we said a month ago was "a pompous overreaction."

But even then, the Tribune warned:

First, requiring these former employees to be interviewed as part of a lengthy review of management and procedures at the city-run Aquatic Center is rubbing salt into the wounds. Instead of more grilling, the city should be issuing apologies.

Looks like the Tribune was right in issuing that warning. It's now over a month later, and the lifeguards have not been rehired. In fact, just this afternoon an update was posted on the lifeguards' Facebook page:

Manuel Carmona with HR stated that Human Resources and the city manager's office agreed that the city WILL NOT BE ISSUING REINSTATEMENT LETTERS. Lifeguards have the option to resign now; however, HR is asking that resignation letters are dated today, but also state that the "effective" date of resignation be Sept. 5th (the date of our termination). Any lifeguards who want to go back to work will be reinstated if and only if they are recommended back by the independent investigator.

At this point, would ANYBODY want to work for the City of El Monte? And I'm not just talking about the part-time lifeguard positions that have been listed on the City's website since last spring. What about more permanent jobs, such as police officer? Will anyone want to fill those positions?
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