Fired 'Gangnam Style' lifeguards to get jobs back
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
EL MONTE, Calif. (AP) — Fourteen lifeguards fired last month after appearing in uniform at the city pool in a parody of "Gangnam Style," the Korean pop music video that has been viewed hundreds of millions of time online, are getting their jobs back.
The City Council in the Southern California town of El Monte voted to rehire them pending a management review at the aquatic center, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (http://bit.ly/TtLfPJ) reported.
The lifeguards' parody of the video by Korean pop star PSY showed them in city-issued swimsuits dancing underwater and on diving boards at the pool. The "Gangnam Style" video has spawned countless such spoofs.
City officials had said the workers violated employee conduct standards and prohibitions on use of city property. The lifeguards countered, saying they were off the clock when they made the video.
The controversy quickly gained attention, as the lifeguards received support from many local residents — and even from PSY.
Hundreds of people attended a City Council meeting this month to defend them. At that meeting, it was announced that a contractor had been hired to review the aquatic center's management, policies and procedures, including the steps leading to their firing.
Mayor Andre Quintero recommended they be rehired, saying that if the lifeguards were employed, they would be more likely to cooperate with the independent review.
Opponents said they wanted to see the results of the investigation completed before deciding whether the lifeguards should get their jobs back.
The council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to allow them to return.