Fourteen lifeguards who were fired last month for using their uniforms while filming a “Gangnam Style” parody will be rehired by the city of El Monte, California.
The El Monte City Council voted to rehire the lifeguards pending a review of management at the aquatic center, reports The Associated Press.
The lifeguards parodied the popular “Gangnam Style” music video, which was originally sung and created by Korean pop star PSY. The video showed the 14 lifeguards dancing underwater and on diving boards at the pool, while wearing their city-issued swimsuits.
City officials originally stated that the workers violated the aquatic center’s employee conduct standards and prohibitions on the use of city property, but the lifeguards countered the claim, saying that they were off the clock at the time the video was made.
The controversy quickly split the city between support for the city council and support for the lifeguards, who got their own Facebook page and even received support from PSY. Hundreds of people were present at a city council meeting this month to defend the lifeguards who were fired.
According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, councilmembers approved to rehire the fourteen fired lifeguards in a 3-2 vote. The recommendation to reinstate the lifeguards came from Mayor Andre Quintero, who directed the Interim City Manager Dayle Keller to give them their jobs back, pending the review.
Quintero also stated that the review will be made by a third party, partially because the fired lifeguards are more likely to cooperate with the independent review that will look into several accusations about the Aquatic Center’s management if they are rehired. Quinto added:
“If we’re serious about getting to the bottom of this situation … having their active participation is critical in the process.”
While the 14 fired lifeguards will be rehired by the aquatic center, it is not yet clear if they will all accept their jobs back. Check out their parody video below.