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Right of Recall and Worker Retention Ordinances in California

What You Need To Know About Post-COVID Recall And Retention In California

Economic activity in several industries shifted in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. As business and leisure travel dwindled, the hospitality industry was severely hit. As a result, many businesses were forced to lay off employees, and unemployment in California skyrocketed.

That said, here are some new post-quarantine ordinances our California employment lawyers are keeping up with.


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COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance

Before the epidemic, any employer in California recalling employees from a layoff had complete discretion over which employees to come back, the order in which they were recalled, and even whether or not to recall specific individuals based on their previous job performance.


The COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance, which operates in collaboration with the COVID-19 Right of Recall Ordinance, applies to airports, hotels, event centers, and commercial property firms. The ordinance went into effect on June 14, 2020.


It applies when an employer transfers control of a business to a successor or new employer. Within 15 days after the transfer document's execution, the incumbent business employer, also known as the predecessor business employer, must furnish the successor business employer with each worker's name, address, date of hire, and occupation classification.


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The new employer must keep a "preferential hiring list" of such personnel and hire from it from the transfer document's execution until six months after the new employer's business is open to the public.

If the new employer concludes that it requires fewer workers than the original employer, the new company must offer an open position to the worker in the same occupational classification who has worked for the original employer for the longest time.


If you've been laid off from a change of ownership without benefits or retention, contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer to assert your employment rights.

The COVID-19 Right of Recall Ordinance

Several California communities passed "right-to-recall" statutes, which changed everything. The rules take away a company's ability to choose which employees to recall from a layoff or whether to recall any previous workers at all. Workers instead have the right to be recalled in order of seniority. In general, the most senior qualified employee has the right to be called back to their previous position first.


A bill was filed in the California Legislature in the summer of 2020 that would have applied the right of recall to specific industries statewide. That bill was vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom (AB 3216). However, this year, the proposal was raised in California in SB 93, which has now been passed into law, proving the principle that "no idea ever goes away in government."

SB 93 was written as a budget bill, which allowed it to skip early policy committee hearings and go straight to the floor of both chambers. Unfortunately, SB 93 imposes additional duties on California businesses, which must be prepared now.

If you're unclear on the specifics of the ordinance, consider consulting an Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles.


Eligible Employees And Employers


The law may not apply to all employers in California. It instead applies to hotels, private clubs, event centers, airport hospitality operations, and airport service providers in general, as well as janitorial, building maintenance, and security services supplied to office, retail, and other commercial facilities in particular.


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The law gives such enterprises "laid-off employees" rights. "Laid-off employees" are individuals who worked for the employer for at least 6 months in the 12 months before Jan. 1, 2020, and whose most recent separation from active duty was due to a COVID-19 pandemic-related reason.


If a covered firm wants to hire someone, it must first offer the job to its laid-off workers who are "qualified" for it. A laid-off employee is qualified for a position if they worked in the same or a similar role at the company at the time of their most recent layoff. In addition, employees who have been laid off must be offered positions in the order of their seniority with the company.

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