City of Los Angeles Enacts Right-of-Recall and Worker Retention Ordinances

Stokes Wagner

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday passed the amended Right of Recall and Worker Retention ordinances that mandate businesses in the hospitality industry to rehire workers laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinances were originally aimed at all businesses in Los Angeles but will now only apply to workers in hotels with more than 50 guestrooms, event centers, and airport service, as well as janitorial, maintenance, and security workers in commercial buildings. Restaurants, bars, and clubs are exempt, however workers of restaurants physically located on hotel property are also covered.

The recall ordinance will require employers in those industries to offer former workers their positions back based on seniority, in writing by mail, email, and text messages. Former workers will have five (5) days to respond to the employment offer. Managers and supervisors are specifically excluded from coverage. Significantly, the ordinance creates a private cause of action for qualified laid-off workers, including reinstatement, lost pay, benefits, and punitive damages.

The City’s retention ordinance requires employers to keep employees for ninety (90) days if a business changes ownership.

In his Wednesday address, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he had signed the right-of-recall ordinance and worker retention ordinance into law.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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