Statewide Right Of Recall Is Vetoed But Local Ordinances Persist

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As California employers recover from the whirlwind of the 2020 Legislative Session, one bright spot is the Governor’s veto of Assembly Bill 3216, which would have established statewide recall rights and right of retention for laid-off employees. The Governor stated he had a concern of creating a “patchwork of requirements in different counties.” While some employers felt relief over the veto, many employers doing business in cities that already issued right of recall ordinances similar to AB 3216, continue to face a patchwork of requirements for compliance.

Four major cities in California; Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Diego; have passed their own right of recall and retention ordinances each with its own coverage and requirements.

City of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles’ right of recall and retention ordinance applies only to the following:

  • Airport employers
  • Commercial property employers
  • Event center employers
  • Hotel employers

The Los Angeles ordinance requires a covered employer to offer positions that become available on or after June 14, 2020, to qualified employees who were laid off on or after March 4, 2020. If more than one laid-off employee is entitled to preference for a position, the employer must offer the position to the laid-off employee with the greatest length of service in the position and then to the laid-off employee with the greatest length of service with the employer at the employment site.

City of Oakland

Similar to Los Angeles, Oakland’s ordinance is limited to industries related to the hospitality industry including:

  • Airport hospitality providers
  • Event centers
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants

Under the Oakland ordinance, a covered employer must offer eligible laid-off employees, in writing, any job positions that become available after the effective date of the Ordinance that the employee is qualified for with the employer. The employer may provide notice either by registered mail to the employee’s last known physical address, and by email or text to the extent, the employer has that information.

If an employer declines to recall a laid-off employee on the grounds of lack of qualifications and instead hires someone other than a laid-off employee, the employer must provide the laid-off employee a written notice advising of the non-selection within 30 days of the date of hire. The employer must document the reason for not hiring the laid-off employee and maintain the written record for three years.

City of San Francisco

San Francisco passed an ordinance that was broadly applicable to all employers operating within the City of San Francisco that employ 100 or more employees and lays off 10 or more employees working in San Francisco within a 30-day period.

Under the ordinance, an employer shall provide written notice to employees of covered layoffs and an employee’s rights under the ordinance. Employers who conducted covered layoffs on or after February 25, 2020, prior to the effective date of the ordinance, had 30 days from July 3rd to provide notice to employees of their rights under the new ordinance.

The notice must include a notice of the layoff and its effective date, a summary of the new ordinance’s right to reemployment, and contact information for the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The San Francisco ordinance has been extended and will expire in November 2020, unless the City Council votes to extend again.

City of San Diego

Like Los Angeles and Oakland, San Diego’s ordinance is limited to the hospitality industry including

  • Commercial property employers
  • Event center employers
  • Hotel employers

The Recall Ordinance requires a covered employer to offer positions that become available on or after September 8, 2020, to qualified employees who were laid off on or after March 4, 2020. If more than one laid-off employee is entitled to preference for a position, the employer must offer the position to the laid-off employee in order of preference similar to that outlined in the Los Angeles’ Ordinance.

San Diego’s ordinance is currently scheduled to expire in March 2021, unless extended.

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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