California Expands Right to Recall for Hospitality Employees
California Expands Right to Recall for Hospitality Employees

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, California enacted a temporary right to recall for hospitality employees, codified as Labor Code section 2810.8 (see our related post describing the law here). This law covers laid-off employees who were employed for the 6 or more months preceding January 1, 2020, and whose layoff was due to a reason related to the COVID-10 pandemic. The law was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2024.

Covered employers include hotels with fifty or more guest rooms, airport hospitality operations and service providers, certain event centers, and employers that provide “janitorial, building maintenance, or security services” to office, retail, or other commercial buildings.

Effective January 1, 2024, Senate Bill 723 delays the expiration date for Labor Code section 2810.8 to December 31, 2025. SB 723 also expands and redefines the definition of “laid-off employee” to mean any employee who was employed by the employer for 6 months or more and whose most recent separation from active employment by the employer occurred on or after March 4, 2020, and was due to a reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill creates a presumption that a separation due to a lack of business, reduction in force, or other economic, nondisciplinary reason is due to a reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic, unless the employer establishes otherwise by a preponderance of the evidence.

Labor Code section 2810.8 still provides that within five business days of establishing a position, an employer must offer its laid-off employees all job positions that become available for which the laid-off employees are qualified. A laid-off employee is qualified for a position if “the employee held the same or similar position at the enterprise at the time of the employee’s most recent layoff with the employer.” The laid-off employee then has five days to accept or decline the position.

A laid-off employee may file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) for violations of section 2810.5. The DLSE may then award the employee hiring and reinstatement rights, front or back pay, civil penalties and liquidated damages, interest, and the value of benefits that the employee would have received had they been working.

This publication is published by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. The publication is intended to present an overview of current legal trends; no article should be construed as representing advice on specific, individual legal matters. Articles may be reprinted with permission and acknowledgment. ECJ is a registered service mark of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. All rights reserved.


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