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California Senate Bill 93 requires the rehiring of some employees laid-off due to COVID-19

United States Publication May 3, 2021

Governor Newsom signed into law SB 93, requiring hospitality and building service employers to offer vacant positions to laid-off employees who previously held those positions. The key takeaways are

  1. Employees who were laid off from their position due to COVID-19, and who were employed for at least six months during the 12 months preceding January 1, 2020, are entitled to an offer of re-employment when the same or similar position becomes available.
  2. Employers covered by the law include those who operate hotels, private clubs, event centers, airport hospitality services or offer building services to commercial buildings (retail, office, etc.)
  3. If more than one employee is eligible to be rehired, the position must first be offered to the employee with the greatest length of prior service.
  4. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has exclusive jurisdiction to enforce the law, including the right to recover lost wages, benefits and reinstatement for the employee. There is no explicit private right of action for aggrieved employees.

The law provides for a $100 civil penalty for each employee whose rights are violated under the new law, and an additional $500 penalty per employee per day as liquidated damages until the violation is cured. It also prohibits employers from retaliating against any laid-off employee seeking relief under the law.

 


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