Los Angeles, CA: City Issues Mandatory Worker Retention and Recall Orders


All Employers with Los Angeles, CA Employees in Certain Industries


June 14, 2020


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(888) 378-2456

The City of Los Angeles issued two new orders mandating employers in certain industries to retain or rehire employees.  The Right of Recall Ordinance and Worker Retention Ordinance are intended to help return furloughed and laid-off workers in hard-hit industries affected by the city and state shelter-at-home orders, including workers at the Airport, in the Hospitality Industry, and those who provide services to Commercial Property.

Right of Recall Ordinance

The Right of Recall Ordinance requires covered employers to make a written offer of recall to laid off workers for any position that becomes available for which they can work.  Eligible workers must have held the same or similar position at the same site of employment at the time of separation, or can be qualified for the position by receiving the same training a brand new hire would receive.  If more than one worker is entitled to be recalled, employers must give priority to the more senior worker based on greatest length of active service.  The employee must be given at least five days to accept or decline the recall offer.

Worker Retention Ordinance

In the event of a change in control or ownership of a covered business, all workers employed on or after March 4, 2020 must be placed on a “preferential hiring list” for two years following the declaration of the COVID-19 emergency.  The new entity controlling the business must hire personnel from this list for at least six months, retain the worker for at least 90 days, and conduct performance evaluations.

Covered Employees

Active employees in covered industries who meet all of the below criteria are covered by the two ordinances.

  • Perform at least two hours of work within the geographical boundaries of Los Angeles for the employer within a particular week; and
  • Have been employed by the employer for at least six months; and
  • Were most recently separated from employment on or after March 4, 2020, as a result of lack of business, reduction in form, or another economic, non-disciplinary reason.

A collective bargaining agreement containing a right of recall clause supersedes both ordinances.

Covered Employers and Industries

Both orders apply to the following industries only:

  • Airport employers and businesses, including employers providing service at Los Angeles Airports or businesses providing service to employers servicing Los Angeles Airports, except for airlines and businesses whose contracts with the airport already include worker rehire procedures;
  • Event center employers and businesses, including the owner, operator, or manager of an event center, meaning a publicly or privately-owned structure of more than 50,000 square feet or over 1,000 seating capacity;
  • Commercial property employers and businesses, including the owner, operator, manager, lessee, contractor, subcontractor, or sublessee involved in any non-residential properties that employ 25 or more janitorial, maintenance, or security service workers. The ordinances apply only to the janitorial, maintenance, and security service workers.
  • Hotel employers or hotel businesses, including residential buildings used for public lodging or related services and containing 50 or more guest rooms, or buildings that have earned gross revenue in excess of $5 million in 2019.

Employers should also note that the ordinances create a rebuttable presumption that any termination occurring on or after March 4, 2020 is related to COVID-19 and may be subject to the ordinances.  Therefore, if a worker is dismissed due to disciplinary matters, such as poor performance or misconduct, employers must be sure to maintain documentation supporting the reason for the termination.

Action Items

  1. Review the Right to Recall Ordinance and Worker Retention Ordinance.
  2. Train hiring staff on timing and delivery requirements for recall offers.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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