Beginning April 16, 2021, Senate Bill 93 will require private and public sector employers in the travel and hospitality industries to offer job positions back to their laid-off employees as they become available (within five business days). The bill creates California Labor Code Section 2810.8 which will not expire until December 31, 2024. The new section requires covered employers to recall laid-off employees, in order of seniority, for all positions for which they are qualified. Employers must make job offers in writing, either by hand or to their last known physical address, and by email and text message, and keep detailed records for three years. The bill also requires covered employers to give their laid-off employees at least five business days to accept or decline the offer. If several employees qualify for the same position, employers may make concurrent-conditional offers to more than one individual conditioned on seniority.
Who is a covered “laid-off” employee?
To be covered by this bill, an employee must meet two criteria: (1) the employee must have been employed by the employer for at least six months in the 12 months preceding January 1, 2020; and (2) the employee’s most recent separation from the employer must have been due to a reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a public health directive, government shutdown order, lack of business, a reduction in force, or other economic reason.
The bill applies to employees in the following industries:
- Airports: including adjoining areas used or intended for airport buildings, facilities, as well as airport rights of way together with the buildings and facilities;
- Airport hospitality operations: defined as a business that prepares, delivers, inspects, or provides any other service in connection with the preparation of food or beverage for aircraft crew or passengers at an airport, or that provides food and beverage, retail, or other consumer goods or services to the public at an airport. The bill excludes any air carrier certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Airport service providers: providing functions on the property of an airport that are directly related to the air transportation of persons, property, or mail, whether the contract is with a passenger air carrier, airport facility management, or airport authority.
- Building services: which includes only employers providing janitorial, building maintenance, or security services to office, retail, or other commercial buildings.
- Event centers: defined as structures of more than 50,000 square feet or 1,000 seats, used for the purposes of public performances, sporting events, business meetings, or similar events. This includes any contracted, leased, or sublet premises connected to or operated in conjunction with the event center’s purpose (for example, food preparation facilities, concessions, retail stores, restaurants, bars, and parking facilities).
- Hotels: with 50 or more guest rooms. The bill also covers any contracted, leased, or sublet premises connected to or operated in conjunction with the building’s purpose, or providing services at the building.
- Private club: defined as any organizations operating a building or complex of buildings containing at least 50 guest rooms offered as overnight lodging to members.
It is also important to note that the bill adopts a broad definition of “employer.” The requirements imposed by the bill apply even if the employer hired their employees indirectly through the services of a temporary services firm, staffing agency or similar entity, so long as the employer exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of the employee.