City of Los Angeles Passes Ordinances Granting Certain Laid-Off Workers the Right to be Recalled

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently signed into law Ordinance No. 186602 and Ordinance No. 186603, which give certain laid-off workers a right of recall (i.e. hire priority).  The ordinances take effect on June 14, 2020, and apply to employees working within the City of Los Angeles. 

A Right of Recall

Under the ordinances, laid-off workers are to be given job priority by the employer via a written offer for any position for which the laid-off worker is qualified.  If more than one laid-off worker is entitled to a position, the employer shall offer the position to the laid-off worker with the greatest length of service.  The offer must remain open for at least five (5) business days.

The following employers must provide eligible laid-off workers with a right of recall:

  • Airport Employers:  Any employer that provides any service at LAX International Airport or Van Nuys Airport or provides any service to any employer servicing either airport.
  • Commercial Property Employers:  Any owner, operator, manager or lessee, including a contractor, subcontractor or sublessee, of a non-residential property in the City of Los Angeles that employs 25 or more janitorial, maintenance or security service workers.
  • Event Center Employers:  Any owner, operator or manager of a publicly or privately owned structure in the City of Los Angeles of more than 50,000 square feet or with a seating capacity of 1,000 seats or more that is used for public performances, sporting events, business meetings or similar events.  An event center includes, but is not limited to, concert halls, stadiums, sports arenas, racetracks, coliseums, and convention centers.
  • Hotel Employers:  Any owner, operator or manager of a residential building in the City of Los Angeles designated or used for public lodging or other related service for the public and either contains 50 or more guestrooms or has earned gross receipts in 2019 exceeding $5 million.  This also includes any owner, operator, manager or lessee of any restaurant physically located on hotel premises.

Collective Bargaining Agreement Exemption

Workers covered under a Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) may expressly waive any of the ordinances’ requirements, but only if the waiver is explicitly set forth in the CBA in clear and unambiguous terms.  If a CBA is already in place on June 14, 2020, but the CBA does not include a worker retention provision, the ordinances apply.  However, a CBA may be amended at any time to explicitly waive the provisions of these ordinances.

Consequences for Noncompliance

Under the ordinances, an employer must be provided a 15-day right to cure an alleged violation upon a written notice.  Retaliatory action against the worker is expressly prohibited.  This means an employer may not discharge, reduce compensation, or otherwise take adverse action against any worker seeking to exercise their rights under these ordinances.  Remedies available to a wronged worker include:

  • Reinstatement; and/or
  • Back pay calculated at the worker’s average rate of pay.

The court may also award attorney fees and costs to the worker, if they are the prevailing party, or to the employer, if the lawsuit is deemed frivolous. 

If you have any questions regarding these ordinances and how they affect your business, please contact the authors or your usual employment law counsel at AALRR.

This AALRR post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Firm is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process.

© 2020 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

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