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LA Right of Recall and Worker Retention Ordinances


As a response to the surge in lay-offs and furloughs that occurred due to the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19, on May 4, 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed two ordinances that would benefit certain employees in LA.

The COVID-19 Right of Recall Ordinance covers employees laid off by certain types of employers after March 4, 2020. It requires employers in certain categories to offer employment to laid off employees. It provides a cause of action to those employees against their employers if the employers do not comply with the requirements of the ordinance, after (i) giving notice to the employer of the violations and (ii) failure by the employer to cure the violations within 15 days. In accordance with the ordinance, workers may receive lost pay and benefits, reinstatement, punitive damages, as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

The COVID-19 Worker Retention ordinance covers the same categories of employees as the Recall Ordinance and applies in case of sale of a business, requiring the buyer to offer employment to employees included in a list provided by the seller. Upon hiring, the new business must retain the employee for a 90-day period during which the employee can only be terminated for cause. This ordinance also requires the successor business to give priority to, and retain, the more senior employees in the event it decides to operate with fewer employees.

Who do these ordinances protect?

The ordinances were issued in response to the negative effect that the close down due to the pandemic has caused on specific business areas, specifically the travel and hotel industries. The term laid-off employees therefore applies to airport employees, janitorial, maintenance and security employees of commercial businesses and event center and hotel employees who were laid off by their employers after March 4.

Both ordinances define “worker”(employees) as those that meet the following requirements:

  1. Have been employed for 6 months or more;
  2. Have the business as their primary place of employment;
  3. Have been employed or contracted by the business directly.

The ordinances exclude employees in the following categories:

  1. managers, supervisors, and confidential employees;
  2. employees under collective bargaining agreement entered before June 14, 2020, that contains a right of recall or retention provision. In this case, the provisions of the collective bargaining supersede the requirements of the ordinances.

Contact Us Today for More Information

If you are a worker in the airport or hotel industries and have been laid off as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, or if you have any questions on whether these ordinances apply to your situation, contact the Los Angeles employment law attorney at Litigation, P.C. for help today.


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