What You Need to Know About California’s New “Right to Recall” Law

It’s no secret that many businesses were hit hard due to the pandemic. Business owners around the country had to make difficult choices: how to remain open, who to keep on staff, and who to let go. This led to rampant unemployment, and a growing pool of qualified candidates just itching to get back on the job. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing throughout America, organizations are starting to see customers trickle in once more. 

And when there are more customers, there arises a need for more labor. But who should businesses hire first? With an abundance of people to choose from, it would seem that managers are poised to take their pick of anyone looking for a job within their industry. California’s new SB 93“right to recall” law, says otherwise. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Right to Recall?

SB 93 establishes a system for hiring and retention, post-COVID-19. Essentially, the law asserts that businesses who laid off employees as a direct result of the pandemic must prioritize those individuals when hiring for similar positions now that the economy is picking back up. It was created to give those who lost their jobs an opportunity to rejoin the workforce with very few barriers to entry. It also serves a second purpose: to quell potential attempts by businesses to “lowball” new hires or take advantage of the surplus of available workers. 

Under the new law, individuals who were employed by the employer 2 or more hours a week for 6 months or more in the 12 months preceding January 1, 2020 but were let go due to the pandemic have first rights to any positions that are similar to theirs, in the event that their former employer is rehiring. Laid off employees are entitled to five business days to either accept or decline the offer to get their old jobs back – after which, it opens up to all available candidates. If there are multiple former employees vying for the same position, the individual who previously had seniority during his or her time with the company gets priority. 

Who is Eligible?

The new law doesn’t apply to everyone, however. SB 93 only pertains to specific California industries – hotels, private clubs, event centers, airport hospitality operations, airport service providers, and business service providers.. 

What are the Penalties for Violating SB 93?

An employee whose rights have potentially been violated by an employer’s failure to comply with SB 93 may be entitled to reinstatement as well as compensation for front pay, back pay, and lost benefits. In addition, the employer may be required to pay $100 fine for each employee whose rights were violated and a $500 fine for each employee per day until the violation is corrected.

How Long will SB 93 be in effect?

SB 93 went into effect on April 16, 2021 and will remain in effect until December 31, 2024.

Contact Gokal Law

Do you believe your former employer hasn’t honored your right to recall? We’ve got your back. Contact Jibit Cinar of Cepkinian-Cinar Law.

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