On April 16, 2021, California passed Senate Bill 93 (“SB 93”). SB 93 requires employers in the travel and hospitality industries to offer employees who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic their former position—or a similar position—as those positions become available. Employers must extend a re-hire offer within five business days of a position’s opening.
SB 93’s protections apply to employees who (1) were employed by the travel-or-hospitality employer for at least six months in 2019; (2) whose separation was directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., terminations due to disciplinary reasons do not count); and (3) are otherwise qualified for the available position. If more than one laid-off employee qualifies for a position, the employer must offer the position to the employee who served the longest.
Compliance with SB 93 is mandatory. Employers who violate their re-hiring obligations law face civil penalties ($100 per employee whose rights were violated) and liquidated damages in the amount of $500 per employee per day until such time as the violation is cured. Penalties can add up.
SB 93 lapses on December 31, 2024.
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