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California ‘right to recall’ law requires certain employers to rehire laid-off employees

Mandate only applies to dental practice owners who employ a janitorial staff

April 28, 2021 6117

Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 16 signed a bill that requires employers in certain industries statewide to rehire employees who were laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Bill 93, also known as the “right to recall” law, eliminates the discretion of the employer to decide which employees to rehire from a layoff or whether to rehire any prior workers at all.

While the mandate mostly applies to businesses in the hospitality or service industries, the law also applies specifically to janitorial, building maintenance and security services provided to office, retail and other commercial buildings.

Covered dental practice owners

Dental practice owners who hire and employ an individual janitorial staff member to clean their dental office are considered covered employers and must comply with the new obligations. Importantly, the law does not apply to staff who are directly employed by a janitorial company hired by the practice owner.

Employers are required to make a job offer to laid-off employees in the hospitality and service industries who:

  • Worked two hours or more per week.
  • Were employed for six months or more in the 12 months preceding Jan. 1, 2020.
  • Were laid off due to reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If an employer is hiring, they must first make a written job offer to laid-off employees who are qualified for the role within five business days of establishing the position. A laid-off employee is considered qualified if the employee held the same or similar position at the business at the time of the employee’s most recent layoff.

Additionally, employers must offer laid-off employees the position in order of seniority and must be given at least five business days to accept of decline the employer’s offer.

Employers are required to maintain detailed records relating to recall offers for three years for each laid-off employee.

The law will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2024.

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