On April 16th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into immediate effect Senate Bill 93 which will remain in force until December 31, 2024. The bill requires certain employers to offer new positions to former employees laid off for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers of all sizes must offer all new available job positions to qualified laid-off employees within 5 business days. If more than one laid-off employee is qualified for a position, preference will be given to the employee who had the greatest length of service.

Employers covered by SB 93 include hotels, private clubs, event centers, airport hospitality services or employers that provide building services to commercial buildings. In order to qualify for rehire, the laid-off employee must have worked for the employer for at least 6 months during 2019 and the reason for their termination must have been related to the pandemic, whether it was due to government shutdown order, public health directive, lack of business, a reduction in force or other economic reason that was not for cause.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has exclusive enforcement jurisdiction and employers are prohibited from taking any retaliatory action against laid-off employees seeking to exercise their rights under SB 93. Penalties for noncompliance include a civil penalty of $100 for each laid-off employee whose rights are violated as well as liquidated damages of $500 per employee per day until the violation is remedied.