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03 Aug

July 2020 California HR Legal Update

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City of Oakland Passes Right of Re-employment Ordinance for Select Industries

What happened?
The City of Oakland has passed a new ordinance (20-0369) that gives certain employees in the travel and hospitality industries the right to recall.

What are the details?
The City of Oakland has passed a new ordinance (20-0369) giving employees working in certain hospitality operations, such as airport hospitality providers, event centers, hotels, and covered restaurant employers. Fast food employees may qualify under restaurant employers as well.

The ordinance specifies that the airport hospitality providers are businesses that provide food, beverage, retail, or other consumer goods or services to the public at the Oakland International Airport. The ordinance also applies to a variety of airport service providers at the Oakland International Airport.

The ordinance will cover event centers in the City of Oakland that are more than 50,000 square feet or have 5,000 or more seats.

A “Covered Restaurant Employer” is an employer with more than 500 employees, regardless of where the employees are employed, or is a franchisee associated with a franchisor or a network of franchises that employ more than 500 employees in the aggregate.

Under the ordinance a covered employer must offer eligible laid-off employees, in writing, any job positions that become available after the effective date of the ordinance that the employee is qualified for with the employer.

An eligible employee is qualified for a position if:

  1. They held the same or substantially similar position with the employer, or
  2. Is or can be qualified for the position with the same training that would be provided to a new employee hired for that position.

Employers must also give written notice to laid-off employees who are not called back due to a lack of qualifications when a person other than one of the laid-off employees is hired.

The full text of the ordinance can be found for download here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers operating in the City of Oakland should review and update their hiring process to accommodate the requirements of the ordinance.


San Francisco Implements New Emergency Ordinance Expanding Worker Rights

What happened?
On July 3, 2020, Mayor London Breed passed File Number 200455, an emergency ordinance that takes effect immediately, requiring employers with 100 or more employees to provide written notice when layoffs occur, grants re-employment rights for employees impacted by COVID-19–related job separations, and prohibits discrimination against and requires reasonable accommodations for employees who experience a family care hardship.

What are the details?
The ordinance’s largest provision is covered employees’ right to rehire. A covered employee is a person employed for at least 90 days of the calendar year preceding the date on which the employer gave written notice of a layoff and who separated due to a layoff. A covered employer is a private business that, on or after February 25, 2020, employed or employs 100 or more employees as of the earliest date it separated or separates one or more employees, which subsequently resulted in a layoff.

When employers implement a layoff, at or before the time the layoff becomes effective, they must provide all eligible workers written notice of the layoff in a language the eligible worker understands, which must include:

  1. Notice of the layoff and its effective date;
  2. A summary of the ordinance’s reemployment rights; and
  3. The phone number for an Office of Economic and Workforce Development (“OEWD”) hotline.

For former employees, within 30 days of July 3, 2020, employers must provide the notice to eligible workers separated due to a layoff that occurred on or after February 25, 2020 and before July 3, 2020. Additionally, employers must provide written notice of a layoff to OEWD within 30 days of the date they initiate a layoff. Employers must make a good faith effort to notify an eligible worker by phone and email of a re-employment offer.

The full text of the ordinance can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review their employment policies and add in temporary changes regarding their rehiring process in order to stay in compliance. Employers should also update their layoff procedures to include the distribution of layoff notices ahead of time.

Summary of Laws with Upcoming Effective Dates

Restraining Order: Effective September 1, 2020, an employer, co-worker, or school employee may file a court petition requesting a gun violence restraining order against an employee who poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to others by having in their custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.



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