Aerlex Law Group

City of Los Angeles Employee “Right of Recall” Ordinance

This is another in a continuing series of bulletins that Aerlex Law Group is issuing to clients and friends of the firm to provide information regarding the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business aviation community.


The City of Los Angeles has approved two new ordinances involving the “right of recall” to maximize the number of employees brought back to work after they have been laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are an employer in the City of Angels, you are required to follow these new rules!

The Covid-19 Right of Recall Ordinance and the Worker Retention Ordinance require that airport, hotel, event center and commercial property employers offer a laid-off worker, in writing, any position which is or becomes available after June 14, 2020, the effective date of the ordinance, for which the laid-off worker is qualified. Laid-off workers are qualified for a position if they:

1. Held the same or similar position at the same site of employment at the time of the laid-off worker’s most recent separation from active service; or
2. Are or can be qualified with the same training that would be provided to a new worker in that position.

The offer must be made in writing to the laid-off worker’s last known mailing address, email, and text message phone number.

A “laid-off worker” is defined as:

1. A former employee who did not act as a manager, supervisor, or confidential employee (and who is not required to possess an occupational license) during his/her employment and whose primary job responsibility was not sponsorship sales for an event center business;
2. A former employee who worked at least two hours in a one-week period within the geographical boundaries of the City of Los Angeles;
3. A former employee that must have worked for the employer for at least six months; and
4. The employee’s separation must have occurred on or after March 4, 2020, as a result of lack of business, a reduction in force, or other economic, non-disciplinary reason.

For the purposes of this ordinance, these definitions apply:

Airport Employer: Defined as a business that: (1) provides any service at an airport (defined as the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports and each airport it operates in the city – there are two, Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport) or (2) provides any service to any business servicing the airport; and is required to comply with the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance (codified in Los Angeles Administrative Code sections 10.37, et seq.). The definition does not include an airline or an employer that is a party to an agreement with the airport that already contains a worker rehire requirement.

Commercial Property Employer: Defined as an owner, operator, manager, or lessee, including a contractor, subcontractor, or sublessee, of a non-residential property in the city that employs 25 or more janitorial, maintenance, or security service workers. Only the janitorial, maintenance, and security service workers who perform work for a commercial property employer are covered.

Event Center Employer: Defined as an owner, operator, or manager of a publicly or privately owned structure within the city of more than 50,000 square feet or with a seating capacity of 1,000 seats or more that is used for public performances, sporting events, business meetings, or similar events. An event center includes, but is not limited to, concert halls, stadiums, sports arenas, racetracks, coliseums, and convention centers.

Hotel Employer: Defined as an owner, operator, or manager of a residential building in the city designated or used for public lodging or other related service for the public and either (1) contains 50 or more guestrooms, or (2) has earned gross receipts in 2019 exceeding $5 million. The definition also includes the owner, operator, manager, or lessee of any restaurant located on the hotel premises.

If more than one laid-off worker is qualified for a position, the employer must offer the position to the worker with the greatest length of service in the same or similar position at the employer’s site. If neither worker held the same or similar position, the position should be offered to the laid-off worker with the greater length of service with the employer at the employment site where the hiring is taking place. Workers who are offered the position must be given at least five business days in which to accept or decline the offer.

Laid-off workers who believe their former employer has violated the Right of Recall Ordinance may bring an action in state court if the worker provides written notice to the employer of the alleged violations and the employer does not cure the alleged violation within fifteen days. The employee can seek reinstatement, actual damages, punitive damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

The Right of Recall Ordinance cannot be waived by any worker, so covered employers must provide an offer of employment, regardless of whether an individual agrees to waive his or her rights under the ordinance. The ordinance also contains an exemption for workers whose employment was subject to a valid collective bargaining agreement that already contained a right to recall clause.

The Worker Retention Ordinance requires employers in the same industries listed above to provide preference to workers employed by a business in the event that an it sells its business or otherwise changes ownership to a successor business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have workers in the City of Los Angeles, be certain you are in compliance. If you have any questions regarding these issues or any other employment law matters, please contact Doug Stuart at 310-392-5200 or