Hyatt Regency Long Beach has been instructed by the California Labor Commissioner (CLC) to pay nearly $4.8 million to its employees who were supposed to be reinstated under the recently expanded Right to Recall law.
According to a press release issued by the Department of Labor Relations, the California hotel had laid off 25 employees during the COVID-19 crisis, including restaurant and event servers, cashiers, kitchen helpers, waiters, cleaning staff, and pickup assistants.
Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower stated, “Some of these employees had up to 24 years of experience and lost their jobs due to a public health emergency. The employer failed to comply with the law by not offering them their former positions.”
The Right to Recall investigation involved interviews with human resources managers. Following complaints from several former Hyatt employees in September 2022, the CLC initiated an inquiry that included interviews with the workers, issuance of subpoenas, and statements from human resources managers.
A citation was ultimately issued against Hyatt Regency Long Beach for 8,983 accumulated days of violation under the Right to Recall law (SB 93).
The union Unite Here Local 11, representing the workers, commented that the fine imposed on Hyatt Regency Long Beach is the highest so far under the Right to Recall, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Additionally, the union highlighted that the law focuses on seniority, preventing employers from taking advantage of the pandemic to exclude older workers and hire a younger and more economical workforce.
The extension of the Right to Recall law was prolonged for an additional year with supplementary conditions. Originally, the law was set to expire at the end of 2024, but on October 10, 2023, California Senator Gavin Newsom signed SB 723, extending the “expiration date” until December 31, 2025. Furthermore, a fine of $500 per worker per day of law violation is stipulated.
As reported by HRD, SB 723 also expanded the parameters of the law by adding, “It shall be presumed that a separation due to lack of work, staff reduction, or other non-disciplinary and economic reasons is due to a reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic, unless the employer proves otherwise by a preponderance of the evidence.”
Employees in California must stay informed about labor laws that protect them. If you or someone you know faces labor violations, unfair practices, or discrimination at work, you have the right to seek justice.
Labor Law Advocates is a team of labor attorneys ready to aggressively fight against those employers who have violated the law and caused harm to dedicated and hardworking individuals. With extensive knowledge of California legislation, we are available 24/7 to guide and fight for those in need.
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