California Governor Supports Workers by Signing SB 93 Bill into Law
When COVID-19 hit the state of California, prompting a shelter-in-place order to go into effect last year, it led to numerous challenges for families and our communities, many of whom were laid off. As the state gradually gets back on its feet, a new piece of legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 93 will be implemented to help offset these challenges.
“Overcoming the hardships that COVID-19 imposed since the pandemic started has been very difficult for working families and communities of color. When the state shut down, a lot of people were laid off and those who still had jobs had to fight with everything they had to ensure their working conditions were safe and employers were negotiating in good faith. Many workers exhausted their leave banks by caring for their children or elders in their families and they won’t be able to replenish those banks back to the levels they existed in pre-COVID for years which is going to be a big hurdle to overcome as businesses and industries are starting to reopen. We have to make sure that as bills SB 93 are made into law, we continue centering the workers who have given their all by not allowing employers to get back to business as usual. A bill like SB 93 will facilitate getting workers back at their worksites with the seniority and respect they deserve. That is a step in the right direction.” said Felipe Cuevas, City of Oakland Chapter President.
Last month, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 93 into law, paving a pathway for workers who have been laid off because of COVID-19 to reinstated in their previous positions. SB 93 creates a new statute in California Labor Code Section 2810.8 which requires that employers in certain industries like Airports, Hotels, and Event Centers make written job offers to employees who they laid off because of COVID-19.
SB 93 also applies to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) will enforce the new law and can potentially order reinstatement, front and back pay, and benefits while also being able to institute significant penalties to ensure enforcement.
SB 93 takes effect immediately and expires on December 31, 2024, which is also the deadline for employers to provide written notice and job offers to previous employees.
SB 93 is a significant step in the effort to get California’s economy back on track while supporting working families that have been impacted by COVID-19. View the list below of workers and industries that are covered by SB 93.
- Airport Hospitality Operations
- Airport Service Provider
- Janitorial, Building Maintenance, or Security Services to office, retail, or other commercial buildings.
- Hotels with 50 or more rooms
- Private Clubs
- Private or Publicly Owned “Event Centers”
In order for SB 93 to provide protection, an employee must have:
- Worked two hours or more per week for a covered employer;
- Been employed by a covered employer for “6 months or more in the 12 months preceding January 1, 2020”; and
- Been “separat[ed] from active service … due to a reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a public health directive, government shutdown order, lack of business, a reduction in force, or other economic, nondisciplinary reason related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To view the full text of the SB 93 bill, visit https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/.