Assemblywoman Gonzalez Applauds New Law Protecting Hospitality Worker Jobs Lost During the Pandemic

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – (Friday, April 16, 2021) – California’s hospitality workforce has experienced historic levels of unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 700,000 jobs lost since February 2020. Today, during a meeting with the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 93 into law ensuring hospitality workers are able to return to work when businesses safely reopen.

“Latinas make up most of the service workers in the state and have suffered record job losses during the pandemic. With California’s economy on track to reopen, this law provides the basic right for laid-off hotel, janitorial, and airport service workers to return to their previous jobs,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said. “This policy is critical to the state’s economic recovery and will provide our hardest-hit workers the chance to get back on their feet and support their families.”

In February, Gonzalez introduced AB 1074 to establish statewide rehiring protections for California’s hospitality workforce to save jobs and boost the state’s long-term economic recovery. This policy was ultimately included in SB 93 as part of an urgent budget package passed by the State Legislature, following a recent announcement by Governor Newsom to fully reopen the state by June 15 if COVID-19 case rates remain low.

"It’s workers like me who have been most affected by this pandemic, who deserve the legal right to return to our jobs as the pandemic subsides and businesses return," said Antonio Rodriguez, who was laid off from Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. "This law is a very important step to ensuring things can go back to normal, so I can have my job back and health care again for my family."

Under this bill, businesses such as hotels, event centers, airports, private clubs, and service providers at commercial buildings would be required to offer employment to their laid-off employees on the basis of seniority, within five days of establishing a position. Qualified employees would still be entitled to their previous jobs if the ownership of the business changed, or the business relocated their operation during the pandemic. SB 93 allocates $6 million for the Labor Commissioner’s Office to enforce these rehire protections.

 Last year, Governor Newsom vetoed AB 3216, a broader version of this policy. SB 93 would narrowly apply the protections to employees who lost their jobs in the hospitality industry due to COVID-19. The new law is effective immediately and will remain in place until December 31, 2024.

For questions or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Mike Blount: Mike.Blount@asm.ca.gov   

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Latina Inequities. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, visit http://asm.ca.gov/gonzalez