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Release Number: 2023-76
Date: October 17, 2023

California Labor Commissioner Cites Hyatt Regency Long Beach $4.7 Million for Violating COVID-19 Right to Recall Law

Long Beach—The Labor Commissioner’s Office (LCO) has cited Hyatt Regency Long Beach $4,799,564 for failing to timely offer job positions to 25 employees laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic once the hotel increased its business operations and began rehiring employees, as required by the Right to Recall law (SB 93). The employees included restaurant servers, event servers, bartenders, housepersons, turndown attendants, cashiers, and stewards.

“Some of these employees had as much as 24 years of experience, and were suddenly out of work due to a public health emergency,” said Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower. “The employer failed to offer them their old jobs back in compliance with the law.”

The LCO started its investigation in September 2022 after receiving complaints from numerous workers of the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. The investigation included issuing subpoenas, interviewing workers, and conducting depositions of HR managers. LCO issued a citation against Hyatt Regency Long Beach for 8,983 aggregate days of violations under the law. The law allows liquidated damages of $500 per worker for each day the employee’s recall rights are violated. The $4,799,564 citation will be paid to the 25 affected employees.

The Right to Recall law requires employers in the hospitality and building services industries to offer available job openings that are the same or similar to jobs held by workers laid off during the pandemic, based on company seniority. The law went into effect on April 16, 2021 and has been extended to December 31, 2025.

The LCO has cited numerous employers for violating the Right to Recall law. In July 2022, Terranea Resort workers received $1.52 million following a settlement reached by LCO with the resort related to citations the LCO issued for the resort’s failure to comply with the worker retention law. The affected workers had been laid off and were not timely offered jobs after the resort re-opened for business in 2021.

The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (California Labor Commissioner’s Office) combats wage theft and unfair competition by investigating allegations of illegal and unfair business practices.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office in 2020 launched an interdisciplinary outreach campaign, “Reaching Every Californian.” The campaign amplifies basic protections and builds pathways to affected populations, so workers and employers understand legal protections and obligations, as well as the Labor Commissioner’s enforcement procedures. Californians can follow the Labor Commissioner on  Facebook  and  Twitter.

Media Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161

Employers with Questions on Requirements May Contact: MakeItFair@dir.ca.gov