Governor Vetoes Job Killer ‘Right to Recall’ Mandate

On his final day to act on bills sent to him by the Legislature this year, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer proposal that would have imposed an onerous and stringent process for specific employers to return employees to the workforce.

AB 3216 (Kalra; D-San Jose) would have imposed a “right to recall” mandate on certain California industries, such as hotels, event centers and airports, meaning employees who were laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19 must be hired back by the company according to seniority.

The CalChamber statement thanking the Governor for his veto of AB 3216 noted that the bill “would have delayed the rehire of thousands of employees and slowed the economic recovery of many employers who have been the hardest hit by this pandemic.

“We are grateful that the Governor chose not to further burden these industries at a time when they can least afford it.”

The law would have required that an employee be returned by seniority to a position the employee formerly held or to a position for which the employee could be trained/qualified to perform.

Forcing employers to essentially retrain employees for different positions from which they previously held would have imposed significant costs on employers already struggling to recover from this pandemic. Failure to follow the prescriptive requirements of the bill could have resulted in a lawsuit under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

The Governor’s September 30 veto message acknowledged that AB 3216’s requirements “place too onerous a burden on employers navigating these tough challenges, and I would encourage the legislature to consider other approaches to ensure workers are not left behind.”

Other Vetoes

Other CalChamber-opposed bills vetoed by the Governor this week include:

SB 972 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Corporate Shaming Tax Disclosure. The bill would have pierced the traditional shield of taxpayer confidentiality that has been respected by generations of political and government leaders by requiring the Franchise Tax Board to disclose the name, tax liability, total gross receipts, and amounts and types of tax credits for a taxpayer with $5 billion or more in total gross receipts.

SB 1102 (Monning; D-Carmel) Required Disclosures. The bill would have established new unnecessary and burdensome requirements on all employers to provide information to employees and imposed duplicative and unnecessary disclosure requirements for employers of H-2A employees.

To see the other actions by the Governor on priority business bills, see the Final Status Report.