Worker Recall and Retention Mandates Imposed on Baltimore City Commercial Properties, Event Centers, and Hotels


In December 2020, the Baltimore City Council passed laws that impose reinstatement and retention obligations for commercial property (janitorial, maintenance and security employees only), event center (with 50,000 square feet or 1000 seats) and hotel (with 50 rooms or gross receipts of $5 million in 2019) employers in two separate acts.

The first, COVID-19 Laid-off Employees Right of Recall, requires those employers to make an offer to any employee laid off after March 5, 2020 for any position that becomes available for which the employee is qualified.

The second law, COVID-19 Employee Retention, provides that, where there is a change in control, the new employer must make written offers of employment to current employees for any continuing positions, and must rehire those not initially hired if positions later become open. The retained employees may not be discharged, except for cause, during a 90-day transition period.

These laws do not apply to managerial, supervisory or confidential employees or those subject to a collective bargaining agreement containing a right of recall or retention provision. These laws are to be evaluated on or before June 30, 2022 to determine whether they continue to be necessary after the City’s recovery from the pandemic.