Worker Recall and Retention Mandates Imposed on D.C. Hospitality, Retail, and Service Contractor Employers


Like Baltimore City’s law that was passed last month, as discussed in our December 2020 E-Update, the District of Columbia City Council passed a law that imposes reinstatement and retention obligations on certain hospitality employers, as well as retail employers and service contractors.

The Displaced Workers Right to Reinstatement and Retention Act of 2020 was signed by the Mayor on January 13, 2021, and will take effect after a 60-day period of Congressional review and publication in the D.C. Register. It applies through June 30, 2023. It imposes certain reinstatement mandates on hotels with 50 or more employees as of December 1, 2019, as well as restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and retailers with 50 or more employees and contractors of 25 or more employees in food services, janitorial or building maintenance services, health care, or security services as of March 1, 2020. These employers must make a written reinstatement offer to employees who were laid off after March 1, 2020 (December 1, 2019 for hotel employees) once the same or substantially similar positions reopen (unless the employee is exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, received severance pay or was terminated for cause) before extending offers to any new employees. The law also requires that, where there is a change in control, the new employer must retain the current or reinstated employees for a 90-day transition period.