The Nevada State Legislature passed a law that gives hospitality and travel industry workers the right to return to their jobs. Senate Bill 386, dubbed the “Right to Return” bill, awaits Gov. Steve Sisolak’s signature to become law.
The bill gives workers who were laid off after March 12, 2020, for economic reasons due to the pandemic the ability to return to their jobs starting July 1, 2021, through August 21, 2022. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which lobbied heavily for the bill, says that thousands of union and non-union hospitality, airport, casino, travel, and stadium workers (including third-party operators at hotels and casinos such as retail shops, restaurants, bars, and parking facilities) are protected under the legislation.
“At the height of the pandemic, 98 percent of culinary union members were laid off and currently only 50 percent are back to work,” says Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer for the culinary union. “While a majority of unionized workers already have extended recall protections in their contracts, a majority of workers protected by this new SB386 law are not unionized.”
Employers with more than 30 employees must offer laid-off employees job openings for the same or similar positions as the employee worked previously under the new law. Workers who receive job offers have 24 hours to accept or decline and must be available to work within five days of receiving an offer.
Workers may turn down up to three job offers, with at least three weeks between each, if the job offer is for the same or a similar position and has similar hours to the worker’s previous job. Once an employee turns down three offers, or if the worker is not reachable by email, mail, phone call, or text message for each of the three offers, an employer is no longer obligated to offer a job.
Employers must provide an employee with a written explanation within 30 days of the decision if they decline to recall a laid-off employee. Notices must be available in English, Spanish, or any language that at least 10 percent or more of the employees speak.
Laid off employees may enforce their rights through a complaint to the Labor Commissioner or by suing in court.