SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a work ordinance Tuesday that requires businesses to re-hire rather than replace the thousands of workers laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a 10-1 vote, they passed Supervisor Gordon Mar’s ordinance, which gives workers the right of first refusal for their jobs if or when their former employer re-opens. It also requires employers to notify the city of layoffs, maintain records of their laid-off workers, and provide them with information about local resources.

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“This is based on a clear, simple, and moral idea: businesses should rehire, not replace, their laid-off workers. The unemployment crisis created by this pandemic is not unique to San Francisco, but this is a labor town, and we are uniquely positioned to lead in addressing it. And with the Back to Work Ordinance, we are” Mar said in a statement.

The law extends a policy authored by Supervisor Mar last summer that was enacted by an emergency ordinance. During the pandemic, from July of 2020 through January or 2021, employers reported nearly 10,000 layoffs. Under the ordinance 1,652 workers were offered reemployment, according to the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

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The ordinance determines worker eligibility by industry. It applies to restaurants with 200 or more employees, hotels with 100 or more guest rooms, grocery stores over 15,000 square feet in size, large event concessions, formula retail, and most custodial contractors. Businesses in other industries with more than 100 employees who laid off 10 or more employees will also have to comply.

“These changes strike a careful balance between supporting unemployed workers and supporting businesses as they reopen,” Mar said. “We can and must do both.”

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If approved by Mayor London Breed, the ordinance will go into effect after 30 days.