Diana Lerma
Diana Lerma
Shareholder, COO, Los Angeles
Formerly: Pizza Cook
Education
  • B.S., Political Science and Economics, University of California at San Diego;
  • J.D., California Western School of Law.

On countless occasions we have come across the valet, bellhop, or housekeeper who tirelessly worked her way up to General Manager or higher. The hospitality industry is truly one full of opportunity for dedicated talent. So it is only fitting that I have found myself representing such a rewarding industry. I am a first-generation Mexican-American and the daughter of a back-hoe operator. English is my second language and I am the first person in my family to attend graduate school. 

I realized what I had accomplished when my dad came to my first trial several years ago, and his eyes watered with pride. Although my background may be unconventional, it is well-suited to serve the growing hospitality industry. I understand that opportunity yields rewards, but only through a balance of hard work, honesty, discipline and dedication. When partnering with my clients, I apply all of these traits to achieve their goals. The results speak for themselves.    Even when I am not on-the-clock representing my clients, I seem to find myself in the hospitality industry. I am a passionate foodie who frequently travels the globe. And while Los Angeles is home for me, I frequently spend time with my growing “family” of clients all over the country.

Today the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for patrons to enter indoor public spaces in the city. The ordinance will require patrons to be vaccinated to enter certain establishments such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, sports arenas, spas, salons, shopping malls, and others. The ordinance will also apply to large outdoor events.

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On April 16, 2021, Governor Newsom signed a statewide right to recall ordinance (SB 93) into law. SB 93 is effective immediately. SB 93 codifies Labor Code section 2810.8 and requires hotels with more than 50 guestrooms to recall laid-off employees based on hire-date seniority.

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We are proud to announce the release of our latest Quarterly Newsletter, which may be found here.

This quarterly covers topics including:

  • Anticipated changes in labor law under the Biden Administration,
  • The latest Assembly and Senate Bills for California,
  • Minimum Wage updates, and
  • Classification of independent contractors.

Our newsletter summarizes key developments in the employment law arena on a quarterly basis, with a focus on how these developments may impact the hospitality industry and your operations. As you may have noticed, the legal landscape changes on a far more frequent basis than four times a year. So, when a particularly significant development occurs, we immediately publish a “Legal Alert” and make it available to each of our clients and subscribers. If you would like to stay abreast of legal developments in real-time, and receive our legal updates in a more timely fashion, we invite you to follow us on Instagram @stokeswagner.

THIS DOCUMENT PROVIDES A GENERAL SUMMARY AND IS FOR INFORMATIONAL/EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE COMPREHENSIVE, NOR DOES IT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT WITH COUNSEL BEFORE TAKING OR REFRAINING FROM TAKING ANY ACTION.

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The recently enacted Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 changes several provisions in the original PPP loan program enacted as part of the CARES Act. The PPPFA gives borrowers more flexibility and time to spend the PPP loan proceeds and allows the funds to be used on broader categories of expenses while still qualifying for loan forgiveness.

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Businesses fortunate enough to receive a Paycheck Protection Loan (“PPP”) under the CARES Act are now asking, “what do I need to do to get this loan forgiven?” That answer gets more complicated as the days roll on without guidance from the Small Business Administration (“SBA”). Recall there were numerous changes/interpretations applicable to the application process as the application deadline neared.

Here is what we know so far:

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The City of Los Angeles passed an ordinance on March 27, 2020, requiring employers with more than 500 employees to provide up to 80 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) to employees. This Supplemental PSL is in addition to the 48 hours of PSL already required by the City.

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus, which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States.

COVID-19 has become a serious issue for all employers. Stokes Wagner has prepared the following best practices for you to consider in your business.

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On August 27, 2019, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance providing certain protections for hotel workers, with particular focus on Room Attendants, working in the city of Santa Monica. The City Council heard lengthy public comment on both sides of the proposed ordinance, with Unite Here’s Local 11 being both the most numerous and the most outspoken in favor of the ordinance.

At the close of public comment, changes were made to the ordinance as initially proposed. These changes, in large part, only made the ordinance more restrictive on hotel employers. The following is a summary of the ordinance’s requirements. All the following requirements will become effective on January 1, 2020, unless otherwise specified.

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Governor Brown, Jr., recently signed five employment bills into law that affect all California employers. The following laws are effective starting January 1, 2018.

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On Sunday, October 1, 2017, a gunman shot into a crowd of 22,000 people from his 32nd-story room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. After 11 minutes, 59 people were killed and more than 500 were injured. Whether hotels can or will respond to this tragedy with security measures capable of preventing future mass shootings remains to be seen. In the wake of this tragedy, however, hotel security practices undoubtedly will come under severe scrutiny. As many of our hospitality clients have contacted us over the past three days to discuss their security obligations, we thought this short article might prove helpful by identifying certain legal principles applicable to hotel security and by outlining several security measures hotels will likely evaluate and implement in the near future.

An Innkeeper’s Liability for Guest Safety

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EEO-1 Amendments on Pause, Working Families Flexibility Act May Convert Overtime to Comp Time, Update on Proposed Change to Federal Overtime Regulations, and more.

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This quarter’s newsletter includes useful information about Federal and California law updates.

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EEOC on Retaliation, Class Action Waivers and the NLRA, New Information for EEO-1 Filings, and more.

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