New Los Angeles Hotel Workers Ordinance Goes to City Council for Outright Adoption or Voter Approval
May 19, 2022 • Christina Tantoy
Category: Legal Updates
The “Hotel Workers Initiative Ordinance” – a proposed hotel workers’ protections ordinance backed by UNITE HERE Local 11 – would require hotels in the City of Los Angeles to give additional protections and benefits to hotel workers. Earlier this month, dozens of hotel workers delivered the requisite petition of signatures to the Los Angeles City Clerk to qualify the Ordinance for presentation to the City Council. Now the City Council will decide whether to put the Ordinance on the voter ballot in November or outright adopt the law.
A current draft of the Ordinance can be found on the UNITE HERE Local 11’s website, here. Highlights include the following:
• Security Devices: Hotels must provide a personal security device (e.g., a panic button) to each hotel worker assigned in a guest room or restroom facility where other hotel workers are not assigned to be present.
• Paid Time off To Report Conduct: Hotels must provide employees with paid time off to report violent or threatening conduct to a law enforcement agency.
• Notice Requirements: Hotels must place a notice on the back of the entrance door to each guest room and restroom, which states the following (in a font size of no less than 18 points): “The Law Protects Hotel Workers From Threatening Behavior,” a citation to the article of the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code, and notification to guests that the hotel provides personal security devices to its employees.
• Housekeeping Workload Limitations:
For hotels with 45-59 guest rooms: Room attendants may not clean more than 4,000 square feet in any 8-hour workday. If exceeding that amount, room attendants must be paid double time (2x their regular rate-of-pay).
For hotels with 60+ guest rooms: Room attendants may not clean more than 3,500 square feet in any 8-hour workday. If exceeding that amount, room attendants must be paid double time (2x their regular rate-of-pay).
If a room attendant is assigned to clean any combination of six or more special-attention rooms or additional-bed rooms, the total workload limitation under this section shall be reduced by 500 square feet for each such special-attention room or additional-bed room over five (“special-attention room” means a guest room for which the guest declined daily room cleaning on the immediately preceding day).
If a room attendant is required to clean floor space in more than one hotel building during a workday, the total workload limitation under this subsection shall be reduced by 500 square feet for each additional hotel building.
If a room attendant is required to clean floor space on more than two floors of a hotel building, the total workload limitation under this subsection shall be reduced by 500 square feet for each additional floor.
For these limitations, “space” includes guest rooms, meetings, rooms and other rooms within the hotel regardless of the furniture, equipment or amenities in the room. Employers are required to state the actual square footage of each room in any written assignment of rooms that it provides to room attendants.
• Voluntary Overtime: Hotels may not require or allow a hotel worker to work more than 10 hours in a workday unless the hotel worker consents in writing to do so.
• Daily Room Sanitizing and Cleaning: Hotels may not implement any program or policy whereby guest rooms are not sanitized and cleaned after each and every night that they are occupied, including a program under which guests receive a financial incentive to not have their guest room cleaned on a daily basis.
• Preservation of Records: For three (3) years, hotels must maintain a record of each room attendant’s name, rate of pay, pay received, identification of rooms cleaned, actual square footage of each room cleaned, number of special-attention rooms, number of additional hotel buildings, number of additional bedrooms, and total square footage cleaned for each workday, overtime hours worked for each workday, and any written overtime consents.
• CBA Waiver: The Ordinance may be waived by a collective bargaining agreement, but only if the waiver is expressed in clear and unambiguous written terms.
This Ordinance may not be a surprise as it mirrors other hotel worker ordinances in other cities, including Oakland, West Hollywood, and Long Beach. Given the swift passing of related hotel ordinances, we anticipate that the Ordinance will either be adopted or approved by Los Angeles voters later this year.
Our team will monitor the status of the Ordinance in the legislative process. Please contact a Stokes Wagner attorney if you have any questions.
For a printable PDF of this article, Click here.
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.