Los Angeles Enacts Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance
Los Angeles Enacts Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance

On July 8, 2022, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the City’s new Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) into law. The Ordinance was passed by the City Council on June 28, 2022. It will go into effect 30 days after Mayor Garcetti’s signature, on August 8, 2022.

The Ordinance is similar to hotel ordinances recently passed in Long Beach, Santa Monica, Glendale and West Hollywood, which were also pushed forward and drafted by the Unite Here Local 11 union. As part of an effort to raise its profile and further union organizing efforts, the union drafted the Ordinance as an initiative measure to be directly submitted to Los Angeles voters. The City Council, however, took the proposal out of the hands of voters by passing the Ordinance without putting it on the ballot.

The Ordinance applies to all “hotel employers” in the City of Los Angeles, defined as “any person who owns, controls, or operates a hotel in the City, and includes any person or contractor who, in a managerial, supervisory, or confidential capacity, employs hotel workers to provide services at a hotel in conjunction with the hotel’s purpose.” Beyond hotel services, the ordinance covers any “contracted, leased or sublet premises operated in conjunction with a hotel” such as hotel restaurants and spas.

Provisions of the Ordinance include:

1. Square Footage Cleaning Requirements: For hotels with 45 guest rooms or more, the Ordinance limits the number of square feet that hotel room attendants may clean in one day. If a room attendant cleans more than the limit, the hotel must pay double-time for all hours worked that day. The square footage limitation is 4,000 square feet for hotels between 45-60 guest rooms, and 3,500 square feet for hotels with 60 or more rooms. The Ordinance also contains stricter provisions than similar ordinances for “special-attention” rooms, which were not cleaned the preceding day, and reduces the total square footage by 500 square feet if room attendants are required to clean on more than two floors or hotel buildings. Hotels must also maintain detailed records of how many square feet each room attendant cleans and keep those records for at least three years.

2. Personal Security Devices: Hotels are required to provide panic buttons to all hotel workers assigned to work in a guest room or restroom facility where other hotel workers are not assigned to be present. Each hotel must have a designated and assigned security guard who can provide on-scene assistant if the personal security device is activated. Hotels with fewer than 60 guest rooms may designate a managerial employee rather than a security guard, but most provide at least three hours of security device, response, and compliance requirements training to that employee, and maintain records of such training.

3. Voluntary Overtime: Hotels may only require workers to work more than 10 hours in a workday if they have obtained written consent. Before obtaining such consent, the hotel must advise each worker in writing that he or she may decline to work more than 10 hours in a day without adverse action.

4. Hotel Worker Retention: The Ordinance expands the City’s existing hotel retention ordinance, which previously only applied to hotels in the LAX corridor, to all hotels in the City. The hotel worker retention ordinance provides that if a hotel undergoes a change in control, the successor hotel employer is required to hire previous employees for a 90-day transition period and may not discharge these employees without cause.

5. Joint Employer Liability: The Ordinance imposes joint civil liability on a hotel employer that contracts with another hotel employer or temporary staffing agency, or employer organization, to obtain hotel employee services.

Unlike hotel ordinances passed in other cities, the Ordinance prevents hotels from implementing any program or policy where guest rooms are not sanitized and cleaned after every night of occupancy. This includes programs where guests receive a financial incentive to not have rooms cleaned daily.


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