City of Los Angeles Expands Hotel Employee Protections and Wages – Employee Benefits and Compensation

Los Angeles, California (July 15, 2022) – The City of Los Angeles officially passed the Hotel Workers Ordinance on July 8, 2022. Key changes to this ordinance include an increase in the minimum wage for all workers employed in large hotels, restrictions on the amount square feet that cleaners can clean per shift. , and additional protections for housekeeping employees.

Minimum wage changes for hotels with 60 or more rooms

Under the new ordinance, hotel employers operating in the City of Los Angeles with 60 or more rooms, or those with 50 or more rooms and operating in the Airport Hospitality Improvement Area, must provide all employees (except managers, supervisors or confidential employees) a minimum wage increase of $18.17 per hour.

Full-time employees – those who work at least 40 hours a week will also benefit from 96 compensated hours per year for sick leave, vacation or personal necessity, in addition to 80 uncompensated hours per year for sick leave.

Part-time employees – those who work less than 40 hours a week accumulate compensated leave in increments proportional to those accumulated by full-time employees. Employees are entitled to use accrued vacation pay after the first six months of employment. Unused accrued leave is carried over until it reaches a maximum of 192 hours, after which the employer will make a cash payment once every 30 days for accrued compensated leave in excess of the maximum.

These same employers must also provide at least 80 hours of absence without compensation to be used as sick leave for a full-time employee or a member of his immediate family. Employees considered part-time accrue unpaid time off in increments proportional to those accrued by someone working 40 hours per week. As with paid time off, employees are entitled to use accrued unpaid time off after the first six months of employment.

Changes to practices for housekeeping employees in hotels

Personal Safety Devices

All hotel employers must now provide a personal safety device for hotel employees assigned to work alone in a room or restroom. The intent is to allow employees to activate this device and leave the area in the event of threatening behavior or an emergency. The personal security device should provide direct contact between the hotel worker and the hotel custodian or manager and report the location of the hotel worker to the custodian or hotel manager.

Hotel employers with 60 or more rooms must have a designated and assigned security guard to receive alerts and provide immediate on-site assistance in the event of a personal security device activation.

Hotel employers with less than 60 rooms may substitute a hotel manager or supervisor in place of a security guard, subject to training requirements.

Hospitality workers’ rights

If a hotel employee brings violent or threatening behavior to the attention of their employer, the employer must grant the hotel employee paid leave to report the violent or threatening behavior to law enforcement. and consult an advisor. At the request of the hotel worker who has been the subject of violent or threatening behavior, the employer must provide reasonable accommodation such as a modified work schedule or reassignment. Finally, employers cannot prevent a hotel employee from reporting violent or threatening behavior to law enforcement, or take or threaten to take adverse employment action against the hotel worker for reporting the behavior.

Hotel employers must post a notice of these employee rights in every hotel room and bathroom with the title “Law Protects Hotel Employees From Threatening Behaviour”.

In addition, under the new order, hospitality employers must provide annual training to hotel employees on both the use and maintenance of their personal safety devices and employee rights. of the hotel set out in the order.

New workload limits per square foot

For hotels with at least 45 rooms but less than 60 rooms, hotel employers must not require a room attendant to clean a total of more than 4,000 square feet in an eight-hour workday. hours, unless the hotel employer pays the attendant 2x the attendant’s regular salary. rate of pay for each hour worked during that work day.

For hotels with more than 60 rooms, the same rule applies when the area to be cleaned is equal to or greater than 3,500 square feet.

The total workload limit is further reduced by 500 square feet in each of the following circumstances: (1) when the attendant must clean special attention rooms or additional rooms beyond five; (2) when the employee is required to clean surfaces on more than two floors of a hotel building during a workday; 3° and where the employee is required to clean an area of ​​more than one hotel building during the working day.

The above limitations apply to any combination of spaces in the hotel, regardless of room amenities. Workload limitations are pro-rated for employees who work less or more than eight hours a day, or who clean rooms in common.

Hotel employers must also include the actual square footage of each room in any written assignment of rooms provided to housekeepers. Hotel employers must keep these records for three years.

New restrictions on overtime

Under the ordinance, hospitality employers cannot allow a hotel employee to work more than 10 hours on a working day unless the hotel employee gives written consent and the hotel employer has provided written notice that the hotel employee may refuse to work 10 hours per workday without adverse consequence.

Daily Disinfection and Room Cleaning Policy Restrictions

Hotels cannot have policies against cleaning and sanitizing rooms every night after use, including encouraging guests to forgo cleaning, with the exception of sustainable environmental programs such as a “green program”.

New Document Retention Requirements

Hotel employers must now keep three years of records for each room attendant, including their name, rate of pay, square footage of the room and overtime hours worked each day. Copies of these records should be made available to hotel employees upon request.

Limited waiver for certain hotel employees

Hotel employers may be granted a waiver from the requirements of the order if they demonstrate that compliance with the order would require the hotel employer, in order to avoid bankruptcy or closure, to reduce its workforce by more than 20 % or reduce the hotel worker’s total hours by more than 30%. Before requesting this relief, the hotel employer must provide notice of the request to all hotel workers.

Applicable to entities contracting with hotels

Hotel employers who enter into a contract with another hotel employer, employment agency, employee leasing agency, professional organization of employers or the like to obtain the services of hotel employees may be held jointly and severally liable with these entities for violations of this order.

Recoverable damage

Hotel employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under this order. If an employee engages in protected activity within one year of an adverse employment action or termination, the employer must provide a detailed written statement of the reason(s) for the adverse employment action or termination. employment, including all facts alleged to substantiate the reason(s).

Employees who sue can obtain actual damages, statutory damages of $100 per employee per day (to a maximum of $1,000 per day), and treble damages for willful violations . Predominant employees will also recover their attorneys’ fees and expenses, including expert witness fees.

Conclusion

This ordinance is complex and creates significant new obligations for employers operating in the City of Los Angeles. Hotel employers, regardless of size, should contact legal counsel to ensure compliance with this new order.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

Comments are closed.