City of West Hollywood Passes Law to Expand Hotel Employee Protection
An ordinance created contains five key elements to keep workers safe.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Aug 19, 2021
The City of West Hollywood is prioritizing the safety of hotel employees by approving an expansive hotel worker protection ordinance. According to the National Law Review, the purpose of the ordinance is to protect the safety and security of hotel workers and improve their working conditions. This is the list of the five key elements:
1. Personal Security Devices
Similar to an ordinance passed in 2020 in Sacramento, West Hollywood will require hotel employers to provide personal security devices, such as panic buttons, to all hotel employees that are working in guest rooms or restrooms by themselves. Employers must also assign a manager, supervisor or security guard to provide immediate assistance whenever a security device is being used. Hotel employers must also provide training to workers regarding the following:
• How to use and maintain personal security devices
• The employer’s protocol for responding to activation of devices
• Hotel worker rights and employer obligations
2. Compensation and Workload
Employers at hotels with less than forty guest rooms cannot require room attendants to clean rooms larger than 4,000 square feet of floor space in any eight-hour workday. This is unless the hotel employer pays the room attendant twice his/her pay for every hour worked. The same is true for hotels with forty or more guest rooms, except those attendants must not clean rooms larger than 3,500 square feet.
If a room attendant is assigned to clean seven or more checkout rooms or additional bedrooms during any eight-hour workday, each checkout room or additional bedroom will count as 500 square feet, regardless of the actual square footage of each room. These limitations apply to any combination of spaces, including guest rooms, meeting rooms and other rooms within the hotel, regardless of the furniture, equipment or amenities in the rooms.
3. Right of Recall
Unlike several local right of recall ordinances issued since 2020 that specifically pertain to COVID-19, this ordinance is broader and applies to any hotel worker who is laid off, according to an article. A hotel employer must offer qualifying laid-off hotel workers, in writing, all job positions for which the employee is qualified that become available after the ordinance becomes effective.
A hotel worker is qualified for a position if:
• The worker held the same or similar position at the site at the time of the worker’s most recent lay-off.
• The worker is or can be qualified for the position with the same training that would be provided to a new hotel worker hired into that position.
Hotel employers must comply with requirements regarding offers, including order of preference, seniority, the timing for acceptance and declination, as well as notice of non-selection and notice of rights. Hotel employers must retain the following records for at least three years:
- The worker’s full name, job classification, date of hire, last known mailing address, telephone number and email
- A copy of the layoff notice provided to the worker
4. Worker Retention
Changes of hotel control affect retention requirements. Within five days of a change of control of a hotel, the employer shall post a written notice of the change in the affected hotel. Within fifteen days of the change, the employer will provide the successor employer with a list of eligible hotel workers—managerial, supervisory or confidential employees that do not have a right of retention under the ordinance. Retained hotel workers will be employed under the same terms and conditions as the incumbent employee, and the successor employer must comply with other terms regarding offers, performance evaluation and record retention.
5. Public Housekeeping Training
The ordinance requires West Hollywood to establish a certification and designation process of at least one public housekeeping training organization. The hotel employer must conduct training and examination of hotel workers annually.
The training program will include:
• Hotel worker rights and hotel employer responsibilities
• Best practices for identifying and responding to suspected instances of human trafficking, domestic violence or violent or threatening conduct
• Best practices for effective cleaning techniques to prevent the spread of disease
• Best practices for identifying and avoiding insect or vermin infestations
• Best practices for identifying and responding to the presence of other potential criminal activity
For detailed information about expanding worker protection and these five key elements click here.