In recent years several cities, including Los Angeles and West Hollywood have passed hotel worker protection ordinances, which put both safety and workload protections in place.

The city of Irvine may be joining this trend. On October 25th, the Irvine City Council voted by a close margin to pass a hotel worker protection ordinance. The ordinance still must pass a second reading vote, in order to become effective. To date, the second reading has not been scheduled.

The following are the basics of the proposed ordinance which mirror other California cities:

Personal Security Devices

Under the ordinance, hotel employers would be required to provide workers with a panic button device, which can be activated in the event of a situation where personal safety issues exist.

Hotel employers shall at all times have a designated and assigned security guard who can receive alerts from the device and can provide on-scene assistance. Hotels with fewer than 60 guest rooms may train a hotel supervisor or manager to fulfill this function in lieu of a security guard.

The ordinance also provides rights to hotel employees who report violent or threatening conduct, including reasonable accommodation and paid time off to report such incidents to law enforcement.

Workload and Hours Limitations

The ordinance also establishes certain workload and hours limitations for hotel workers. Based on the size of the hotel, the ordinance would establish a maximum room cleaning quota for hotel staff. Further, hotel employers could not require or permit a hotel worker to work more than 10 hours in a workday, unless the hotel worker consents in writing to additional hours of work.

Hotel employers will be required to provide written notice of the hotel worker’s rights regarding the workload requirements at the time of hire or within 30 days of the effective date of the ordinance.

Moreover, the workload and hours limitations may be superseded by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), but only if the waiver is expressly set forth in the CBA.

If passed on second reading, the ordinance would become effective 30 days from the vote, except for the measures to provide fair compensation for workload which would become effective in 180 days.

If you have questions about the Irvine Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance or related issues, you may contact the author of this article or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.