Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Why Union Leaders Want L.A. to Give Them a Minimum Wage Loophole”

“Some see thinly veiled self-interest at work in labor’s quest for waivers in minimum wage laws. Glenn Spencer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that Southern CaliforniaLA minimum wage in particular shows the potential benefits of such provisions for private-sector unions at a time when many are struggling to stanch long-term declines in membership”

One of the most divisive issues that Los Angeles City Council members expect to confront when they return this week from a summer recess will be a proposal by labor leaders to exempt unionized workers from the city’s new minimum wage.

The push for the loophole, which began in the final days before the law’s passage, caused a backlash rarely seen in this pro-union city and upended perceptions of labor’s role in the fight to raise pay for the working poor. Union activists were among the most stalwart backers of L.A.’s ordinance raising the wage to $15 by 2020, and argued against special consideration for nonprofits and small businesses.

Rusty Hicks, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said the union waiver would be a routine protection against challenges to the ordinance under federal labor law. “This is about staying consistent with previous provisions and crafting something that will withstand legal scrutiny and delay,” Hicks said in May. In California, he added, “we’ve seen every city that has passed a minimum wage include this kind of a provision.”

A Times review of other cities’ minimum wage laws, as well as interviews with labor leaders and legal experts, suggests the truth is more complicated.

Guarantees that organized workers should be allowed to bargain for a subminimum wage appear to have scant legal justification, some experts said. They are not a universal feature of local wage ordinances, in California or other states. San Diego, the largest California city to raise its minimum wage in recent years before L.A., did not include such an exception.

For more: http://lat.ms/1OLyDlk

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Patel v L.A. and What it Means for Hotel Operators”

“It was being used to circumvent case law and proper court procedure to obtain privacy information,1436387202_JULY ALB Patel v LA sidebar pic” Seiders said. “The police were using these local laws to avoid having to go through judicial review. I think that’s where it became abusive.

More than a decade ago, a group of hotel owners sued Los Angeles. Now their actions have caused reverberations in hotels throughout the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 22 in City of Los Angeles v. Patel that the police practice of asking for a hotel’s guest registry without a warrant is unconstitutional.

“It’s certainly providing privacy protection and extending it to companies, both to the company owner and the guests that are there. It’s certainly a win for the hotels,” Attorney Dana Kravetz said.

“This is going to have widespread impact – and already has had widespread impact – on a host of cities and really the industry at large. It’s a powerful decision. It really sets it out pretty clearly as to what the police can or cannot do.”

This ruling goes beyond Los Angeles as so many other U.S. cities have similar ordinances, said Kravetz, managing partner of Michelman & Robinson and chair of the law firm’s hospitality group.

“It’s really a great day for the hotel industry,” said Frank Weiser, the attorney for the group of hotel owners (Patel). “It’s a great day for businesses throughout America.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1L35AJP

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Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “L.A. Hotel Fire Kills 1, Injures 15; Some Jump From Windows to Escape”

“Of the 29 people who were staying at the hotel, 15, including a child, were hurt and suffered minor to serious injuries, fire officials said. Most of the injured suffered broken bones from jumping,LA hotel fire fire officials said. Alejandro Lopez, 40, said he was trapped inside his room and the intense flames left him with only one option: Jump out of the window.”

A man was killed and 15 were injured when flames overtook a hotel early Thursday in Wilmington, forcing some people to jump out of windows.

People were trapped by flames inside the two-story Wilmington Hotel at 111 E. C St. shortly after 3 a.m. as firefighters arrived, said Erik Scott, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Other hotel residents jumped out of windows to escape the flames.

For more: http://lat.ms/1G7cf4F

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Industry Groups Sue Over L.A.’s Minimum Wage for Hotel Workers”

The two industry groups are seeking an injunction to block enforcement of the hotel wage law, which was approved in September. The measure is set to go into effect in July for hotels with at least 300 rooms and expand a year later to hotels with at least 150 roomsla minimum wage…backers of the measure said it would prevent hotel workers from having to take on second jobs that keep them from seeing their families. They also argued that the hotels in Los Angeles have benefited from the city’s efforts at boosting the tourism industry.

Two hotel industry groups filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging a new Los Angeles law that requires a higher minimum wage at the city’s larger hotels.

The lawsuit from the American Hotel and Lodging Assn. and the Asian American Hotel Owners Assn. contends that the City Council’s decision to impose a $15.37 per hour minimum wage is preempted by federal labor law and therefore unenforceable.

The two groups also say the city is interfering with labor relations and union organizing at its larger hotels. And they voiced fears that L.A.’s ordinance could be replicated elsewhere in the country.

For more: http://lat.ms/13aZQeG

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Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Justices Will Decide Privacy Case on Hotel Records” (VIDEO)

“Los Angeles has said the ordinance makes prostitutes and drug dealers less likely to use hotels if they know that the facilities must collect information about guests and make them available to police on a moment’s noticegavel (1)…In dissent, Judge Richard Clifton said that courts previously have ruled that hotel guests have no expectation of privacy in records of their names and room numbers. “A guest’s information is even less personal to the hotel than it is to the guest,” Clifton said.”

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to referee a dispute over police access to hotels’ guest information without first getting a search warrant.

The justices said they will hear an appeal by the city of Los Angeles of a lower court ruling that struck down an ordinance that requires hotel operators to open their guest registries at the demand of police.

The federal appeals court in San Francisco divided 7-4 in ruling that the ordinance violates the privacy rights of the hotels, but not their guests.

For more: http://bit.ly/1zi8CGd

And for more information on how to best handle police requests for information, check out Petra’s own Director of Risk Management, Todd Seiders, in this P3 Risk Management Update “How to Handle Police and Law Enforcement Request for Hotel Guest Information”.

P3 (Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America ’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit petrarisksolutions.com or call 800.466.8951.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Hotel Industry Threatens Legal Action Over New Wage Law”

Supporters dispute claims that the move was intended to help labor groups increase membership and say the higherLA mayor wages will lift working families out of poverty. Under the law, hotels with union workers can be exempted from the $15.37 hourly wage if workers agree…City Hall leaders on Wednesday rejected the criticisms. Councilman Mike Bonin, who advocated passage of the law, questioned the prediction that 533 hotel jobs will be lost in his Westside district.

Ratcheting up their opposition to a new law requiring larger hotels to pay workers $15.37 an hour, representatives for the hotel industry on Wednesday threatened to sue the city over the ordinance.

Standing outside Los Angeles City Hall, hotel operators and business leaders said they are considering a lawsuit based on federal laws. They also released new numbers predicting 1,488 jobs — including at least 140 in the San Fernando Valley — would be lost as Los Angeles hotels lay off workers to compensate for the wage hike.

For more: http://bit.ly/1ugf6kx

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Council to Vote on $15.37 Minimum Wage for Workers at Big Hotels”

“Several council members favor the increase, including Councilman Curren Price, who said it would make Los Angeles hotel workers wages“a progressive leader” for the nation…Some business groups warn that hotels could be forced to cut jobs if the plan passes. They cited a city-requested report released Monday that said hotel developers will bypass Los Angeles if the ordinance is approved.”

The drive to boost minimum wages in Los Angeles could reach a milestone this week as the City Council votes on a proposal to raise the hourly pay of thousands of workers at big hotels to at least $15.37.

That would be more than $2 an hour higher than the minimum wage Mayor Eric Garcetti is advocating for workers citywide.

Labor groups are rallying behind the plan now before lawmakers, saying that it could pull hotel workers’ families out of poverty and inject more spending into the local economy. Several council members favor the increase, including Councilman Curren Price, who said it would make Los Angeles “a progressive leader” for the nation.

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