The hotel industry is making good on its promise to fight the new Los Angeles minimum wage ordinance for workers at large hotels.
As a press conference Wednesday, hotel industry executives announced they were filing a request for all public records related to the council’s consideration of the ordinance. The executives said they hope the records will yield information that can bolster an expected legal challenge to the ordinance.
The press conference immediately followed the City Council’s final approval of the ordinance, which raises the minimum wage to $15.37 an hour for workers at hotels with more than 150 rooms. Industry groups sent city officials a letter last week, announcing their intention to take the city to court if the ordinance was approved.
“It’s clear that the City Council was determined to pass this discriminatory law, regardless of hard data,” said Katherine Lugar, chief executive of the American Hotel and Lodging Association in Washington D.C. “As such, we have initiated a public records request that will help illuminate the true motivations behind this rushed decision and whether the proposal itself or the council’s numerous missteps provide grounds for litigation.”
Lugar said there are several issues the industry will be looking at as it prepares to file a lawsuit, including the provision in the ordinance that allows unionized hotels to seek waivers exempting them from the higher wage.
“This short-sighted proposal is nothing more than a blatant attempt by labor bosses to increase their membership,” Lugar said. “This waiver is designed to provide labor with an unfair advantage in future negotiations with non-union hotels.”
She added her association was also looking at the city’s alleged discriminatory treatment of hotels in light of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal to raise the minimum wage citywide to $13.25 an hour by 2017.