In keeping with the heightened safety protections we’ve seen put in place in the hospitality industry for hospitality workers across California over the past few years, the City of Los Angeles recently passed a Arrangement to further regulate the safety of hotel workers. Effective August 12, 2022, the Hotel Workers Protection Ordinance requires hotel employers to provide personal safety devices (that’s to say, panic buttons) to each hotel employee assigned to work alone in a room or bathroom. A personal safety device cannot be a whistle, noise generator, alarm bell or any other similar device. The device must provide direct contact between the worker and the designated hotel security officer or it will not be compliant. Los Angeles hotel employers are also required to provide training to workers on the purpose and use of these panic buttons.
In addition to implementing the use of panic buttons, the ordinance also requires hotel employers in Los Angeles to post signs on the back of the entrance door to each hotel room and restrooms. the hotel stating that “the law protects hotel workers from threatening behavior. “The notice should refer to the obligation of hotel employers to provide:
- panic buttons,
- Paid leave to report threatening behavior, and
- Reasonable accommodation for any worker subjected to threatening behaviour.
The English and Spanish versions of the required notices can be found here (English) and here (Spanish).
The ordinance also includes a records retention provision that requires Los Angeles hotel employers to retain records related to room attendants for 3 years, including rates of pay, identification of rooms cleaned, square footage of each room cleaned, overtime hours worked and training records. Various other requirements are set out in the order regarding workload limitations, overtime and rates of pay. Details of the requirements set out in the order can be found here.
Notably, this ordinance only applies to hotels located in the city of Los Angeles; however, similar laws are already in place in Long Beach and Oakland. We expect surrounding cities and counties to follow suit, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see statewide legislation in this area in 2023. If you’re a hotel employer in Los Angeles, you must immediately begin to comply with this order. Hotel employers in other areas of California should check to see if they are covered by other similar orders. Even if your California hotel property is not covered by such an order, it would be prudent to consider providing panic buttons to your room attendants and implementing similar safety precautions to stay ahead of the trend and help to protect against liability in any negligence lawsuit filed by a California hotel employee who works in guest rooms or bathrooms.