City Council votes for policy that protects hotel workers

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Independent Staff Report

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City Council voted 4-1 July 19 in favor of a policy that would provide thousands of hotel workers with needed workplace protections.

“Tonight’s vote makes clear: recovery in West Hollywood will include everyone,” Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath said. “I am honored to stand with our courageous hotel workers and I am proud to see the city of West Hollywood choose to treat our frontline hospitality workers with dignity and respect.”

The policy would ensure workers in the hotel industry, many of whom have dedicated decades of service to the industry, have jobs to return to as the economy reopens, and are protected from various forms of abuse, including threatening sexual conduct. The policy also contains a series of measures to address the constellation of industry-wide problems that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as inadequate compensation for heavy workloads and the lack of comprehensive, standardized training.

The City Council policy is among the strongest and most progressive hotel worker protection policies to date. Similar ordinances have been passed in Santa Monica and Long Beach.

Hours before the vote, hundreds of hotel workers and allies marched to City Hall demonstrating their support for the policy.

“For years my coworkers and I were the invisible workforce that built the tourism industry in West Hollywood,” said Norma Hernandez, who worked as a housekeeper at the Mondrian for 12 years and was a fierce advocate for the law. “Tonight, the West Hollywood City Council saw our humanity and stood with us. On behalf of our city’s hotel workers I want to say thank you for ensuring these protections and passing this policy.

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