Initiates public records request on Council’s rushed vote

Washington, D.C. – October 1, 2014 – After the Los Angeles City Council approved a precedent-setting, discriminatory measure that increases the minimum wage to $15.37 only for hotels, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) today unveiled steps to fight the proposed ordinance. The hotel industry made the announcement in conjunction with the City Council’s final vote today to approve the measure.

“Despite numerous economic analyses which underscore that this measure is unwise and will lead to significant job losses, the City Council today rushed full steam ahead on its controversial wage proposal. It’s clear that the City Council was determined to pass this discriminatory law, regardless of hard data. 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,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

“This short-sighted proposal is nothing more than a blatant attempt by labor bosses to increase their membership. It’s no surprise that unionized hotels are given a waiver from the Council’s hotel-only proposal. This waiver is designed to provide labor with an unfair advantage in future negotiations with non-unionized hotels.

"In addition to today’s public records request, we are evaluating all available legal recourses to strike down this short-sighted and radical measure and protect the jobs of our industry’s hard-working employees.

"The hotel industry takes pride in offering competitive wages and good health benefits to our employees - while providing a clear path for upward mobility and a life-long career. More than half of our general managers started in minimum wage positions, which is a testament to the opportunity that exists in this industry.

“While we are prepared to work with government officials – at every level – to ensure that wage increases are fair and reasonable and to protect small business owners and job growth, the American Hotel and Lodging Association will continue to engage and fight unfair, discriminatory wage initiatives that will destroy jobs and harm those very individuals that they purport to help."

On September 1, 2014, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti released a plan to increase the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 over a period of three years, followed by increases tied to the inflation rate. On Wednesday, September 24, the L.A. City Council approved a measure that only targets the hotel industry, and raises the minimum wage to $15.37 for hotel workers employed at non-union hotels. The City Council held its final vote on this measure today.