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On April 7, 2023, the Los Angeles City Council proposed an ordinance to increase the minimum wage for both hotel workers and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) workers. If passed, the ordinance would raise the minimum wage for these workers to $25 per hour in 2023, with yearly increases of $1 until the minimum wage reaches $30 per hour in 2028. The ordinance would revise and potentially consolidate the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance (LWO), Los Angeles Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance, and Los Angeles Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance.

The proposed ordinance also includes a provision that would raise the value of the benefits that employers must provide to employees at LAX and it adds a “Public Housekeeping Training requirement” to the Los Angeles Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance, including training on topics such as workers’ rights and workplace violence—requirements that are similar to the training requirements currently in place in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, California.

Who’s Covered

The proposed minimum wage increase would apply to all hotel workers—including housekeepers, room service attendants, and other hospitality staff—working at hotels with sixty or more rooms. The increased wages would also apply to workers at LAX, including security guards, baggage handlers, janitors, airline catering employees, retail and restaurant workers, as well as other airport staff at LAX.

With respect to the proposal to raise the value of benefits compensation afforded to LAX workers under the LWO, it is unclear if the benefits and compensation scheme will extend to hotel workers as well. Currently, Los Angeles hotel workers do not receive the same benefits compensation as LAX workers do under the LWO. The goal of the proposal is to consolidate efforts to raise wages for “tourism workers”—an umbrella term that ties hotel workers and LAX employees together.

Current Status

The motion proposing the ordinance included a proposal for a commission to provide an economic impact analysis report and a request that the Office of the City Attorney draft the ordinance itself. As of now, six city councilmembers support the measure; the remaining eight sitting councilmembers have not commented on the proposal.

Overall, the proposed minimum wage increase for hotel and LAX workers in Los Angeles is an important development for employers that merits close monitoring.

Ogletree Deakins’ Los Angeles office will continue to report on developments with respect to the proposed minimum wage increase for hotel and LAX workers in Los Angeles and will post updates on the firm’s Airline and Railway, California, Hospitality, Retail, and Wage and Hour blogs as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.

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