A room attendant at the Andaz West Hollywood, a Hyatt property, filed a class-action lawsuit against the hotel alleging violations of the West Hollywood Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance (“Ordinance”), which the West Hollywood City Council signed into law in August 2021. While similar ordinances have passed in Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland, Santa Monica, Emeryville, Glendale, Long Beach, and recently Irvine, this is the first lawsuit to be brought under the West Hollywood “Housekeepers’ Bill of Rights” law. The workers are represented by Lauren Teukolsky of Teukolsky Law.
The Ordinance protects West Hollywood hotel employees against the risk of sexual assault by implementing panic buttons and other measures, and it guarantees room attendants fair compensation when their workload exceeds proscribed limits.
The lawsuit, which was filed in California state court, alleges that even though the relevant portions of the Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2022, Hyatt failed to pay the plaintiff and other room attendants premium pay as required by the Ordinance when their heavy housekeeping workloads exceeded the set limits. The complaint also alleges that Hyatt failed to provide workers with notice of their rights under the Ordinance, failed to maintain proper records about workloads, and failed to permit the workers’ representative to inspect records.
Plaintiff Morena Hernandez, who has worked as a room attendant at the Andaz for more than 25 years, said, “My coworkers and I fought hard for this ordinance. I remember staying at West Hollywood City Hall until the City Council passed this law at three in the morning, and we cried tears of joy. But we weren’t done fighting for our rights. Now, our goal is for Hyatt and other West Hollywood hotels to respect the law–and respect us as workers.”
Recent SEC reports show that the CEO of Hyatt, Mark Hoplamazian, earned $16.6 million in 2022.
The class action suit is being championed by UNITE HERE Local 11, a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports