Hotels face new legislation regarding employees

California employers in the lodging industry are facing some new challenges, including

increased safety measures for housekeepers, how to deal with Immigration and

Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the workplace, a minimum-wage increase, and possibly

training employees to identify human trafficking.


Lynn Mohrfeld, president and CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association,

outlined the state of the industry at the Sonoma County Lodging Association’s annual

meeting Feb. 8 at the Flamingo Hotel and Resort in Santa Rosa. 


He discussed both new and pending legislation affecting the industry.

After nearly six years of discussion and debate, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board in

January approved a new measures to keep industry workers safe from workplace



Under the Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention standard, hotels will

be required to identify and prevent injury risks for workers such as providing proper

tools like long-handled mops or devices to help make beds. Housekeepers will also

receive training on injury risks, according to the new rules.


Assembly Bill 1008, or “Ban the Box,” expands on an existing state law prohibiting

employers in California with five or more employees from asking an applicant to

disclose prior criminal conviction information until the applicant is determined to be

qualified for the position and is given an offer. The question cannot appear on an

employment application.



February 12, 2018, 9:21AM

Another bill, AB 450, provides workers with protection from immigration enforcement

while on the job.


The law requires employers to refuse to give federal Immigration and Customs

Enforcement agents access to non-public areas of a businesses or employee records

without a warrant or subpoena.


Previously, a warrant or subpoena were not necessary.


“The best thing to do is say ‘We would be happy to comply, and you are welcome to

access to public spaces, but we will require a subpoena,” Mohrfeld said.

Jan. 1, the state minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour for employers with 25 or

fewer employees and to $11 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.


Another new state law, Senate Bill 63, requires small businesses with 20 or more

employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected

parental leave.


A bill has also been introduced that would require hotels and motels to train workers

how to recognize signs of human trafficking.

Lodging establishments are already required to post resources available for victims of

human trafficking.


Another new bill is proposing to extend last call from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. in a handful of

cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood and

Long Beach.