The hotel industry failed in its herculean effort to prevent the July 1, 2015 implementation of the Los Angeles Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance. The Court denied the Hotel Associations’ motion for preliminary injunction previously reported on here, here, and here.
The Court conceded that “Plaintiff’s biggest concern with the $15.37 per hour minimum wage provision is that it is bad economic policy.” The Court further admitted that “[t]here are certainly grounds for this concern.”
Yet per the Court, “[t]he point is this: it is not the role of the courts to interject into matters of legislative economic policy under the guise of NLRA preemption, and Plaintiffs have not met their burden that the Wage Ordinance’s $15.37 per hour minimum wage provision is anything but a permissible exercise of the City’s power to institute such economic policy.”
The Court said that the Hotel Associations did not meet their burden to show that the $15.37 hourly rate was “so onerous that it is economically unfeasible and therefore forces the hand of non-union hotels to unionize.” Nor did they meet their burden to show that the “waiver provision interferes with collective bargaining and labor relations or is otherwise inconsistent with the NLRA’s legislative goals or purposes.”
Why does this matter? Well, if you’re a hotel in the city of Los Angeles with 300+ rooms, the new minimum wage rate goes into effect on July 1st. For hotels with 150+ rooms, the new wage rate goes into effect on July 1, 2016. For everyone else, the ripple effects of an increase in minimum wage in one sector of the local economy will almost certainly impact others. Moreover, it’s very possible we will see more such ordinances, or a city or county wide minimum wage increase across industries.
You can find details about the specific requirements of the Los Angeles Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance here.