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L.A. to Debate Raising Minimum Wage for Hotel Workers

The debate about raising the minimum wage for hotel workers is a main issue facing hotel owners and operators as 2014 gets underway (See “The State of the Lodging Industry in 2014“). Voters recently approved a raise to $15 per hour for many workers in SeaTac, a small town centered around the Seattle-Tacoma airport in Washington, and Seattle’s mayor-elect has said he plans to also raise the city’s minimum wage to $15. States such as New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York also bumped up the state minimum this year.

Now it looks like Los Angeles is the next city to debate raising the minimum wage for hotel workers to $15 per hour, according to this report from the Los Angeles Times. City council is expected to make the proposal in the coming weeks. The raise would more than double the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The proposal would apply to 87 hotels across the city and an estimated 10,000 employees. Hotel owners and lobbyists are expected to oppose this measure, saying that the increase would result in higher room rates and layoffs. In 2012, voters in Long Beach approved measures to increase the wage for hotel workers to $13 per hour. Following that spike, two of the bigger hotels in the city reported increased costs in the first year of $800,000 and $1.5 million.

But some hotels in Los Angeles—35 percent—already pay their workers $15 an hour and campaign organizers are hoping that those hotels will testify on their behalf.

Get more information over at the Los Angeles Times.

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