Two hotel associations in Los Angeles have filed for injunctions to stop implementation of the Los Angeles Citywide Minimum Wage Ordinance, which is slated to raise the minimum wage for certain Los Angeles hotels to $15.37 per hour in July 2015. The new requirement will apply to hotels in Los Angeles with more than 150 guest rooms or suites.
The two associations, American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, argue that the ordinance will negatively impact the hotel industry, especially since it also regulates paid time off, unpaid time off, and service charges. The associations argue that the ordinance is pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and “disrupts the balance struck by Congress between labor and management.” They claim association members will undergo “substantial and irreparable harm” because they will either be required to bargain with the Hotel Workers’ Union at a disadvantage, or they will be forced to sign “neutrality” agreements. The associations hope the ordinance will be rendered void and unenforceable.
The City of Los Angeles and Unite/HERE Local 11, Los Angeles and Orange County’s hospitality workers union, filed individual oppositions to the associations’ motions. Unite/Here claims that it has a “significant protectable interest” in the litigation, and that those interests are not sufficiently protected by the existing parties to the litigation. Unite/Here argues that the associations’ that the Ordinance is pre-empted by the NLRA lack merit. The City also argues that the associations’ pre-emption claim “has no chance of success.”
The associations’ reply brief is due on March 23rd, and a hearing on the Preliminary Injunction is set for April 6, 2015. The ruling on the injunction could impact pending efforts to raise the minimum wage city-wide for all businesses. If the injunction is granted, the Los Angeles City Council might have to revist the Ordinance.