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Hands Off-Pants On Ordinance In Effect in Chicago; California May Be Next

Last October, we wrote about a Chicago ordinance requiring hotel employers to, among other things, equip hotel employees assigned to work in guestrooms or restrooms with portable emergency contact devices. The ordinance took effect July 1, 2018. Hotel employers in Chicago should ensure compliance with the mandates of the ordinance as penalties may reach $500 for each offense. Each day a violation continues is deemed a new offense.

Shortly after the Chicago City Council approved the ordinance, AB 1761 was introduced in the California Assembly on January 4, 2018. The bill passed the Assembly and now awaits further consideration in the Senate. Similar to the Chicago ordinance, the California bill would require hotel employers to provide its employees with a panic button in order to summon immediate assistance when working alone in a guestroom.

The California legislation would also require hotel employers to post a notice on the back of each guestroom door with the heading, “The Law Protects Hotel Housekeepers and Other Employees from Sexual Assault and Harassment.” Additionally, if an employee informs the hotel employer that the employee has been subjected to an act of violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment by a guest, then the hotel employer is required to: (1) provide the employee with paid time off to contact law enforcement, seek legal relief, contact an attorney, or seek medical treatment, counseling or other services; (2) provide reasonable accommodations to the employee, including but not limited to, transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, or any other reasonable adjustment to a job structure, workplace facility or work requirement; (3) report the act committed against the employee to law enforcement upon request of the employee; and (4) investigate reports of workplace harassment and take appropriate corrective actions.

For purposes of the California bill, “employee” is defined as an individual who, in any particular workweek, performs at least two hours of work for a hotel employer. “Hotel employer” is defined as hotel, motel, bed and breakfast inn, or similar transient lodging establishment.

Copyright © 2019, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.


About this Author

Shawn D. Fabian, Labor and Employment Law, Attorney, Sheppard Mullin, Law firm

Shawn Fabian is an attorney in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Chicago and New York offices.

Mr. Fabian’s practice encompasses all aspects of labor and employment law, with an emphasis on litigation, proactive counseling and internal investigations to management-side clients.  He regularly represents clients before federal and state courts across the country, including in Illinois, New York, Florida, and Texas, and before administrative agencies, including the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor...

Michael J. Roth, Real Estate, Land Use Attorney, Sheppard Mullin

Michael Roth is an associate in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Chicago office.

Areas of Practice

Michael J. Roth concentrates his practice on commercial and residential real estate development throughout the United States, including construction and design contracts, lending and finance, and sales and acquisitions.

He has significant experience representing owners and contractors in negotiating design and construction contracts and has represented numerous local and institutional lenders and borrowers in connection with acquisition and construction financing. He has worked on acquisition financing and refinancing of several hotel developments, and has represented multiple lenders in financing for skilled nursing care facilities in several states. He has also worked extensively on the workout of troubled loans, for both mid-market and major financial institutions and special servicers.