City Hall (File photo)

The Santa Monica City Council will be asked to consider creating new laws to provide additional protections to hotel workers at their upcoming meeting.

In a letter dated Sept. 13, the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women has asked Council to consider a four-point plan.

The letter asks for legislation covering:

  • Protection for workers from all forms of sexual violence by providing panic buttons and other measures to enable workers to report misconduct and remove themselves from dangerous situations without fear of retaliation.
  • Provisions to ensure workers are compensated fairly when they are required to perform unreasonable workloads and protections against mandatory overtime.
  • Required training for hotel housekeepers/room attendants to ensure that workers have the knowledge and skills to both protect their own rights and safety, as well as their unique roles to help protect public health and safety.
  • Required education and training to identify potential instances of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual violence.

“Within hotels nationwide, hotel workers and, in particular, women who work as housekeepers/room attendants are all too often vulnerable to sexual violence by hotel guests,” said the letter signed by Commission chair Sylvia Ghazarian. “In addition, they are frequently assigned overly burdensome room cleaning quotas and unexpected overtime, which have a serious impact on their ability to perform their work in a proper and thorough manner. As hotel

workers and hotel guests can come into contact with highly contagious and infectious diseases (including rhinovirus germs and Legionnaire’s disease), it is critical that rooms and public areas be cleaned, sanitized, and maintained to the highest standards possible.”

Ghazarian said other cities including Seattle, New York, Las Vegas and Chicago and Emeryville. According to Ghazarian Long Beach and Palos Verdes are among the communities that have ballot measures covering similar areas.

Boards and Commission business will continue with a trio of possible appointments. The Council will consider filling unscheduled vacancies on the Recreation & Parks Commission (seven applicants: Abraham Cohen, Derek Devermont, Mitch Dorf, David Fetterman, Marcy Kaplan, Kurt Schwengel and Jeff Silberman), Arts Commission (four applicants: Phil Brock, Steve J. La Rue, George H. Ruiz Esq. and Kathleen M. Zadikian) and the Social Services Commission (six applicants: Susan D. Einbinder, Ryan O. Hass, Noah Z. Itman, Jacqueline Pepper, Eric Stoff and Ann Thanawalla)

All appointments would be for terms expiring in June 30, 2020.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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