ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 16, 2023) — Anaheim is pursuing an impact study for a hotel and event worker ballot initiative and will consider a separate ordinance with safety protections for hotel workers, the City Council voted on Tuesday.
A study on the initiative and a proposed hotel worker protection ordinance are expected to come back before the Council at its June 13 meeting.
Both actions are in response to a recently certified initiative petition, which, if approved, would require employers to pay hotel and event center workers a minimum starting wage of $25 per hour, among other provisions.
The initiative, supported by the Unite Here Local 11 hotel worker union, would cover Anaheim hotels, the Anaheim Convention Center, Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim and other event centers of 20,000 square feet or more.
The initiative also would limit hotel housekeepers to cleaning no more than 4,000 square feet of space in hotels with less than 60 rooms and no more than 3,500 square feet in hotels with 60 rooms or more, unless they are paid double their daily pay.
Also included are provisions requiring security devices and overtime pay. You can read the full initiative here.
A separate proposed worker safety ordinance is set to be considered by the Council and does not cover wages.
The proposed ordinance would require hotels to provide security alarms to those working in hotel rooms and restrooms as well as monitoring.
The proposed ordinance would also require reporting of incidents to hotel management, notifying guests of security policies and allowing paid time to report an incident to Anaheim Police.
The initiative was circulated for signatures earlier this year and was certified by the Orange County Registrar of Voters on April 26.
Proponents of the initiative submitted 27,215 signatures with 16,842 verified signatures of registered Anaheim voters needed for certification.
With this or any certified initiative, the City Council can adopt the provisions as written or put the issue before voters, with an additional option of commissioning an impact study before making a decision.
A study is set to look at fiscal and economic impact of the initiative, including cost to the city of Anaheim and employees at the city owned and run Anaheim Convention Center and the city owned Angel Stadium and Honda Center.
Should the Council vote to place the initiative before voters, it could:
- Call for a standalone special election within 88 to 103 days at a cost of $1.5 million to $1.6 million.
- Place it on the Nov. 5, 2024, general election ballot at a cost of $198,891 to $233,265.
The Orange County Registrar of Voters also has provided an option of consolidating the initiative with California’s March 2024 primary at a cost of $403,688 to $485,052, though that would still be considered a special election and fall beyond the 88 to 103 days required to hold a special election.
The City Council on Tuesday heard three hours of comment from more than 60 speakers, including hotel owners, managers and workers opposed to the initiative and hotel workers and union representatives supporting it.