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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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City of Long Beach
Measure WW - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


84,411 votes yes (64.49%)

46,480 votes no (35.51%)

100% of precincts reporting (219/219).

Shall an ordinance be adopted to require Long Beach hotels containing more than 50 rooms to provide personal emergency contact devices for hotel workers, adopt restrictions on the square footage of hotel areas which may be cleaned and establish penalties for failure to comply with the restrictions?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Charles Parkin, City Attorney


Measure “WW” was placed on the ballot by citizens’ initiative petition. If approved by the voters, it would require a hotel in the City of Long Beach (defined as containing 50 or more rooms) to supply hotel employees who work in guest rooms without other hotel employees present with an electronic contact device, for summoning on-scene assistance and reporting threatening conduct. Hotels would be required to post notices of this practice in guest rooms.

Measure “WW” would prohibit a hotel employer from requiring a hotel room cleaner to clean more than 4,000 square feet of floorspace in any eight-hour workday unless the employer pays twice the regular rate of pay for all hours worked.

If a room cleaner works fewer than eight hours in a workday, the maximum floor space would be reduced on a prorated basis. Additional restrictions on square footage of floor space cleaned for checkout and additional bedrooms are provided.

The ordinance would prohibit a hotel employer from requiring a hotel employee from working more than ten hours in any workday unless the hotel employee provides written consent, and the hotel has previously advised the employee that he or she may decline to work more than ten hours in any workday.

The ordinance would provide that a hotel employee who notifies a hotel employer of violent or threatening behavior may be reassigned to a different work area for the duration of the alleged threatening guest’s stay. The hotel employer must provide the employee with paid leave time to contact the police, a counselor and other advisor. The hotel employer must permit, but may not require, the hotel employee to report the incident to law enforcement, and the hotel employer shall cooperate with any law enforcement investigation into the alleged incident.

The ordinance would require hotel employers to maintain records for at least two years of each room cleaner’s wages, hours, square footage cleaned and consent to work overtime, with failure to do so resulting in fines and penalties.

The ordinance would prohibit a hotel employer from terminating or taking any other adverse action against a hotel employee for asserting their rights under the ordinance.

A hotel employer seeking to terminate or take other adverse action against any hotel employee who has asserted his or her rights under this ordinance within one year preceding the adverse action shall provide to the hotel employee a detailed written statement of the reason(s) for termination or other adverse action.

The workload and overtime provisions may be waived by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement.

Enforcement of the ordinance would be by civil action. Fines and penalties could be assessed at $50 per affected employee per day, and may include possible punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

A “Yes” vote will approve Measure “WW”.

A “No” vote will not approve Measure “WW”.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Dear Long Beach Neighbors,

We want to say “Gracias” to all of you who signed our petition to put Measure WW on the ballot. It was a lot of work. But we aren’t afraid of hard work. Many of you said such kind things when you signed, so that made it easier.

To all the rest of you, we thank you for reading this now. We want you to know how much your support would mean to us.

Hotel housekeepers work alone. Hotel rooms don’t have cameras. We often find ourselves in very degrading situations. Male guests exposing themselves to us. Trying to touch us. Even doing personal things to themselves in front of us.

Measure WW will give us a button we can carry with us to signal hotel security to come quickly. The hotel companies will pay for the button, not the taxpayers. Other cities are doing this. Your Yes vote on Measure WW will do this in Long Beach. Please help us with this.

Measure WW does something else very important. In some hotels we clean 3,600 square feet of hotel rooms. But sometimes they have pushed housekeepers to the breaking point to clean 5,000 square feet. A total of 34 toilets and bathtubs. More than 20 beds. All in 8 hours. It’s very hard to make that quota when hotel guests make a big mess or had a party.

If hotels need us clean more than 4,000 square feet in 8 hours, then they should pay us extra

We do a good job. We are glad to have our jobs, but hotel companies are very influential, so we need to ask you directly to help us.

Long Beach Housekeeper

Long Beach Housekeeper

Long Beach Housekeeper

Long Beach Housekeeper

Long Beach Housekeeper

Arguments AGAINST

If this measure was truly about safety, we would not be opposed.

Unfortunately, it is a deeply burdensome arbitrary workplace regulation hiding behind “safety” as a cynical attempt to trick voters.

If this measure was about safety, why did the Long Beach City Council reject a similar measure?

Maybe it is because it has little to do with safety, is arbitrary and will have a harmful impact on the City.

If this measure was about safety, then why exclude union hotels?

If it was about safety, then why exclude hotels with under 50 rooms?

A majority of the downtown hotels already have and use panic buttons and have been using them for many years.

Hotels are actively engaged to ensure employees and customers are safe. Many hotels have safety protocols, panic buttons, and safety trainings on how to use panic buttons, sexual harassment prevention, domestic violence awareness, and other trainings designed to equip their employees to keep them safe.

If this measure was just about panic buttons, we would be supportive along with every hotel. BUT IT IS NOT.

The key to the measure is the mandate on how many square feet can an employee clean each day. However, the mandate does NOT apply to employees in union hotels.

If the mandate was truly a good idea, shouldn’t be applied to everyone?

The result of the measure could reduce hours for employees who want full-time work and increase hotel prices which could impact the City’s convention and tourism. This all could impact taxpayers.

The cynical attempt to hoodwink voters should be rejected.

The majority of the Long Beach City Council saw through this scheme and we urge you to also REJECT THIS MEASURE. We all want better safety so let’s do it the right way.

Born, Raised, Schooled, Long Beach Business Owner

President/CEO, Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Replies to Arguments FOR

Measure WW is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Proponents’ pleas about unsafe hotel working conditions mask an agenda to quickly impose unrealistic work rules that will burden Long Beach taxpayers at a time the city can least afford additional expenses.

Let’s be clear about the facts behind Measure WW.

-The Long Beach hotel safety record is outstanding. It is THREE TIMES BETTER than that of the City’s record of assaults. Only two assaults at Long Beach hotels have been reported in the past 2 years. The industry has equipped the vast majority of its work-alone employees with panic buttons, provided them with more than 1,000 hours in 2017 of paid safety trainings for human trafficking, sexual harassment and CPR.

-The City Council rejected this measure last year. The majority saw through the safety veil proponents wove and called out the imposition of square-footage work limits as disingenuous and deceitful.

-Harassment is a societal issue, unfortunately, not confined to one industry. So, why single out a specific industry rather than address harassment throughout Long Beach?

-Taxpayers will pay more. Measure WW was placed on the ballot before an economic impact study was begun. This puts the cart ahead of the horse for voters as the true costs to Long Beach taxpayers to implement and enforce this measure are not part of the ballot.

We urge voters to see through the veil of Measure WW and reject this charade to impose costly work rules in the name of better safety.

Born, Raised, Schooled, Long Beach Business Owner

President/CEO Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

The opponents make contradictory arguments.

On one hand they say the panic button provisions are unnecessary because hotels have had panic buttons for many years. If that were true, why would they object?

On one hand they object to limiting the square footage housekeepers must clean for regular pay in an 8-hour day. But they then say that somehow this will reduce the number of hours housekeepers work. That doesn’t make sense.

They say Measure WW doesn’t apply to union hotels. That’s not true. Measure WW requires panic buttons in every large hotel, union and non-union.

Measure WW doesn’t impact union hotels where housekeepers have already negotiated fair standards for heavy workloads.

Opponents don’t cite any evidence that similar ordinances in other cities have either hurt business or resulted in a cost to taxpayers. That’s because there is no such evidence.


City Councilwoman

President, Pacific Shore (NOW)
National Organization For Women

Reverend, Los Altos United Methodist Church

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