The Appellate Court of Illinois upheld the Illinois Hotel Room Attendant Rest Break Law over constitutional challenges. Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association v. Ludwig, — N.E.2d –, 2007 WL 1462185 (Ill.App. 2007). The Rest Break Law is a first of its kind statute that requires hotels to provide room attendants with two 15-minute rest breaks and a 30-minute meal period. The law allows room attendants to bring civil actions for treble damages if the hotel fails to do so. The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association sued to block enforcement, claiming that the law violated the Illinois and United States Constitutions and was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act. The Appellate Court rejected both of these arguments. The court recognized that the quota system under which hotel room attendants work forces them to skip rest breaks and has contributed to increases in injury rates in recent years. The court held that the Illinois Legislature had a rational basis for targeting the law exclusively to Cook County, since Cook County has more room attendants than the rest of Illinois combined and since Cook County hotels are financially stronger than those in other regions of the state.
Davis, Cowell & Bowe represented UNITE HERE Local 1, which intervened in the case.