Hotel Workers Collect Service Fees

DCB brought class-action lawsuits against five hotels for violating Los Angeles ordinance requiring hotels in the Los Angeles International Airport area to pay their workers all service charges collected from hotel customers. The ordinance addressed the growing practice of hotels charging guests—particularly banquet and room service customers—a mandatory charge of up to 22% on top of the traditional hotel bill for food and services, but not passing it on to the workers.

The hotels refused to comply with the ordinance and challenged it on the ground that the City of Los Angeles lacked the authority to regulate this issue.  The Court of Appeal disagreed and upheld the validity and enforceability of the ordinance.  After further litigation, DCB and co-counsel settled the class actions and hundreds of employees at five LAX area hotels are collecting several million dollars in compensation for the service charges.