King County court upholds hotel workers' rights Initiative 124

A big win Friday for Seattle hotel workers. A King County Superior Court judge has upheld a voter-approved initiative that protects workers' safety.

Judge John Erlick ruled in favor of a local labor rights group by throwing out a lawsuit brought upon the workers by a group of hotel owners. 

UNITED HERE! Local 8 announced the news Friday via Twitter.  


Judge Erlick said Initiative 124, which is officially called the Seattle Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative, did not violate any existing state or federal laws, nor was it unconstitutional.

Initiative 124 was presented by UNITED HERE! Local 8, the hospitality union of the Northwest, in November 2016. It gave certain workers more rights in cases involving assault, sexual harassment, injuries, work schedules, health care, and shifts in hotel ownership.

It passed in Seattle with a 77 percent majority vote.

The debate concerning the initiative began in December 2016 when the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Seattle Hotel Association, and Washington Hospitality Association sued the city over I-124. 

The hotel-owner groups had concerns that the ordinance undermined guest privacy and due process rights. For example, the ordinance requires in some cases that the hotel keep track of guest accused of harassing staff and, in some cases, bar those guests from the hotel.   

Erlick's decision is seen as a win for hotel employees, who are mostly immigrants and women and are considered one of the most vulnerable groups in the hospitality industry. 

 

© 2017 KING-TV


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