Airport area-hotels have lost their bid to overturn L.A.'s living wage law as the state Supreme Court on Thursday announced it has denied a review of the hotels' appeal of the ordinance.
The Supreme Court decision not to hear the case appears to end the hotels' year-long effort to overturn the ordinance, which requires 12 hotels along Century Boulevard to pay their workers $9.39 an hour with benefits or $10.64 an hour without benefits. Barring some other legal action by the hotels, the ordinance will go into effect in 30 days from final publication of the ordinance which should be in the next two weeks.
"The decision not to review this critical case is a hindrance to the growth of the hotel industry and most importantly the creation of jobs for working families in Los Angeles. We are considering next steps in dealing with the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision," said Ruben Gonzales, spokesman for the Hotel Association.
The hotels had filed suit against the city in February 2007, alleging that the final ordinance that the City Council passed was too similar to an earlier version that the hotels had sought to block by placing on the ballot as a referendum.
The hotels argued that state law requires a revised ordinance to be substantially different from the original one or it, too, must be put to a ballot. The hotels won the first round in May, but in December, a state appellate court reversed the lower court ruling and let the ordinance stand.
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the appellate court ruling was welcomed by living wage supporters. "After more than a year of waiting and millions of dollars in lost wages to these hard working men and women, hotel workers on the Century Corridor will finally start to receive the living wage that they deserve," said L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn said in statement.
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