Century Boulevard hotels near Los Angeles International Airport appealed the city's expanded living wage ordinance Tuesday to the California State Supreme Court, according to a statement from the hotels.


The appeal seeks to overturn a Dec. 27 state appellate court decision reinstating the ordinance, which requires a dozen hotels near LAX to pay their workers the city's living wage. The appeals court had overturned a May 31 lower court injunction striking down the ordinance.


The Century Corridor hotels filed suit against the city in April to block the living wage ordinance. The February 2007 ordinance was the second attempt by the city to impose the wage after the hotels threatened a referendum to challenge an original ordinance passed the prior month. The hotels claimed in their lawsuit that the second ordinance was substantially similar to the first and not sufficient to warrant shelving the referendum.


The appellate court disagreed, saying the two measures were different enough that the city could impose the modified measure without having to go to the ballot box. In filing the appeal Tuesday, the hotels disputed this contention.


"The Century Corridor Hotels believe the right of referendum is a critical power of the people of California," said hotels spokesman Ruben Gonzales. "The reversal of this century-old right should be reviewed by the highest court in our state to protect the right of citizen participation."

The city's living wage is set at $9.39 an hour with benefits, or $10.64 without.


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