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Los Angeles City Council Approves Minimum Wage Hike For Hotel Workers

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that will raise the minimum wage for thousands of hotel workers in the city to $15.37 an hour.

The ordinance, which now just needs a signature from the mayor, will require hotels with 300 or more rooms to begin paying the new minimum wage by July 1. Hotels with at least 150 rooms will have until July 1, 2016 to comply.

Unionized hotels in many cases will be exempt from the wage hike, because those workers have already agreed to a bargained contract. Hotels facing a financial hardship will have the option of applying for a waiver from paying the $15.37 wage.

The council voted 11-2 to approve the hotel wage ordinance, with Mitch Englander and Bernard Parks dissenting.

City officials estimate 40 non-union hotels in the city have 150 or more rooms and will be subject to the minimum wage increase.

The hotel industry, which opposed the increase, says the issue was rushed to a vote before economic studies on the wage increase could be properly reviewed. The American Hotel & Lodge Association is considering "all avenues, including litigation" to challenge the wage increase, according to a spokesman.

Hotel workers and members of labor groups contend the wage hike will improve the quality of life for low-paid hotel workers struggling to make ends meet. Business groups countered, however, that it will cause job losses, reduce hotel services and discourage hotel development in the city.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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