Associations file I-124 legal challenge

Associations file I-124 legal challenge https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Maid-hotel-image.jpg

Initiative 124 was passed by Seattle voters in the November 2016 election. The initiative pertains to health and safety provisions for Seattle hotel workers.

Seattle hotels remain committed to a safe and healthy work environment that respects the rights of both our employees and our guests. Initiative 124 threatens that commitment, impeding the industry’s ability to manage and provide opportunities to its workforce, while violating the rights of our customers.

While hoteliers have always had serious doubts about overreaching government solutions pertaining to the safety and security of our properties, we made clear that local hotels were willing to work with the city, security experts and technology providers to find smart, viable solutions to protect our employees and guests. But by shutting local job providers and industry experts out of the process, backers of Initiative 124 wrote a deeply flawed proposal behind closed doors that will have serious consequences for employees, the city of Seattle and our industry.

It is against this backdrop that the Seattle Hotel Association, Washington Hospitality Association and American Hotel & Lodging Association took the step to file a lawsuit Dec. 19 requesting the court invalidate the ordinance. We do not take this decision lightly, but it is clear to us that this initiative violates state law.

Further, one of the provisions, requiring hotels to blacklist guests, forces our industry to choose between protecting our guests or protecting our employees. Our industry must protect both. This ordinance violates the rights of our guests and forces our employees to take on a law enforcement role.

We know that working together is a more effective means to address the issues put forth in this referendum. Hoteliers look forward to having a Washington court hear our case at the earliest opportunity as we continue our commitment to fostering a safe and vibrant environment in Seattle for our employees and guests.

For questions about the legal challenge, contact jillianh@wahospitality.org.

Tags: I-124