BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                  SB 432
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          Date of Hearing:   June 22, 2011

                                Sandre Swanson, Chair
                    SB 432 (De Leon) - As Amended:  June 15, 2011

           SENATE VOTE  :   25-15
          SUBJECT  :   Workplace safety: lodging establishments: 

           SUMMARY  :   This bill creates new occupational safety and health 
          standards for all hotels, motels and other similar transient 
          lodging establishments in California. Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Requires the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board 
            (OSHSB) to adopt an a standard for all hotels, motels and 
            other similar lodging establishments, by September 1, 2012, 
            that require the following:

             a)   The use of fitted sheets, as defined, on the bottom 
               sheet on all beds within the lodging establishment.

             b)   The use of long-handled tools, including but not limited 
               to, mops and similar devices, to eliminate the practice by 
               housekeepers of working in a stooped, kneeling, or 
               squatting in position in order to clean bathroom floors, 
               walls, tubs, toilets and other bathroom surfaces

          2)Defines "fitted sheet" as a bed sheet containing elastic or 
            similar material sewn into each of the four corners that 
            allows the sheet to stay in place over the mattress.

          3)Allows OSHSB to grant variance to this provision. 

          4)Requires the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) 
            to enforce these standards in the ordinary course of its 

           EXISTING LAW  

          1)Creates DOSH within the Department of Industrial Relations 
            (DIR) to enforce and administer all state occupational safety 
            and health standards and regulations.


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          2)Creates OSHSB within DOSH to adopt reasonable and enforceable 
            standards that meet or exceed federal standards.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   According to the Senate Appropriations 
          Committee, up to $120,000 in Occupational Safety and Health Fund 
          costs for the adoption of new occupational and health standards 
          and minor costs annually for the enforcement of the new 

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, a study published in the 
          American Journal of Industrial Medicine in 2010 titled 
          "Occupational Injury Disparities in the US Hotel Industry," (The 
          Study) found that hotel workers have an injury rate  that is 25 
          percent  higher than all other service sector workers. The Study 
          asserts that housekeepers have the highest rate of injury by 
          classification, 50 percent higher than all other hotel workers. 
          In addition, housekeepers also had the highest rate of 
          muscular-skeletal disorders and are 76 percent more likely to 
          suffer from work-related lower back injuries. 
          The author asserts that most lodging establishment housekeepers 
          clean between 25 and 30 rooms per day and in each room, they are 
          required to lift heavy mattresses to change flat sheets. 
          According to the author, this requirement leads to increased 
          rates of back and shoulder injuries. In addition, many 
          housekeeper injuries in the lodging industry are caused by the 
          lack of long-handled cleaning tools including, but not limited 
          to mops. The author notes that, where these tools are not 
          supplied, housekeepers may clean up to 32 bathroom floors on 
          their hands knees in a single shift. Additionally, the author 
          asserts that cleaning the top portion of bathroom showers 
          without long-handled tools often requires housekeepers to stand 
          on bathtub rims which results in higher rates of falls.

          The Study also found that, within the United States' hospitality 
          industry, hotels and motels employ 1.8 million workers. Within 
          this industry, housekeepers make up 25 percent of the workforce 
          and constitute the single largest occupational group in the 
          hotel industry. Due to the cleaning tasks in this and other 
          industries demand a high level of physical effort - including 
          aerobic strain, repetitive movement, high static muscular loads, 
          and a high frequency of stooping -  hotel workers are nearly 40 
          percent more likely to be injured on the job than all other 
          service sector workers. The Study also notes that hotel workers 


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          sustain more severe injuries that result in more days off work, 
          more job transfers and more medically restricted work compared 
          to other employees in the hospitality industry.

          According to a 2006 report titled "Barriers to Occupational 
          Health Services for Low-Wage Workers in California," (Lashuay 
          and Harrison) (Report), over two-third of the 25 occupations 
          reporting non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses are 
          low-wage occupations, including, but not limited to, hotel 
          cleaners, janitors and food service workers. The Report notes 
          that accidents are common in these low-wage industries. In 
          addition, the Report states that prevention efforts could play 
          in reducing workers' compensation expenditures and, more 
          importantly, worker pain and disability.


          In support, the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAC) writes 
          that this bill will prevent injuries from occurring for 
          housekeepers working in hotels and other lodging industries. CAC 
          states that housekeeping staff are often only supplied with flat 
          sheets to change the linens and short-handed tools to clean the 
          bathrooms. The use of these supplied tools requires housekeeping 
          staff to lift heavy beds and clean bathroom floors on their 
          hands and knees more than 30 times a day. CAC notes that these 
          tasks take a grueling toll on workers' bodies and lead to higher 
          rates of workplace injuries. According to CAC, studies have 
          shown that hotel workers in general, and housekeepers in 
          particular, are at the highest risk of acquiring 
          muscular-skeletal disorders than workers in any other sector.  
          They assert that the implementation of standards that require 
          fitted sheets and long-handled tools will improve workplace 
          safety and improve the well-being of hotel housekeepers. 

          In a letter of support, the California Teamsters Public Affairs 
          Council (CTPAC) writes that that workplace injuries suffered by 
          hotel housekeepers have dramatically increased during the past 
          several years as a result of heavier workloads largely cause by 
          "luxury" branding in the hotel industry.  They note that, in 
          addition to having to life multiple mattresses that can with 
          over 100 pounds, housekeepers spend their work days pushing 
          heavy carts across carpeted hallways, bending down to clean 
          floors and climbing to clean high surfaces. The California Labor 


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          Federation, writing in support of this bill, asserts that it 
          will provide minimal standards that will make a huge change in 
          the working conditions of California's lodging housekeepers. 


          Writing in opposition, the California Hotel & Lodging 
          Association (CHLA) states that there is no evidence that the use 
          of fitted sheets will reduce injuries. They assert that there is 
          no consensus in their industry regarding the ergonomic benefit 
          of flat versus fitted sheets and anecdotal information from 
          experienced housekeeping staff has told them that fitted sheets 
          can be more strenuous to use than flat sheets. The California 
          Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) writes that creating 
          requirements based on what may or may not be best for the safety 
          of housekeepers is not in the best interest of workers. 
          CalChamber asserts that requiring all lodging establishments to 
          change out all of their flat sheets for fitted sheets would be 
          costly and require these establishments to acquire the equipment 
          to launder the new style of sheets. In their letter of 
          opposition, the California Travel Association (CalTravel) states 
          that, over the last five years, the majority of lodging 
          establishments have instituted some level of "green lodging 
          practices" that have greatly reduced the number of times sheets 
          and towels are changed. They note that, by offering guests the 
          opportunity to "opt out" of housekeeping completely, sheet 
          changing has decreased up 70 percent in one national chain hotel 
          and decreased by approximately 50 percent in several other chain 
          and independent hotels.       


          CA Conference Board of the Amalgamated Transit Union
          CA Conference of Machinists
          CA Official Court Reporters Association
          California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
          California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
          Consumer Attorneys of California
          Engineers and Scientists of California
          International Longshore and Warehouse Union
          Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
          National Lawyers Guild Labor & Employment Committee
          Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21


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          UNITE HERE!
          United Food and Commercial Workers-Western States Conference
          Utility Workers Union of America, Local 132

          American Hotel & Lodging Association
          American Resort Development Association
          Anaheim/Orange County Hotel & Lodging Association
          Asian American Hotel Owners Association
          California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns
          California Chamber of Commerce
          California Hotel & Lodging Association
          California Travel Association
          Grand Hyatt San Francisco on Union Square
          Greater Santa Barbara Lodging & Restaurant Association
          Hilton San Francisco Union Square
          Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
          Hotel Association of Los Angeles
          Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
          Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
          Hyatt Regency Sacramento
          Hyatt Regency San Francisco in Embarcadero Center
          Los Angeles County Business Federation
          Marriot Hotels & Resorts
          Monterey County Hospitality Association
          Outrigger Lodging Services
          Sacramento Hotel Association
          San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association
          San Francisco Hotel Council
          Textile Rental Services Association of America
          Torrance Chamber of Commerce/Visit Torrance
          West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Shannon McKinley / L. & E. / (916)