The Hotel Employees Job Retention Ordinance

Ordinance: SMC 14.29

Hotel Employees Job Retention Ordinance Q & A

The Hotel Employees Job Retention Ordinance

This law requires covered employers to provide advanced notice to covered employees of changes in ownership and requires the incoming employer to retain covered employees for a certain time after the change in ownership. 

This law covers hourly employees that work at a Seattle hotel or motel of 60 or more rooms or an ancillary hotel business of 50 or more employees worldwide. Hourly employees are those employees who are entitled to Seattle's Minimum Wage. The law does not apply to managers, supervisors, or employees who help to create or effect management policies about labor relations.

Two types of employers may be covered employers:

  • hotel employer, an employer that owns, controls, or operates a Seattle hotel or motel with 60 or more guest rooms, or
  • An ancillary hotel business with 50 or more employees worldwide.     

Those two types of employer become covered employers when there is a change of ownership. Covered employers are limited to those who are party to a transfer document that effects a change in control of a covered business. Both outgoing employers (those selling a business) and incoming employers (those buying the business) have obligations under this law.   

An ancillary hotel business is a business that has one or more of the following relationships with a covered hotel: 

  • Routinely contracts with a hotel to provide services in conjunction with the hotel's purpose
  • Leases or subleases space at the site of the hotel to provide services in conjunction with the hotel's purpose 
  • Provides food and beverages to hotel guests and to the public where the business has an entrance within the hotel. 

Effective Dates:

  • For ancillary hotel businesses with between 50 and 250 employees worldwide that contract, lease, or sublease with a hotel: July 1, 2025
  • For all other covered employers: July 1, 2020