As if New York City hotels couldn’t hold out enough during the pandemic, a new bill would hook them up for their workers’ severance payments.
Should both help unemployed employees And to encourage the reopening of hotels, the bill introduced by Queens Councilman Francisco Moya would apply to hotels where 75 percent or more of the workers are unemployed or at least half of the rooms are not rented, according to the New York Daily News.
The bill, which would currently affect about 40 hotels, would require owners to pay laid-off workers $ 500 a week for 15 weeks. After that, their commitment would increase to $ 1,000 per week for another 15 weeks, making a potential total of $ 22,500 per unemployed employee.
If passed, the law would be retroactive to September 6th, when the federal pandemic unemployment benefit expired.
Supporters of the measure include the Hotel Trades Council, the union that represents the city’s hotel workers, which estimates that nearly 60 percent of hotel workers – or around 30,000 people – are unemployed.
The union president pointed out the need to support workers with lost earnings and suggested that the bill would incentivize hotels to reopen instead of paying former employees to stay at home.
But Vijay Dandapani, president of the Hotel Association of New York City, said the bill would only mean another blow to the city’s lodging industry, whose revenues have plummeted 70 percent during the pandemic.
“Any additional exposure will actually have the opposite effect and tip more hotels over the edge,” Dandapani told the Daily News.
Moya emphasized the critical role that hotel workers will play in the city’s economic recovery. New York hotels were decimated during the pandemic as both domestic and international visitors were forced to give up business and leisure travel. An April study by CBRE predicted the city’s hospitality industry will not recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2025.
[NYDN] – Holden Walter-Warner
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