Get the Facts on SB 432
Our economy is struggling. Our budget is perpetually out of balance. Schools, roads, healthcare and public safety suffer. And the legislature is focused on… FITTED SHEETS?? That’s right. SB 432 (de León), would mandate that hotels use fitted sheets, not flat sheets, on all of their mattresses. Why? Good question. Studies show no safety benefits for hotel employees from using fitted vs. flat sheets. So what’s the deal? Perhaps it’s because the bill’s sponsors, the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, want a new cause of action to sue. But we’ll all pay for the trial lawyers’ legislation. SB 432 would cost $30 - $50 million to replace sheets and buy the appropriate laundry equipment. On top of that, it would cost millions more in frivolous lawsuits – costs that will be passed on to hotel customers. Here is why legislators should reject SB 432:
- Studies Confirm Types of Sheets Don’t Matter to Working Conditions: SB 432 is being introduced under the guise of worker safety, yet no studies exist showing fitted sheets are safer or reduce workplace injuries. Not even the study being used by SB 432 supporters says fitted sheets are better for hotel worker safety. That’s because fitted sheets vs. flat sheets makes no difference to worker safety.
- Hotel Working Conditions Already Heavily Regulated: Hotel working conditions already are heavily regulated and overseen by CalOSHA to ensure working conditions enable housekeepers to perform their duties safely. So why is the Legislature meddling?
- Hotel Industry is Motivated to Protect Employee Safety: The hotel industry is at the forefront of efforts to protect workers from injuries. It only makes sense. The industry needs healthy housekeepers to succeed and does everything possible to prevent injuries. Injuries to workers leads to increased costs through absenteeism, increased medical costs, and increased insurance premiums. If fitted sheets were better for workers, the industry would have moved to use them a long time ago.
- SB 432 Will Further Harm California’s economy: Hospitality and tourism are viewed as one industry that can help California pull itself out of recession. The industry creates 858,800 jobs in California, pays $23.2 billion in employee wages, generates an additional $99.4 billion in tourism related sales and pays $14.9 billion in state and local taxes. Now is not the time to be imposing costly regulations on the industry and its guests – particularly when there is no benefit to employees.
Look at the REAL Motivation.
SB 432 Is About New Opportunities for Lawyers to Sue Hotels
SB 432 is sponsored by the California Applicant’s Attorneys Association (lawyers who file workers comp claims) and the Consumer Attorneys of California (trial lawyers). If they can force a change to fitted sheets, they have a whole new line of lawsuits. California’s Legislature shouldn’t be used as a pawn to breed more lawsuits.