Housekeepers face unacceptably high rates of injury and work-related pain. According to a 2016 report by Puget Sound Sage, 97% of hotel housekeepers surveyed experienced pain resulting from their job.
SMC 14.25 limits the square footage a housekeeper is required to clean based on the number of “strenuous” rooms you clean and the number of hours you spend cleaning rooms. Note that this portion of the law applies only to Seattle hotels of 100 guest rooms or more.
What is a “strenuous” room?
A strenuous room is either:
- A checkout room where the guest has departed the hotel OR
- A stayover room that contains a cot, rollout bed, pet bed, or crib.
How do I figure out what the square footage limit is for my shift?
Using the above table, locate the box corresponding to the number of hours you worked cleaning rooms (going across) and the number of strenuous rooms you cleaned (going down). If you cleaned nine or fewer strenuous rooms, you should use the first row of values. Note that the number of non-strenuous stayover rooms you cleaned does not impact the square footage limit but does count towards your actual square footage cleaned.
You worked cleaning rooms for 8 hours and cleaned 10 strenuous rooms and 4 non-strenuous stayover rooms. The square footage limit for your shift is 4,500 SF.
You worked cleaning rooms for 6 hours and cleaned 11 strenuous rooms and 1 non-strenuous stayover room. The square footage limit for your shift is 2,750 SF.
How do I know how many square feet I have cleaned in my shift?
Your hotel is required to keep a record of the square footage and number of strenuous rooms you clean each day and to provide those records to you upon request. You may only be assigned additional square footage above the maximum if you agree voluntarily and are paid time and a half for all the time you spend cleaning rooms that day.
How much is time and a half pay?
Time and a half pay is equal to 1.5x your normal wage rate–the same rate as overtime pay.
How do I figure out whether or not I should receive time and a half pay?
You should be notified if your square footage for a given shift is going to exceed the limit contained in the law as you may only be assigned additional square footage above the maximum if you agree voluntarily.
The below form gives an example of how to determine if you have exceeded the maximum.
I think I’ve been cleaning more than the maximum square footage but I’m not getting paid additional wages. What should I do?