SAN FRANCISCO—As a response to the emergency “Healthy Buildings Ordinance” signed by Mayor London Breed on July 17, San Francisco hotel groups sued the County of San Francisco in the Superior Court on Monday, July 20.

The purpose of the lawsuit, filed by The Hotel Council of San Francisco, the California Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), is to overturn the emergency ordinance. According to these groups, in addition to the new costs that the mandate would generate, it would also endanger the health of hotel employees and guests.

“The hotel industry already has launched an industry-wide, enhanced standard of health and safety protocols, called Safe Stay, designed in accordance with the CDC to meet the needs of the current public health crisis and assure our guests and our employees that hotels are safe,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of the AHLA, in a public statement. “Not only is this ordinance unnecessary and dangerous, but it would force hotels to remain closed, potentially for good, and lay off thousands of our dedicated workers.”

The hotel associations claimed that based on an independent analysis that they conducted, “Healthy Buildings” would add more than $47 million in annual industry costs and 15 thousand workers would remain unemployed for a longer time. They indicated this is due to the cleaning requirements in the ordinance, which include cleaning all surfaces in public and employee areas as well as changing the bed linens and towels daily, unless the guests request otherwise. 

The San Francisco News reached out to the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office for comment, but did not hear back before print.

It was not possible to get comments regarding the lawsuit from the San Francisco City Attorney.