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Challenging Work Standards for Texas Hotel Housekeepers

Texas lawmakers are looking at a bill that would set new standards for hotel housekeeping workers. The bill’s author says the workers are not getting fair treatment, but some in the hotel industry disagree.

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) says if Texas hotels can prove housekeepers earn minimum wage, she’ll drop her bill. But, she says, she’s skeptical they can.

The bill in front of the House Business and Industry Committee Tuesday would also limit work days to eight hours and enforce rest time, sick leave and vacation time for hotel housekeepers.

Angelo Lombardi of La Quinta hotels says the bill would hurt his hotel chain.

"This doesn’t take into account the variability of the system," Lombardi said. "The amount of time depends on room size and number of beds."

Rep. Thompson says her aim is not to hurt hotels.

"We’re not trying to put anyone out of business," Thompsan said. "We’re not trying to make it difficult for businesses to come here and to work here within the State of Texas, we’re just trying to make sure that the people they employ, in particular people who are housekeepers in hotels, are compensated at the minimum wage."

Lawmakers didn't vote on the bill Tuesday. It's future is uncertain.

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