The Nevada Independent   ·   Link to Article

Las Vegas housekeepers lament end of daily room cleaning law

Lawmakers passed SB4 in a special legislative session that summer. The Culinary Union saw that bill, which called for daily cleaning of a long list of items in hotel rooms from door handles to light switches to linens, as a way to encourage casinos to adhere to stricter cleaning and safety regulations after a utility porter at Caesars Palace, Adolfo Fernandez, died from contracting COVID-19. 

Xochitl Mendez, 55, a guest room attendant in a Strip property and member of the Culinary Union, told The Nevada Independent that when SB4 passed and daily room cleaning returned, she and her colleagues were relieved as their workload would ease. Mendez explained that not cleaning rooms every day allows trash, dust and soap buildup to accumulate, making cleanup at checkout more laborious. 

“We were used to having a stable type of job … But the pandemic came to load us with work as industry workers. It was heavier, it was more difficult,” Mendez said in Spanish. “There were even times when we even cried at how ugly those rooms were.”

Mendez has been a guest room attendant for more than 20 years. She said that dirtier rooms require more effort and exhaust her to the point where she wonders how much longer she can do the job before her body gives out. 

During the hearings on SB441 this legislative session, Culinary leadership was adamantly opposed to lifting the mandate for daily cleaning.


Guest room attendants also have a 30-minute time limit to clean rooms after checkout, Mendez said, which makes cleaning rooms that haven't been cleaned in a couple of days a bigger challenge.

“Nobody is going to tell me what housekeeping is. I live it every day. That's why we know the importance of cleaning a room daily,” Mendez said. “If you clean a house every day, a little here and there, it stays beautiful. But if you clean it once a month — or even once a week — there’s a difference.”

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