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de Blasio to hotels: Reopen or pay up

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Some of New York City’s larger hotels that significantly cut staff or outright shut down in wake of the coronavirus pandemic will need to open by the end of the month, or could be forced to pay out severance for as much as $15,000 per employee.

It’s part of a measure Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Oct. 5, hoping to finally convince some of New York’s straggling hotels to finally welcome guests again.

“It’s not often you see legislation have such a clear and immediate positive impact, but today is one of those days,” said Rich Maroko, president of the New York Hotel Trades Council, in a release. “By encouraging hotels to reopen and recall their workers, this bill will give thousands of jobless New Yorkers the hope and financial security they so desperately need.”

Any hotel with at least 100 rooms that either laid off 75 percent of its employees or closed completely during the pandemic must reopen by Nov. 1, according to the bill introduced by Queens councilman Francisco Moya.

Any hotel that doesn’t open will have to pay $500 weekly to each employee for up to 30 weeks.

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