Search The Tattler

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Court Rejects Woodfin Demand

By Mr. X
A California appeals court rejected a demand by the Woodfin Suites Hotel that Emeryville taxpayers pay the hotel's growing legal fees.
The hotel company, owned and operated by Sam Hardage, a Republican Party activist from San Diego, has fought the city's living wage ordinance for hotel workers since before it was codified.
The ordinance, Measure C, was approved by Emeryville voters in November 2005. While other hotel operators, including Sheraton 4 Points, Courtyard by Marriott and Holiday Inn (now Hilton) have complied fully with the law, Mr. Hardage, Woodfin's owner has stubbornly refused. Hotel workers have faced a string of retaliatory actions, including summary firings. Woodfin has instead launched a string of lawsuits to avoid paying back wages to the workers and seeking to have the measure overturned.
One of the hotel's lawsuits sought to force city taxpayers to reimburse the company for its recalcitrant legal strategy. That suit was rejected. An appeal of that decision was rejected in an 11 page decision by the Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District on March 15.
You can read the entire document by following this link to a pdf file


  1. This decision was reached March 15 and you are the only one to publicize it?

    So what will the city attorney do about it or will it languish for another year or two?

  2. I've been wondering what's up at the Woodfin, and am more than ready to get on the picket line out front and make some noise! I live in Emeryville and voted for the Living Wage law, and am ready for the Woodfin to take it seriously and pay their workers those back wages.

  3. Thanks for the link to the courts decision. I only knew a little bit about what was going on. For shame.

  4. I think Woodfin's actions are criminal and cannot be defended. However, being a large contributor to Brian Bilbray hardly makes Sam Hardage a "Republican Party activist." Let's call a spade a spade. I will not defend the Woodfin's actions in breaking the law--it's outrageous. However, I will defend Mr. Hardage's right to contribute to the candidate of his choice. That is democracy in action and it is a wonderful thing to behold, even if the person in question does not share your values.

  5. Note to readers-
    We refer to Mr Hardage as a 'Republican Party activist' because he is a former president of the San Diego County Republican Party and because he was a Bush 'pioneer,' twice collecting in excess of $100,000 for George W. Bush's election campaigns. Mr Hardage can count among his friends Congressman Bilbray and other high level Republican strategists and operatives. He is commonly called upon to help with Republican Party fundraising and other party building activities. He has represented the Republican party in many forums including interviews with leading national magazines and newspapers.

  6. I checked out Sam Hardage and he's also president of the Council for National Policy (CNP) a super secretive Christian evangelical public policy group that's extremely influential in the Washington Republican leadership.

  7. Hardage wants to take this to the nine justices of the s.c.

    Just think, if he paid his bills to the workers and the city, residents might be able to get some of their services funded.

    Time for companies to share in some of the social responsibilities of being in communities.

  8. i agree with caller no. 1. what's the city going to do about this? must the workers and supporters continue to demonstrate for another year or three?

    this is why the tattler and the secret news are so vital. it's the only way we have learning about city affairs.

  9. ah, here is announcement of the picket this Saturday. See you there!

    Join us for a breakfast picket at the Woodfin on:
    Saturday, April 10th, 2010
    from 9:00 - 10:30 AM
    Woodfin Suite Hotel
    5800 Shellmound, Emeryville

    While workers don't yet have backwages checks in hand, the Woodfin is being handed defeat after defeat.

    In Fall 2009, a judge ordered the Woodfin to pay workers some $200,000 in backwages. Last month, the court of appeals rejected Woodfin's preposterous appeal demanding that the City of Emeryville pay the hotel legal fees. Also, the Superior Court awarded legal fees to the workers' lawyer and awarded several thousand dollars in costs to the City.

    There's lots to celebrate on the road to backwages.

    We'll provide coffee, pastries, and inspiration. Bring your voices and a friend.

    To RSVP, contact Brooke Anderson at 510-846-0766 or brooke(at)