California

If the Sheet Fits, You Must Use It By California Law

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once upon a sheetless mattress

Honestly, there are some days when I think the California legislature is actually an elaborate makework program for Hit&Run bloggers. Because seriously?

In February, State Sen. Kevin DeLeon, D-Los Angeles, introduced SB 432, which once deciphered would require every single hotel in California to switch to fitted sheets….

The bill reads as a workers safety bill, and also introduces legislation forcing hotels to offer cleaning tools with long handles—essentially long enough so workers wouldn't have to bend over.

Nevermind that:

"There is absolutely no scientific proof that fitted sheets are safer than flat sheets," said Randi Knott with the [California Hotel Association]. "If there were, we'd be using them already."…

She also questioned how fitted sheets would make a difference—citing housekeepers will still have to lift the mattress to tuck the top sheet.

Tim Cavanaugh talked about this brilliant bill on the radio in May. See, it's working: full employment for Reason writers!

Via former Reason Foundation intern Cynthia Bell.

NEXT: Hurricane Irene and the Financial Crisis

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  1. The bill reads as a workers safety bill, and also introduces legislation forcing hotels to offer cleaning tools with long handles?essentially long enough so workers wouldn’t have to bend over.

    That one kind of makes sense–they’re protecting the maids from sudden attacks by Dominique Strauss Kahn.

    1. +Guffaw

  2. In February, State Sen. Kevin DeLeon, D-Los Angeles, introduced SB 432, which once deciphered would require every single hotel in California to switch to fitted sheets….

    It’s well known in California that Kevin DeLeon is in the pocket of Big Sheet…..

    1. I took a big sheet in California once.

  3. Why? Because they can.

  4. Just get rid of the sheets. Heck, get rid of the bed. Hotels can now be turned into wire cages that can be washed out with a push of the button. No more maids, no more fuss!

    1. No more maids, no more fuss!

      I doubt the unions would be too pleased. Buttons don’t vote and don’t pay dues.

      1. Elevator operators were on the way out before the Teamsters tried to unionize them.

        While the unionization did not directly lead to the demise of the job position, it certainly did not help.

        Movie projectionists are now on the same end of the technological sword. Their union is fighting it tooth and nail, but the job is doomed in the long run.

        1. I’m shocked to hear that there is still such a thing as a “movie projectionist”. Wouldn’t technology have supplanted them by now?

          1. omg —

            Weren’t you paying attention?!

            Movie projectionists are already obsolete, but the union is fighting against the demise of this hallowed profession.

            Much like elevator operators, phone operators, and the UAW en masse, it doesn’t matter if the job is doomed — the union will fight to keep it going, against the laws of logic and economics.

            This is why unions are “progressive”: they stand in the way of…er…

            Let me get back to you when I’ve twisted my logic enough to show that unions are progressive and that this is a “good thing”.

  5. And each sheet needs t have two holes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K…..California

    1. Unless it’s a Mormon honeymoon suite, in which case it only needs one hole.

    2. All I got was a rock!


    3. Front page of the Los Angeles Times for Monday, April 24, 1922Ku Klux Klan activities in Inglewood, California, were highlighted by the 1922 arrest and trial of 36 men, most of them masked, for a night-time raid on a suspected bootlegger and his family. The raid led to the shooting death of one of the culprits, an Inglewood police officer. A jury returned a “not guilty” verdict for all defendants who completed the trial. It was this scandal, according to the Los Angeles Times, that eventually led to the outlawing of the Klan in California”

      Oh Dunphy…

  6. i thought it was a klan outing bill…

  7. if the sheet doesn’t fit, you must acquit…

  8. These politicians are in deep with Big Textile.

    1. Oops, damn. Fish already beat me to it.

      1. Expect to hear from my attorney.

        1. A duel?

          Writs at 10 paces?

  9. How long until the mattress tag police gets a SWAT team?

    1. Not sure if mattress-tag crimes fall under the purview of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but if they do, then this in fact has happened:

      http://www.theagitator.com/200…..ommission/

      1. Holy crap I was just kidding too.

        No doubt that if legalize mattresses than only criminals will have mattresses.

        WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN????

        1. Holy crap I was just kidding too.

          I know! That’s what makes it so much fun!

  10. The next bill will state that since the maids are no longer physically exerting themselves lifting mattresses and bending over to clean, the hotels must provide mandatory group exercise breaks to prevent obesity.

  11. forcing hotels to offer cleaning tools with long handles?essentially long enough so workers wouldn’t have to bend over.

    Politicians: “Making Taxpayers Bend Over So Special Interests Dont Have To”

  12. Nor was he well acquainted with public schools ? he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and sent his three children to private schools.

    That’s some serious bullshit. Brill went to public school through middle school, then got a scholarship to go to a private high school. If he valued that private school experience, sending his kids to a private school is consistent with his opinion, and says nothing about how informed he is about schools.

    And in a real market, the opinions of the consumers of services, not just the producers, should matter.

    If a substantial part of the problem was poverty and not bad teachers

    Yo, the US consistently underperforms poorer nations.

    1. Yeah, it was definitely a good idea to put this here instead of there.

    2. Yo, the US consistently underperforms poorer nations.

      The problem is not the failure to spend massive amounts of money. Huge amounts of cash per pupil are spent in places like Newark, NJ, with little to show for it.

  13. I don’t know how you people who live in California put up with this shit day in, day out.

    1. Kristin, they don’t, they move to other states and work just as hard to fuck up those states. Much like when people moved to places like the Arizona deserts to get away from allergies but they brought their plants that they were allergic to.

  14. I imagine there is some backstory to this that is missing, but don’t let that get in the way of a two-minute hate…

    1. We’ve got several hours worth of hate in store for this one, dude.

      Since you like to conjecture so much, perhaps you could share a plausible reason for such a law?

      1. I doubt the guy came up with the bill for shits and giggles Tulpa. There’s probably some reason, maybe ultimately not a good one mind you, but let’s just say I think it likely that the amazing journalism of news10.net might not have covered everything here…

        1. Of course there’s a “reason.” Every single proposal and action by any government to do anything has at least one. The problem is that the people proposing them think only of the possible benefits (including benefits to themselves) and not the costs and unintended consequences.

          That said, the longer-handled tool thing might be justified. I recall that sharecroppers used to be forced to use short-handled tools that would eventually deform their backs. If there are actually injuries resulting from short tools, fine, I will compromise my libertarian principles on that issue. But the fitted sheet thing still seems absurd.

          1. But why force hotels to provide long-handled tools? Don’t you think the hotels and their workers can figure this one out on their own? It’s not like the hotels benefit from crippling their employees over time…

            1. It’s not unknown for employers to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. I don’t think that crippling sharecroppers made business sense, either. Sometimes, if it seems to make cost/benefit sense overall, I have no trouble throwing the progressives and reformers a bone on an issue like this. I don’t think it helps libertarianism to simply dismiss all such issues on ideological grounds, because it makes us seem like blind ideologues. I just want the statists to prove their case, which of course they usually can’t.

      2. This took all of two seconds via google

        http://sd22.senate.ca.gov/news…..us-remarks

        1. Which provides no information about these “injury rates” or how the law will supposedly reduce them.

          1. But…but…

            “This is an issue very close to my heart. My mother was a housekeeper and worked very hard,” said Senator Kevin de Le?n. “The California Hotel Association has done everything they can to kill this bill and keep their housekeepers invisible. Their scorched earth mentality is not productive toward finding a responsible solution.”

            See? His mother worked really hard! That’s why this is a just law.

            1. See how poor HM misses the point of the supposed ridicule just as I described? As KMW tries to play it this bill is supposed to be nutty because, you know, wtf do fitted sheets have to do with worker safety? But of course to HM and fellow libertarian fundamentalists it was nutty because it was another unjust teh slavery coecion socialism etc.

              You guys are hard to caricature sometimes…

              1. I apologize, MNG. I forgot you were a low-functioning, Downs Syndrome mongoloid; I’ll speak to you only in mono-syllabic, Anglo-Saxon.

                To legislate (that means “make a law”) based on the apparent physical (that means “body”) hardships of a certain task (that means “something you do”) is not an adequate (that means “good enough”)reason to justify the use of the force of law.

                Now go back to your coloring book, and your mommy will be here to change your diaper soon.

                1. …and your mommy will be here to change your diaper soon.

                  I wouldn’t make that assumption HM…. changing a diaper is hard work….next thing you know Kevin DeLeons mom is on the phone and more legislation is pending!

                  1. …and your mommy will be here to change your diaper soon.

                    Perhaps mommy should use a long-handled tool when MNG needs to be cleaned.

                2. Now go back to your coloring book, and your mommy will be here to change your diaper soon.

                  He does not live with his parents anymore is an adult-child.

                  Government is his mommy.

                  And whatever mommy says is what goes because mommy knows best.

                  Mommy never does anything without a good reason, so no explanation is required.
                  Even if an explanation was given, it would be too complicated for MNG’s adult-child mind to comprehend.
                  Authority is authority.

                  No please give him back his binky.

                  1. preview, how does it work?

    2. Re: MNG,

      I imagine there is some backstory to this that is missing, but don’t let that get in the way of a two-minute hate…

      No, that’s perfectly normal naivete from your part.

    3. MNGie, there is. Hotel labor unions hit a bunch of hotels with OSHA complaints, then got some legislation.

      The kicker of this bill is not the relatively irrelevant fitted sheets part, but the lower room quotas for each housekeeper.

      Less work. Same money. Yay Big Labor!

      1. Apologies, the daily room quota is not in the California bill, it was in UNITE HERE’s (hotel labor org) recommendations to OSHA.

      2. Well, you kind of prove my point. If the bill is about lightening the load on maids then that is not exactly a crazy reason…

        I know, I know, if they want a ligher load they should just quite and live off the fat of the land and such. I’m just saying for non-libertarians that might be a reasonable basis to propose a law…

        1. And you have to provide a scintilla of evidence or even a common sense reason that fitted sheets would reduce injuries vs flat sheets.

          Putting fitted sheets on a bed would require the maid to lift all four corners of the bed, but a flat sheet only two corners. In addition, the maid would have to go all the way around the bed to make sure the fitted sheet was on properly. The flat sheet could hang freely on either side and would not need to be tucked in at the top.

          1. Putting fitted sheets on a bed would require the maid to lift all four corners of the bed, but a flat sheet only two corners. In addition, the maid would have to go all the way around the bed to make sure the fitted sheet was on properly. The flat sheet could hang freely on either side and would not need to be tucked in at the top.

            Sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense. Do you know what a fitted sheet is? Or how to make a bed?

            1. Yes, I do, but the sponsor said that people that know a lot more about making beds than you or I, namely the maids, came to him, along with the attorneys that get complaints from hurt maids, and listed this as something that was causing more injuries.

              Now, let’s say he’s lying or something (always a nice way to start off something, assuming the guy is lying), what is the motivation? Note, we can assume a lie and such or go with the very plausible account actually offered…

              1. “along with the attorneys”

                EOM

              2. “the maids, came to him, along with the attorneys that get complaints from hurt maids, and listed this as something that was causing more injuries.”

                Wouldn’t it be in the attorneys’ best interest for the maids to continue getting injured?

              3. Now, let’s say he’s lying or something (always a nice way to start off something, assuming the guy is lying), what is the motivation? Note, we can assume a lie and such or go with the very plausible account actually offered…

                He’s not lying. He just remembers how, when he was a kid, that his poorly educated, unskilled-laboring mommy had to work long hours for the gringos and came home very tired.

                Now that he’s a State Senator, he’s going to introduce legislation to make sure this never happens again, in the name of SOCIAL JUSTICE and MOMMY!

            2. Sorry Zeb, I was replying to Tron, that’s not clear from my posting.

            3. A fitted sheet is one with elastic at all four corners, correct?

              Am I wrong or were you being facetious?

        2. If the bill is about lightening the load on maids then that is not exactly a crazy reason…

          Or, it wouldn’t be if it did anything to lighten the lighten the workload.

          Which I don’t think it does.

          1. no even if the law did everything they claim it will, it’s still absurd.

        3. “the bill is about lightening the load on maids”

          I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.

        4. Even if the point is to lighten the load on maids, why is this something the state should get involved in? Is anyone going to make a law that lightens my load at work? Maybe we should just pass a law that says no one has to work any harder than they fell like working, then everyone is happy, right? Oh wait, someone has to pay those people to work less for the same money.
          Here is how employment works: employer says he will pay you a certain amount of money to do a certain job. You have the choice of accepting the offer and doing the job, or deciding that doing the job is not worth the money being offered and looking for a different job.

          1. Because government is authority and authority need not justify what it does because it is authority.

            Just as a child has no place asking his or her parents to justify the house rules, we civilians have no place asking for our rulers to justify their rules.

            We are all helpless children and if it weren’t for our Nanny government we would be wolf food.

        5. Well, you kind of prove my point. If the bill is about lightening the load on maids then that is not exactly a crazy reason…

          Naked self-interest is rarely a “crazy” reason, but in this particular instance, it does not call for legislation.

      3. Let’s not forget the lawyers who brought up the idea even though they make money off injury claims. Yeah, I’m pretty sure they make money off OSHA violations as well and they don’t even need a victim for that money train.

    4. Uh, it’s sponsored by workers’ comp lawyers and hotel unions. It’s your typical Cali law ghostwritten by some special interest. There’s no real backstory.

      1. The sponsor says it creates no cause of action so it would actually be against incentives of the attorneys to sponsor the bill (unless the standards could create some kind of presumption of liability for those that violate them).

        And if the union sponsored it then I would actually be likely to think the bill DOES have something to do with worker safety.

        The whole point of the ridicule is based on the idea that the bill actually does nothing re: safety, so if it does then the ridicule dries up, it’s just that hard-core libertarians, not caring about working conditions one whit, miss out on that aspect of the joke…

        1. Welcome to MNG-verse, where sponsors of bills never lie and unions are solely concerned with worker safety and health.

          1. Look, unions may not always but often do support things that are seen as being protective of the worker’s well-being. They can be wrong about what ultimately will do that, sure, but are you arguing it’s not a likely motivation?

            What’s neat is that several commenters here have admitted that the “only” thing the bill might do is protect workers in some way, and then an almost equal number seem to suggest as Tulpa does that the bill is just incoherent nonsense.

            Cake and eat it too!

        2. And if the union sponsored it then I would actually be likely to think the bill DOES have something to do with worker safety.

          Or it could have to do with increasing the number of workers required to do the job – a practice appropriately known as featherbedding.

          Also, are the “responsible” hotel owners referred to by the legislator by any chance the big chains, who can afford to hire more workers more easily than a small, family run hotel?

        3. The sponsor says it creates no cause of action so it would actually be against incentives of the attorneys to sponsor the bill

          So the CAAA isn’t representing the best interests of its members? I really doubt that. If they don’t see a new avenue for lawsuits, they just might be the first truly selfless special interest group in the state.

          And maybe it has some marginal impact on worker safety. The ridiculous part, however, is that it demands replacing all flat sheets (and I guess could require different washers/dryers).

          FWIW, this didn’t even touch my rage-o-meter. California regularly passes much dumber laws.

          1. Did you mean to say the CHA? Because it is amazing how many people here to take the following statement without any grains of salt:

            “There is absolutely no scientific proof that fitted sheets are safer than flat sheets,” said Randi Knott with the [California Hotel Association]. “If there were, we’d be using them already.”

            1. Uh, no, I didn’t misspeak, nor do I speak through the Collective. Clearly hotel owners are looking out for their best interests. There’s probably a grain of truth in what they’re saying, mostly in that they’re incentivized by workers’ comp claims to provide a safer work environment insofar as the cost of the former outweighs the latter.

              Sure, they just don’t want to replace sheets. But I’d probably want some real evidential basis, too, before classifying an entire genre of bedsheet as verboten.

        4. The sponsor says it creates no cause of action

          Which may or may not be true. Even if it doesn’t create its own cause of action, it can damn sure be cited in support of some other cause of action.

          And if the union sponsored it then I would actually be likely to think the bill DOES have something to do with worker safety.

          I’m sure you’d like to think that. I don’t see any reason for thinking that in this case, though.

  15. Honestly, there are some days when I think the California legislature is actually an elaborate makework program for Hit&Run; bloggers.

    What is it that would make you think they aren’t???

  16. A 200 pound mattress? Um, maybe in Shaq’s house…

    1. I had to move this king-sized mattress up 3 flights of narrow ass stairs at a beach house. I’m pretty sure that fucker had some sort of reverse gravity field on it. The further I got from the Earth, the more that bitch weighed.

      1. LOL. They aren’t exactly designed for lifting and carrying and your better-named reverse gravity field is what my people call unwieldiness. I just hauled a new one – a California King, no less – into the sleep chamber and that sucker was a bitch but it didn’t come close to 200#.

  17. The bill reads as a workers safety bill, and also introduces legislation forcing hotels to offer cleaning tools with long handles?essentially long enough so workers wouldn’t have to bend over.

    You would have to bend over even more to fit those new handles up their unionized asses….

  18. It’s as if they took George Costanza and made him a legislator.

    1. Re: Tulpa,

      It’s as if they took George Costanza and made him a legislator.

      What would make you think they didn’t?

  19. Do these inhumane legislators have any idea how hard it is to fold fitted sheets? Next up is a law to force the heartless sheet making corporations to remedy this barrier to worker safety.

    1. Actually hotel sheets are cleaned and folded at large industrial laundries. It’s all done by machines that’s why they use flat sheets. Going to fitted sheets is going to have a huge effect on the laundries not to mention increased costs for laundering to the hotels.

      1. Jobs created!

    2. I have no idea how people fold fitted sheets. I have seen them in a neatly folded state, but getting it there is a complete mystery to me.

      1. Yeah, for real. I need to see a special on that on the Discovery Channel or something, because I have no idea how to fold a fitted sheet without it looking like crap.

        1. You have to make sure all the fiddly bits are on the inside and make clean folds for all the edges. My GF still thinks I’m a fucking magician bc I can fold fitted sheets even after 11 years.

  20. This is obviously a law designed to prevent heartless corporate hoteliers from discriminating against obese one-legged maids with bad backs. Because no civilized society would require a jobholder to be qualified to perform the actual duties required.

  21. Honestly, there are some days when I think the California legislature is actually an elaborate makework program for Hit&Run; bloggers.

    Who would have thought that the California State Legislature was controlled by the Kochs?

    1. We LOOM LARGE.

  22. I predict that this bill to ‘protect’ the overworked maids (and I’m sure they are) by limiting their workloads will spur the usual capitalization and innovation that made America great.

    2-3 years to a robot hotel maid. [No Tipping]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy5g33S0Gzo

    1. That’s how government creates jobs.
      By passing rules and regulations that make it cheaper to automate than to use manual labor, thus putting laborers out of work.
      See? Jobs created!

  23. It is funnier that there will be those that will defend any law, no matter how silly. If a law was made that made people put rubber pads around their beds in case they fell off, then MNG will defend it, because, you know there has to be a backstory somewhere.

    Actually there is a backstory, the lunatics are running the asylum, because people like MNG vote for them.

    1. Some people worship authority.
      I personally have no use for it.

    2. If a law was made that made people put rubber pads around their beds in case they fell off

      Where do you think all those ‘bouncing baby boys’ came from?

  24. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z5k9nWcuFc

    Worth it just for the declaration that “one of the biggest challenges you’re going to face in your life is how to fold a fittest sheet.” And I did learn something.

    Also recommended folding viewing (don’t worry, translating it doesn’t help with step 3):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5AWQ5aBjgE

  25. This is the kind of crap that becomes popular when you let Liberalism run wild for decades. Look at California – a total economic disaster and an endless parade of human debris and stupidity.

    1. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    2. Is there a precedent in U.S. history where the free states invade the unfree states that have not formally declared secession?

  26. This is so silly. If one knows how to make a bed they do not need to lift the mattress.

  27. HONESTLY, it’s sad that you blog and yet don’t know how to use Google to research what you’re talking about.

    Days before you wrote this:
    http://sd22.senate.ca.gov/news…..usekeepers

    And the bill text focuses on safety NOT mandating sheets. It provides many options. A simple Google search produces the bill text: http://leginfo.legislature.ca……ted+sheets

    Too bad you chose to sensationalize the issue rather than focus on worker injuries.

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