RICCA Sues Providence Over Ordinance

PROVIDENCE, RI (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Rhode Island Convention Center Authority (RICCA) has launched a federal lawsuit against the city of Providence over a newly-enacted ordinance that mandates employment practices at venues around the city.

According to the Providence Business News, The "Hospitality Business Protection and Worker Retention" ordinance went in to effect on October 26th and would protect the jobs at unionized venues by requiring new food services contractors to retain existing employees for at least a six month period. The ordinance also mandates that new RICCA employees receive at least $17.60 an hour, well above the state's $6.75/hour minimum wage.

Not so fast say RICCA's lawyers, who have filed a suit against the city to block the ordinance. RICCA's lawyers argue that the city ordinance does not comply with state employment regulations and violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as the National Labor Relations Act and violates the city's Home Rule Charter.

"There is a whole host of issues with this ordinance, beginning with the three facilities (Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Rhode Island Convention Center and Veterans Memorial Auditorium) it affects," David A. Duffy, RICCA chairman wrote in a prepared statement. "These facilities are state-owned and we don’t believe the Council has the authority to create an ordinance that would legally bind the operation of state-owned properties as this would."

RICCA is seeking a declaratory ruling on the matter and compensation for their legal expenses in launching the suit. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers