It was recently announced that a wage-and-hour lawsuit by a group of Indianapolis hotel workers against the major national staffing company that employed them has been settled. The workers had argued they were never fully paid for housekeeping and other work they did for nine hotels in the Indianapolis area that were staffed by Hospitality Staffing Solutions.
The wage-and-hour claim was filed last January in federal court and came to between several hundred and several thousand dollars per worker. Originally, the nine hotels at issue were named as defendants, but they were eventually dropped from the case. The actual terms of the settlement remain confidential.
The hotel workers filed suit after they say Hospitality Staffing Solutions violated several labor laws. Some of these violations included HSS telling workers to continue working off the clock and requiring some workers to clean a certain number of rooms even if that meant working through scheduled break times or finishing after they had already clocked out. The complaint also alleged that HSS routinely failed to pay overtime for work done after normal working hours.
Since the lawsuit was filed it has been revealed that all the workers in the case were Latinos and that many did not speak English. Such groups are especially vulnerable to exploitation by those violating labor laws. Immigrants, or those without a perfect grasp of the English language, may not fully understand their rights or feel comfortable speaking up when they are treated in a way they do not like. That’s why it’s critical if you’re a part of such an easily victimized group to seek the advice of an experienced wage-and-hour attorney who can offer guidance on what steps you should take to protect yourself.
Unite Here, the group that worked with and organized the plaintiffs, says that the lawsuit was a positive thing for the workers who now feel like they have held the company responsible for its actions. Moreover, the hotels where the work took place have since given raises to employees and now offer better benefits to housekeeping staff. One such hotel, the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, has stopped working with HSS entirely and has given its housekeeping staff raises of between 7 and 10 percent.
Though it’s a shame the 16 workers had to spend any time working without proper compensation, it appears as if their lawsuit has accomplished a lot not only for themselves, but also for many other hotel employees in the Indianapolis area now benefitting from more attentive employers.
Source: “Indianapolis Hotel Workers Settle Lawsuit Over Wage Theft Allegations,” by Dave Jamieson, published at HuffingtonPost.com.
Source: “Historic lawsuit settled for hotel workers,” published at UniteHere.org.
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