The Hilton Hotel which is located near Los Angeles International Airport has agreed to pay its workers $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the hotel withheld wages, did not pay overtime, and failed to provide meal and rest breaks to about 1,200 workers. The suit, filed in 2008, covers all hourly employees who worked at the hotel from 2004 to 2011. With more than 1,230 guest rooms, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport is one of the largest hotels in Los Angeles. One of the hotel’s employees, a cook, said “for years, we’ve felt like machines, only here to make more and more money for the owners of the Hilton LAX.” It was reported that the hotel’s employees considered the settlement to be a huge victory, with one employee saying they won “justice and respect.”
The case included allegations claiming that the hotel failed to pay employees for the time spent preparing for work and putting on and taking off uniforms that were required to be left at the hotel. Workers also alleged that they were required to fill out time sheets saying they took breaks whether they did or not. Tom Walsh, president of UNITE HERE Local 11, the union representing 20,000 hospitality workers in Southern California, had this to say:
Since this lawsuit was filed, hundreds of workers at hotels near LAX have won union contracts that guarantee breaks and workers’ right to negotiate fair wages and benefits. I hope this expensive lawsuit teaches the Hilton LAX owners to respect the workers who make it successful.
Hotel owners and operators should follow the law, treat their employees fairly, and by doing so, avoid litigation. The California law firm of Hadsell, Stormer, Keeny, Richardson & Renick, in Pasadena, Calif., represented the employees and they did a very good job for them.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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