Workers employed by the Long Beach Westin Hotel have filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the hotel has subjected them to numerous wage and hour violations, including off-the-clock work, the denial of meal and rest breaks, and failure to reimburse them for work supplies. The hotel is operated by Noble-Interstate Management Group California and Interstate Hotels & Resorts, both named defendants, and is 95% owned by Utah Retirement Systems.
The lawsuit, brought by the law firm of ALEXANDER KRAKOW + GLICK and the Law Offices of Kyle Todd, claims that the hotel’s housekeepers are not paid for work they perform off-the-clock. Plaintiff Juana Melara, a housekeeper, stated: “Although my work shift doesn’t begin until 8:00 a.m., I am expected to start working well before that to prepare my cart with all the cleaning supplies that I will need throughout the day. I also have purchased gloves to better protect my hands and have brought my own cleaning supplies from home because the hotel doesn’t provide what is necessary for me to clean all of the rooms, even though I am expected to leave each one of them spotless.”
Workers in the hotel’s housekeeping, restaurant and banquet departments have allegedly been denied the opportunity to take uninterrupted meal and rest breaks, as required by law. Rosa Casarrubias, another plaintiff who works as server in the hotel’s restaurant said, “Since the restaurant is so understaffed, I have to do the job of three people. I can’t take my breaks and I even skip going to the restroom because I have to be on the floor attending to guests.”
The lawsuit is the latest step taken by Long Beach hotel workers, the majority of whom are women, in a campaign to put an end to workplace abuse in the Long Beach hotel industry. In July, workers and community members held a march to Long Beach City Hall to call attention to housekeepers’ experiences of inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature by hotel customers, as well as other workplace concerns.
The workers’ campaign is supported by Stand With Women Against Abuse, a coalition of women’s organizations, health professionals, clergy, and community leaders.
posted by Andrea Gonzalez 8/20/15