Vincent Howard frequently discusses the topic of wage and hour violations in the hospitality industry in our Riverside employment lawyers blog--a workplace epidemic where employers in low wage industries, such as the hospitality industry, often violate the rights of vulnerable employees.
In recent news that Mr. Howard has been following, a group of fourteen Indianapolis hotel workers have filed a class action wage and hour lawsuit against ten hotel staffing agencies--claiming that they were purposely robbed of their right to fair compensation.
The workers are reportedly primarily Hispanic immigrants, who were employed by Hospitality Staffing Solutions (HSS), a work agency providing temporary and low-wage workers to hotels like Marriott, Western, Embassy Suites, and other hotels across the country. Many of the workers were employed as housekeepers, bussers, and dishwashers, and claim in the lawsuit that they were forced to work off the clock hours, and forced to work through their unpaid rest and meal breaks--which often times pushed their earnings to well below the federal minimum wage, $7.25.
The outsourcing of work by the staffing companies has reportedly led to a two-tier class system within the hotels, as low-wage and lesser paid workers from HSS suffer, while working next to direct hotel hires, who are better compensated for the same work. Many HSS employees claim that compensation did not properly reflect the hours that they actually worked--and if they did not complete their work in the scheduled time, they would be threatened with job termination.