August 31, 2015
Photo: Steve Shupe (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

On August 17th, employees at the Westin Long Beach Hotel filed a class action on behalf of housekeepers, restaurant workers, and banquet servers, alleging that their employer committed wage-and-hour violations related to missed rest breaks, missed meal breaks, and off-the-clock work.

Real estate manager AEW Capital Management owns the hotel on behalf of the Utah Retirement Systems, a state pension fund.  Noble Investment Group, another real estate manager, also owns a small stake in the property.

The employees’ suit has drawn media coverage:

 

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.”