BY: Jason J. Thompson | IN: Class Action & Commercial Litigation, Employment Law
Hotel management company Interstate Hotels & Resorts Inc., which operates Hilton, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, Marriott and Westin-branded hotels in California, is now facing a putative class action involving allegations that it failed to pay overtime wages, failed to provide meal breaks, did not pay minimum wage, and violated other state labor laws.
According to a report on Law360 (subscription required), Raymond Unutoa, a security guard at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, is seeking to represent a class of all current and former non-exempt employees who worked for the defendants in California within the past four years. He brought the suit as an “aggrieved employee” under the California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act.
Unutoa alleges he was ordered to work shifts longer than five hours, up to 12-hour shifts during large events, without a 30-minute meal break, and was not paid wages for each missed meal period, violating state labor law. Under the Act, Unutoa may pursue such civil penalties on behalf of California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Three-quarters of the recovery from such an action will go to the Agency and one-quarter to the aggrieved employees.
The complaint states that Interstate failed to pay and illegally calculated overtime wages for its non-exempt employees, maintained illegal meal and rest period policies, failed to pay all wages due to discharged or quitting employees, failed to provide accurate itemized wage statements, failed to indemnify employees for work related costs, such as uniforms, cellphone usage, and gas and mileage when using their own vehicles on company business.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and liquidated damages, disgorged profits from Interstate’s alleged unfair business practices, injunctive and declaratory relief, and class certification.
If you or someone you know believes that an employer has wrongfully withheld compensation, please contact the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group today – we’re here to help.
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Jason Thompson is a nationally board certified trial attorney and co-chairs Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Department. He has a formidable breadth of litigation experience, including class action and multidistrict litigation (MDL), and practices nationwide in both state and federal courts.