Nine New York City hotels have agreed to resolve an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The hotels covered by the investigation include: Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Sheraton Hotel.
Labor for Hire, a staffing company, provided room attendants, housekeepers, supervisors, housemen, stewards, engineers, engineer helpers, maintenance workers, laundry workers, kitchen helpers, dishwashers, cooks, servers, bussers, hostesses, front desk staff, and maintenance workers, among other positions to work at the hotels. LFH has agreed to pay $275,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to more than 600 hotel workers.
The Department of Labor found instances where the companies:
- Misclassified some workers as independent contractors rather than employees.
- Failed to pay some employees for hours spent in training.
- Failed to pay some employees overtime for weeks when they worked more than 40 hours, including paying room attendants on a per-room basis without any overtime premium.
- Failed to make and keep adequate records of employees’ daily and weekly hours of work, or their regular or overtime rates of pay.
“This agreement recovers wages and damages for these hundreds of workers, and commits both employers to implementing comprehensive actions to prevent future violations at all hotels for which HHM hires staffing agencies to provide workers,” said a Department of Labor spokesman. “Wage violations negatively impact both employees who are denied their legally earned compensation and those businesses which are put at a competitive disadvantage because they pay their employees correctly in the first place. We do not hesitate to take appropriate steps to rectify them when they occur and pursue outcomes to prevent their recurrence,” added another Department of Labor spokesman.