LOS ANGELES — A housekeeper working for Choice Hotels International Inc. in California recently filed a proposed class action against the hotel chain. Her lawsuit alleges California labor law violations related to overtime pay and meal and rest breaks, and inaccurate wage statements. The class action is expected to include all current and former nonexempt Choice Hotel employees working at California locations over the last four years. The lawsuit is seeking damages, back wages, and requesting an injunction against Choice Hotels, preventing the company from continuing it’s allegedly illegal payroll practices.
The Housekeeper’s Claim
The housekeeper, Bertha Sandoval, filed her claim on June 30th. She has worked for the company since 2004 and believes the company has a policy and practice of violating state labor laws. Sandoval claims the hotel chain denied employees their required paid 15-minute rest periods. Sandoval also claims the hotel chain willingly violated the state’s law requiring an uninterrupted 30-minute meal break before the end of an employee’s fifth hour of work. It also failed to provide a second 30-minute meal break for employees working more than 10 hours per shift. In addition to not providing the required meal breaks, the company allegedly still deducted the 30 minutes from the employees hours. This essentially provided the hotel chain with 30-minutes of “off-the-clock” work from each of its affected employees and allegedly prevented the employees from earning overtime, even though they worked more than 40 hours a week.
In Sandoval’s lawsuit, she claims the company was able to continue its allegedly illegal payroll practices because its record-keeping and wages statements were intentionally inaccurate. According to the lawsuit, the employees’ wage statements failed to accurately reflect the true total hours worked and the employees’ gross and net wages.
Employers subject to state and federal labor laws must maintain proper and accurate records and provide wage statements to their employees. Wage statements generally contain information about the pay period being reported, the hours the employee worked, the wage rate applied to the hours and any deductions that may be made. These statements serve many purposes. They allow employees to track their hours and wages and verify that all of the hours they have worked are recorded and paid. Wage statements are evidence that an employer is maintaining payroll records, and they can be evidence the employer is not maintaining accurate payroll information.
If you are a hotel housekeeper or other hourly-wage hotel employee and your employer has denied your meal breaks, failed to pay earned overtime or provided inaccurate wage statements, call our top-rated team of overtime pay lawyers today at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your situation. Or complete our Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form and our experienced legal team will evaluate your case. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.