Los Angeles Business Journal

LAX Hotel Employees File Suit for Unpaid Wages

By Bethany Firnhaber Thursday, October 4, 2012

Workers at the Holiday Inn Los Angeles International Airport filed a class action lawsuit on Thursday demanding millions of dollars in alleged unpaid wages.

A non-union group of bartenders, housekeepers, cooks and other workers filed the suit with support from L.A. hospitality labor union Unite Here Local 11. They allege that management has routinely required them to work through required lunch breaks and rest periods and after clocking out.

Adrian Valencia, general manager at Holiday Inn LAX, said the hotel was surprised by the lawsuit.

“We had never been contacted by the union until Monday, when they stormed in yelling and screaming into the administration offices,” he said. “We pay the annual living wage increase as of July 1 each year and we have some of the best scores for a Holiday in as far as cleaning. We use proper procedures here at the hotel.”

Randy Renick, the attorney representing the workers, said the goal of the suit is to address long-standing labor grievances.

“My clients are filing suit to bring an end to the Holiday Inn LAX’s oppressive employment practices,” in the union statement announcing the suit.

Housekeepers also claim hotel management refused to reimburse them after requiring them to buy cleaning supplies such as sponges and gloves to clean guest bathrooms.

The suit also alleges that a majority of Holiday Inn LAX employees are earning less than $11.97 per hour, the minimum living wage for hotel workers in the LAX corridor.