Photo: Many Hispanic Hotel Workers in Indiana Underpaid For Their Work
Earlier this week hotel workers in Indiana staged a protest outside Hospitality Staffing Solutions (HSS) after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of 14 workers claiming they were underpaid millions of dollars.
The workers, who are mostly Hispanic, say that while working as bussers, dishwashers, and housekeepers at various hotels they were underpaid, as they were forced to work through their breaks and work overtime without compensation.
Though they work for different hotels, those in the lawsuit all receive paychecks from HSS, but say hotel management was aware that HSS was underpaying the workers.
In the lawsuit, it states that a number of the workers were paid below the legal hourly minimum wage, which is $7.25 in Indiana.
Among the Indianapolis hotels named in the lawsuit are Embassy Suites, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Marriott, and Westin.
The workers claim that in recent years their workloads have increased while their pay has not.
Hotels are able to cut costs by outsourcing to companies like HSS because they avoid having to pay benefits to the workers.
Among those at Monday’s protest was City-County Councilman Brian Mahern who told ABC RTV6 that when workers don’t get paid, it not only affects them but can harm the community.
“When we see that there are instances where wages have been earned but not paid, that’s troubling from a moral perspective. It’s also troubling because those are dollars that are not going to make their way into our local businesses and shops.”
The federal Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor is currently investigating HSS practices in Indianapolis hotels.