Hilton LAX Settles Class Action Lawsuit for $2.5 Million for Unpaid Wages, Missed Breaks
One of LA’s biggest hotels, The Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel, has settled a class action lawsuit and agreed to pay its workers $2.5 million. The class action lawsuit alleged that the hotel withheld wages, failed to pay overtime and failed to provide meal and rest breaks to about 1,200 hotel workers.
The class action was filed in 2008 and covers all hourly workers who worked at the hotel from 2004 to 2011.
“For years, we’ve felt like machines only here to make more and more money for the owners of the Hilton LAX,” said Juan Banales, a Hilton LAX cook of almost 20 years. “This settlement is a huge victory. We’ve won justice and respect.”
Banales said he would receive about $3,800 from the lawsuit.
“For years, I was unable to take breaks,” Banales said. “The law says we have the right to take breaks. It’s a shame we had to file a lawsuit to get the hotel to understand that.”
The suit also claimed that the hotel failed to pay employees for the time spent preparing for work and putting on and taking off work uniforms that were required to be left at the hotel.
Further, plaintiffs alleged they were required to fill out time sheets saying they took breaks whether they truthfully did or not.
“Since this lawsuit was filed, hundreds of workers at hotels near LAX have won union contracts that guarantee breaks and workers’ right to negotiate fair wages and benefits,” said Tom Walsh, President of UNITE HERE Local 11, the union representing 20,000 hospitality workers in Southern California. “Instead of choosing to respect workers, the Hilton LAX has taken the low road, fighting its own employees. I hope this expensive lawsuit teaches the Hilton LAX owners to respect the workers who make it successful.”