For immediate release
January 22, 2015
Downtown LA’s Double Tree Hotel workers allege missed rest periods; ask State to investigate backpay claims
LOS ANGELES —Hotel workers have taken to the streets today, January 22, outside the DoubleTree Hotel in Little Tokyo on Los Angeles St. Workers of the hotel walked off the job in an all-day strike that started at 6AM. The United Bank of Switzerland or UBS owns the downtown hotel. Workers are calling attention to complaints that several employees filed with the State alleging missed rest breaks and claiming entitlement to back pay.
“There are too many checkout rooms. We go to several floors.” Patricia Martinez said, a housekeeper at the DoubleTree. “We have to wait for the elevator and everyone has to use the same two elevators. There is not enough time for me to find the linen, wait for the elevator—that’s where my breaks go.”
The strike comes after eleven workers filed complaints on Wednesday with the California State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), the state agency responsible for enforcing wage and hour laws, alleging violations of rest and/or meal break requirements and in some cases overtime requirements. DLSE will investigate the workers’ allegations, and it has authority to conduct a hearing to determine their merits.
“In the afternoons, I don’t take my breaks because I never know when I’m going to get off with all the work I have to do. My schedule changes all the time.”said Luis Dominguez, a dishwasher at the downtown hotel.
California state law allows workers two 10-minute breaks and one 30-minute break in an eight-hour shift. According to the law, for every day that a rest break is missed, the worker is entitled to one hour of back pay from the employer, and for every day that a meal break is missed, the worker is entitled to another hour of back pay.
The workers and their supporters plan to picket in front of the hotel, until 5PM Thursday.