A new study released this week titled, “Creating Luxury, Enduring Pain” couples new research with the stories of hotel housekeepers to paint a dramatic picture of the work of a hotel housekeeper. Findings show that behind the luxury and comfort that housekeepers provide for hotel guests is a pattern of persistent pain and injury.
The report utilizes the first comprehensive analysis of employer records of worker injuries, including records of the major five hotel companies. The analysis covers seven years (1999-2005) and 87 hotel properties with approximately 40,000 hotel employees. The report finds that not only are housekeepers injured more frequently than other hotel and service workers, but this problem is only getting worse as hotel companies implement room changes including heavier beds and linens and room amenities like coffee makers and treadmills.
Housekeepers endure this workplace pain and continue to work because they value their jobs and their customers. Valessie McCaskill, a housekeeper at the Chicago Hilton and Towers explains, “Some days my leg would swell up and I would literally limp from room to room. When the pain was at its worst, I would sit on the beds and cry because it hurt so much. In the rooms, at least no one would see me.”