For immediate release
June 5, 2012
Hilton Hotel LAX Settles Class Action Lawsuit for $2.5 Million over Unpaid Wages, Missed Breaks
One of LA's biggest hotels to pay current and past workers from 2004-2011
LOS ANGELES – The Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel has agreed to pay its workers $2.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging the hotel withheld wages, failed to pay overtime and failed to provide meal and rest breaks to about 1,200 hotel workers.
The suit, filed in 2008, 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 have the right to take breaks. It’s a shame we had to file a lawsuit to get the hotel to understand that."
Among other alleged violations, the suit claimed 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.
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."
The Hilton LAX, with 1,234 guest rooms, is one of LA’s largest hotels. It is located at 5711 W. Century Blvd.