For immediate release
October 7, 2010
(213) 481-8530 ext.253
Filing is second wave of complaints against owner/operator HEI Hotels
LONG BEACH – A second wave of workers from a HEI-owned hotel are filing complaints against the company today, alleging HEI Hotels has again broken state law by not giving workers breaks.
In the complaints, workers from the Hilton Long Beach demand that hotel-owner HEI pay workers thousands in back pay for repeatedly denying 10-minute breaks. The filing comes about two months after workers at the HEI-owned Embassy Suites in Irvine filed complaints against the company for the same alleged violation.
Workers in both cases submitted the complaints to the California Department of Industrial Relations, a state office that enforces labor standards.
“In 12 years of working at the Hilton Long Beach, I did not take my 10-minute breaks because there was never enough time to get all the work done, and take rest breaks,” said Maria Patlan, a housekeeper at the Hilton Long Beach. “We clean 16 rooms a day and have just 30 minutes to change the beds, clean the bathroom, dust, vacuum, trash, restock towels, supplies and more.”
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 10-minute break is missed, the worker is entitled to one hour of back pay from the employer.
“I have worked at the Hilton for 11 years, and all those years, I almost never took breaks,” said Jose Landino, a cook at the Long Beach hotel. “I cannot take breaks because there isn’t anyone to cover my job, and if I leave my station unattended, I will get in trouble with management.”
HEI is a private equity firm that strategically buys hotels and operates them under the Marriott, Hilton and Embassy Suites brand names. It employs a range of techniques to bring costs down, and sells the properties over a period of 8 to 12 years. It raises the capital to do so through university endowments from some of America’s most prestigious institutions including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and University of Chicago.
The HEI-owned Hilton Long Beach is located at 701 West Ocean Boulevard.