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Thumbs Down: Stiffing low-income workers

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Stiffing low-income workers

Downtown hotel workers have filed what proponents say is "the broadest wage and hour case in the history of the Indianapolis hotel industry." The suit targets 10 Indy hotels, including the Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, Conrad, Embassy Suites, Canterbury, Holiday Inn and the Omni, as well as Hospitality Staffing Solutions, the contractor providing services such as housekeeping to the hotels. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have requested class-action status, which, they say, if granted would entitle the workers to as much as $10 million. Martha Gonzalez is a plaintiff, who claims, as do her fellow complainants, that she is forced to work through breaks and work before clocking in. Most of the workers bringing the suit are employed in jobs that start at $7.25 an hour without benefits. Workers' advocate Unite Here notes that, in 2010, the federal government fined HSS and the Hyatt Indianapolis $50,000 for record-keeping and training violations.

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