March 2, 2017
Centro Legal de la Raza along with the city of Oakland are working together in a lawsuit against the Quality Inn, an East Oakland hotel whose owner has refused to pay overtime wages or grant sick leave to six of their housekeepers.
The attorneys representing the workers have said that the owner is in violation of local and state minimum wage laws. The hotel forced it’s workers to work before and after shifts without pay, never increased their pay after the minimum wage increased, punished workers who called out sick, and didn’t provide breaks. The workers said this treatment has been going on for at least four years. The lawsuit seeks unpaid wages and compensation, as well as penalties and damages for the employees.
Shira Levine, an attorney with Centro Legal, said “fear and employer retaliation permeate the housekeeping industry and allow employers to perpetuate exploitation. These six immigrant women overcame their personal fear and united to demand justice from their employer.”
Too often women, people of color, and non-English speaking immigrants are mistreated and exploited in the work place. More often than not, these cases go unreported. It’s important to let employers know that they cannot get away with their abuse of power and let workers know that they have a right to wages and ethical labor practices.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Centro Legal De La Raza