Hadsell Stormer Richardson and Renick LLP recently helped Hotel workers achieve justice at an HEI Hotels & Resorts operated hotel - Embassy Suites Irvine. In eight hearings over the Summer of 2011 before the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (also known as the "Labor Commissioner"), the operators of the Embassy Suites Irvine were found to owe eight current and former HEI employees between between $4907 and $6764 for violations of the California Labor Code.
The most frequent violations were for failing to inform employees of their right to take paid 10 minute rest breaks, and for failing to allow employees to take their rest breaks. Employees who are no longer working at Embassy Suites Irvine were entitled to an additional penalty since the employer did not pay them all of the wages owed to them on their last day of work.
Following these eight orders by the Labor Commissioner, HEI Hotels and Resorts filed an appeal, which was set to be argued in December of this year.
In addition to these eight victories, there were 24 additional pending cases of employees alleging meal and rest break violations and late penalties.
In response to the impending hearings of another 24 employees and the upcoming appeal, the Hotel Operators decided to offer a settlement to plaintiffs on November 8th and 9th, 2011. To date, almost all of the plaintiffs have accepted the settlement offer, which pays them nearly 90% of what they are owed, without the need to miss work for upcoming hearing dates. If all of the employees ultimately decide to accept the settlement, it will be valued at $99,999.00.
For more information on this story, see coverage by the Orange County Register.