Class Says Hotel Staffing Firm Cheated Them

     DENVER (CN) – Colorado hotel workers claim in a class action that a national staffing company and major hotels that relied on them as temporary help routinely cheated them on their paychecks.
     Isabel Valverde, the lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, says Xclusive Staffing and its clients, including Marriott International Inc. and Omni Hotels, failed to pay temporary workers for overtime and made unfair deductions from the workers’ paychecks,.
     Valverde says that not only did Xclusive staffing automatically subtract 30 minutes from his hours for lunch breaks he wasn’t always allowed to take, but they also charged him $3 per paycheck fee just to have his paycheck issued.
     In other words, the March 22 complaint says, he and his co-workers had to “pay to get paid.”
     Xclusive Staffing has already had issues with federal and state labor laws. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor found at least five instances in which the company had broken minimum wage and overtime laws, after which, the complaint says, “Xclusive promised to conform.”
     But Valverde says they have failed to clean up their business practices, and that the unwarranted deductions from his paycheck occurred after the federal investigation.
     The complaint, says that the company’s consistent underreporting of employee work hours over the wires constitutes wire fraud and that promises on Xclusive’s website that it always complies with state and federal minimum wage laws constitutes a “website scheme.”
     Valverde also claims that Xclusive wrongly blames its clients for the wage violations when they are discovered and reported.
     He asserts that when Labor Department investigators accused Diane Astley, who owns Xclusive, of failing to account for missed lunch breaks on Xclusive’s employee’s time cards in 2012, Astley blamed their client, Grand Hyatt.
     But further investigation proved that to be untrue, Valverde says.
     “Grand Hyatt was only deducting time for lunch breaks for its non-Xclusive employees when the breaks actually taken,” the complaint says. “Xclusive was deducting time for lunch breaks regardless of whether the breaks were taken.”
     In addition to class certification Valverde is seeking unspecified damages on claims of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, failure to pay overtime, and breach of contract.
     He is represented by Alexander Hood of Towards Justice in Denver, Colo.
     Representatives of Xclusive Staffing were not immediately available for comment.

%d bloggers like this: