ORLANDO (CN) – The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress recruited more than 100 housekeepers from the Philippines, paid them less than minimum wage and cheated them on rent, a class action claims in Federal Court. A second class action accuses the Orange Lake County Club, of Kissimmee, of taking advantage of another 100 Filipinos this way, with both employers using the same recruiter.
Both complaints say the workers wire hired through companies called Northwest Placement and DHI, LLC.
This article will describe only the Hyatt complaint. The Orange Lake complaint also named Wilson Resort Management Corp. as a defendant. This complaint is similar to the Hyatt class action in virtually all respects, including the withholding of rent and excess charges for it.
The class of “indigent immigrant workers” says Hyatt took advantage of their ignorance of U.S. law after bringing them to the United States on H-2B visas and putting them to work at its Orlando hotel.
The workers say Hyatt recruited them through companies called Northwest Placement and DHI, LLC. They say each worker had to pay Northwest a $2,500 fee, and that these expenses were “primarily for the benefit of the Defendant.”
Some class members were put to work at the Caribe Royale Orlando hotel, the complaint states.
They say Hyatt withheld money from their wages for rent, that this money was paid to DHI LLC, and that the deductions exceeded the actual cost of the housing, so that DHI could profit from it.
The class claims Hyatt paid them less than the $5.85 per hour minimum wage. Both classes are represented by Gregory Schell with the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project of Lake Worth, Fla.