ORLANDO (CN) – Two federal class actions claim Florida hotels cheated hundreds of legal immigrant workers from the Philippines of minimum wages. Starwood Vacation Ownership Management dba Sheraton Vistana Resort, and Rosen Hotel & Resorts cheated more than 300 workers of minimum wages after hiring them through labor contractors, according to the complaints.
Workers in both cases seek back pay and damages for labor violations and violations of the Florida Constitution. Both defendant hotels are in Orlando.
The 33 named plaintiffs in the Starwood-Sheraton case say more than 200 workers were underpaid. The 13 Rosen plaintiffs say another 100 Filipino workers suffered the same things.
Both complaints say the hotels hired the Filipinos workers on H-2B visas through labor contractors Northwest Placement and DHI LLC. The labor contractors are not named as defendants.
Filipinos are favorite targets for unscrupulous labor contractors and U.S. employers. Filipino nurses, hotel workers and nursery and agriculture workers have filed dozens of labor class actions against U.S. employers and their agents. Whether it’s the Philippines’ famous hospitable culture, its long ties to the United States through the Navy and Army, or other factors, aside from nearby countries in Latin America, Filipinos probably are the largest national class of plaintiffs who file such lawsuits in U.S. courts.