It's been almost a year since the 16 hotel workers in Indianapolis filed a class action against the city's hotels and the hotel staffing company, Hospitality Staffing Solutions, for failing to pay them for time worked. It's been a long time coming, but they were finally awarded good news this month when their employer agreed to a settlement deal.
Although the specific terms of the settlement have not gone public at this time, one of the plaintiffs stated that she was very happy with the terms of the settlement. The union group Unite Here agrees stating that this lawsuit was a landmark case in Indianapolis history that points out that unfairness associated with subcontracting work in the hotel industry.
According to an article written by the Huffington Post, many of the in-house jobs had been outsourced to staffing firms that generally pay lower wages and don't provide benefits to their workers. It was a complaint echoed by the workers involved in the unpaid-wage claim lawsuit who claimed that they were often times required to work off the clock and work through breaks, sometimes pushing their earnings below minimum wage.
Although the hotel market in Indianapolis is largely union-free, it's important to point out that many of the complaints outlined in the lawsuit were not union-related issues, rather employment law violations that can occur regardless of a present union If you suspect that your employer could be clearly violating employment laws, it may be worth talking to an attorney who can decide whether to pursue action against any unlawful business practices.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Indianapolis Hotel Workers Settle Lawsuit Over Wage Theft Allegations," Dave Jamieson, Dec. 12, 2012