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Federal Agency says Hyatt Andaz violated labor law for increasing housekeeper workload

LOS ANGELES – The General Council’s Office of the National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood for increasing the number of hotel rooms housekeepers’ must clean in a shift, and threatening discipline to workers who spoke up about the problem.

Hyatt housekeepers voiced concerns in March 2011 immediately after managers increased the cleaners’ room quota by two–meaning housekeepers were expected to complete an additional hour worth of cleaning in the same amount of time. Under the law, the hotel is required to negotiate workload increases with the workers’ union.

The Assistant Director of Human Resources threatened to discipline workers who voiced concern about the increased workload. The complaint alleges that the Hyatt Andaz’s actions violated the National Labor Relations Act.

For housekeepers, cleaning two more rooms in a shift can hurt housekeepers’ bodies. Academic studies have shown housekeeping to be dangerous work that can lead to debilitating injuries. In a study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine examining a total of 50 hotel properties from five different hotel companies, had the highest injury rate of all housekeepers studied when compared by hotel company.

“Hyatt hurts housekeepers,” said Cathy Youngblood, a Hyatt Andaz housekeeper. “The increased workload puts stress on our bodies and causes such anxiety that sometimes I don’t even want to take time to use the bathroom.”