In a lawsuit filed in federal court today, Hyatt Regency Indianapolis security subcontractor CG Security Services Inc. is accused of multiple wage and hour violations, including not paying employees for all hours worked, forcing them to work off the clock, and without breaks.
It is reported in the lawsuit that security officers worked as many as 72 hours a week as salaried employees, with take home checks as low as $300. The suit is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay for the affected security officers.
CG Security Services, Inc. is the second Hyatt subcontractor in the last year to face a collective action suit. In December 2012, Hospitality Staffing Services (HSS) settled the broadest wage and hour case in the history of the Indianapolis hospitality industry. In the case, plaintiffs alleged that HSS and 9 area hotels regularly failed to pay them for all the hours they worked, as well as forcing them to work off the clock and through their breaks.
Ramon Silva, a former security officer who worked for CG Security Services, Inc. for two years, is the lead plaintiff.
“I worked 12 hours a day, five and sometimes six days a week. Because they were paying me a ‘salary’, I was not even making minimum wage. I rarely took breaks because there were no other security officers there to cover for me. I worked hard night after night to keep the guests safe. The least that CG Security Services could do is pay me for all the hours I worked,” Silva says.
Over the past few years the practices of the subcontractors used by the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis have been of great concern to the community and local elected officials. William Oliver is a community leader and member of the Indianapolis City-County Council.
“I am in full support of the issues that confront all workers, especially when it appears that companies such as CG Security Services are not adhering to the wage and hour laws of our country and state. We want Hyatt to be aware that we are frustrated and tired of the mistreatment of workers its subcontractors engage in.”
This lawsuit was filed on the same day Indianapolis found out it was one of three finalists to host the 2018 Super Bowl. Indianapolis last hosted the Super Bowl in 2012. That weekend, Hyatt hotel workers were joined by NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith to protest low wages and poor working conditions. Hotels like Hyatt were slated to make millions of dollars the week of the Super Bowl, but Indianapolis hotel workers are among the lowest paid in the nation.