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Stiffing low-income workers

Downtown hotel workers have filed what proponents say is

"the broadest wage and hour case in the history of the Indianapolis hotel

industry." The suit targets 10 Indy hotels, including the Marriott, Hyatt,

Westin, Conrad, Embassy Suites, Canterbury, Holiday Inn and the Omni, as well

as Hospitality Staffing Solutions, the contractor providing services such as

housekeeping to the hotels. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have requested

class-action status, which, they say, if granted would entitle the workers to

as much as $10 million. Martha Gonzalez is a plaintiff, who claims, as do her

fellow complainants, that she is forced to work through breaks and work before

clocking in. Most of the workers bringing the suit are employed in jobs that

start at $7.25 an hour without benefits. Workers' advocate Unite Here notes that, in 2010, the federal

government fined HSS and the Hyatt Indianapolis $50,000 for record-keeping and

training violations.

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