Oakland-San Francisco Attorney Comments on Unsafe Working Conditions

According to unitehere.org, housekeepers at Hyatt hotels in eight cities filed complaints with a federal agency today alleging a variety of injuries suffered as a result of the company’s policies. The workers are almost all female and are represented by the union Unite Here. They filed the complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, stating they are overworked and not given proper materials to clean hotel rooms. The union’s Housekeepers Rising initiative claims that the repetition of lifting the corners of hundreds of heavy mattresses to make beds and bending on hands and knees to clean bathrooms are among the causes of numerous repetitive injuries among employees. They also claim that many of the injuries are the result of the housekeepers having to clean up to 30 rooms a day, which is apparently almost double the industrial standard. One worker described how she injured her arm while making a bed at the hotel and stated how much it changed the quality of her life -she required surgery due to the severity of it. What is more, she is not the only housekeeper who suffers these injuries, many other housekeepers suffer the same injuries.

The complaints ask OSHA to investigate the cause of the injuries. The workers also want the hotels to lower the current 30 rooms a day that housekeepers have to clean, switch from flat sheets to fitted sheets that are easier to make beds with, and provide long-handled tools that make cleaning easier. The union and hotel management have been in contract negotiations since August 2009. The union’s local chapter has held multiple strikes and protests outside Hyatt hotels in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. Of the Hyatt properties cited in the complaints, eight are located in the following cities: San Antonio, Texas, Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Clara, California, Los Angeles, Long Beach, California, Honolulu, and Indianapolis. A study last year in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, cited by the union, that showed high rates of injuries to female housekeepers, particularly at Hyatt, was denied by Robert Webb, Hyatt’s Chief human resources officer.

Here at the Brod Law Firm, we believe everyone deserves as safe place to work. If you have a questions about workplace injury law, or if you would like to a free consultation regarding injuries you received on the job, please contact us today. We have over 10 years experience fighting and winning personal injury lawsuits, and can help you receive the compensation you deserve.