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Workers settle employment lawsuit against local hotels

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Sixteen current and former Indianapolis hotel workers have settled their union-backed lawsuit that alleged employment violations by nine area hotels and Atlanta-based Hospitality Staffing Solutions, a subcontractor that employs many hotel workers.

The plaintiffs claimed they were forced to work off the clock and through breaks. Terms of the settlement are confidential.

The lawsuit, which came as Indianapolis hotels were preparing for an onslaught of Super Bowl visitors, initially targeted 10 area hotels, but the Holiday Inn Select Indianapolis Airport was dropped from the suit. When attorneys filed the suit in January, they said they hoped it could become a class-action lawsuit and bring as much as $10 million in back pay to area hotel workers.

The settlement was reached before class-action status was addressed.

The allegations were made against the JW Marriott, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, the Canterbury Hotel, the Conrad Indianapolis, Embassy Suites Downtown, Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, Hyatt Place Indianapolis Airport, the Omni Severin and the Westin Hotel.

Plaintiff Ava Sanchez said she is pleased with the outcome.

"I'm proud and excited because a small group of workers came together to raise our voices," the Greenwood resident said.

The lawsuit, led by the union Unite Here, prompted changes in industry practices that benefit those who still work in hotels, Sanchez said. Two of the 16 plaintiffs still work in hotels, but they no longer work through a staffing company, and they receive benefits like paid time off, said Sanchez, who works for the union as an organizer.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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