2 workers sue LA airport Hilton over living wage violations

A proposed class-action lawsuit filed against the Hilton Los Angeles Airport by two housekeepers claims the hotel was skirting the city's living-wage ordinance by using a subcontractor to hire lower-paid,
temporary workers, attorneys said today.

According to the lawsuit, Hilton officials have been using an employment agency to hire and pay workers who worked alongside permanent employees.

Attorneys contend the subcontract employees are paid far less than permanent employees, despite doing the same work.

"This suit is bringing attention to the ways that this hotel and employment agency have jointly reaped profits from the exploitation of low-wage workers,'' said attorney Marc Coleman. "Breaking the law to keep workers locked in poverty is harmful to them, the greater community and the city. The
Hilton must be held accountable.''

Hilton officials could not be reached for comment. An official reached by the Los Angeles Times said she had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

According to the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, the workers hired through the outside agency earn less than minimum wage and have no access to health insurance. The living wage ordinance required in 2007 that workers be paid at least $11.13 per hour, or $9.88 an hour for health care, attorneys said. That amount is adjusted each year.