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Forced To Work Off The Clock Indiana

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  • Forced To Work Off The Clock Indiana


    I am a housekeeper at a hotel but I walked off my job Thursday and have not gone back.
    A few months ago the hotel that I work at was bought by another company and some of us were hired and asked to stay by the new owners, me being one of them.

    This new company's policy is that the housekeepers are allowed up to 30 minutes to clean each room. All the housekeepers and the Executive Housekeeper/Manager also signed and dated the paper stating that we understand and agree to the policy but the Executive Housekeeper/Manager refuses to allow us to have up to 30 minutes to clean each room.
    The Executive Housekeeper/Manager will only give us a maximum of 15 minutes to clean a stay over. The General Manager at times has given us even less than 15 minutes to clean a stay over, which is just impossible and against company policy per the paper we all signed. The Executive Housekeeper/Manager will bully, hound and harasses us to pressure and force us to get done by her extremely unfair time constraint. The housekeepers get screamed at, cussed at and humiliated in front of hotel guests and our co workers on a daily basis.
    I personally have been pressured, coerced even forced to clock out and work off the clock without pay every day that I have worked there. I have to go to work 30 minutes to an hour early every day that I work to get my linens together for the day and replenish my work cart for the day. I have also cleaned rooms off the clock so as not to get harasses bullied and threatened because of their unfair time constraints.
    They add more and more tasks to our daily things to do but never give us any more time to do them.
    The Executive Housekeeper/Manager has yelled at me to "get off the clock" and then finish working. Myself as well as the other house keepers have been made to clock out and work through our lunch break without pay even if you don't clock out they take the 30 minutes out of your pay anyway, even though you worked that time.

    I walked off the job Thursday morning because they wrote me up because they said I took to much time to do my work on Sunday. I refused to sign the paper and walked out. I only worked 5 1/2 hours Sunday. It's not like a sat there for 10 or 12 hours. I took only as long as I needed to get everything done. I'm not going to go into listing everything that I had to do but it was a lot. I cleaned 9 rooms that day and did a lot of other things as well.
    We each get our own task sheet when we get there in the morning and a time out is put on the sheet but the time out is not the company policy time out it is a time out that they decide. I took one of these sheets home with me as proof of the wrong time that we are being given and forced to adhere to through threats, intimidation and bullying.
    I also still have the new hire letter we all signed that says what time we are given to clean.

    We are also placed on call several times a week. I don't have or use a cell phone so I cannot leave my house when I am on call.
    I have been told by the GM that we have to be available for 2 ours after what would be our regular start time and if you do not answer the phone it is considered a "no call no show", "job abandonment" and she also says we will be written up for it, if we don't lose our job.
    So I have been forced to stay at my home for 3 hours several times a week in case they need me without pay.

    I wrote one of the owners and so far he has ignored me email. I tried to make sure that I sounded nice and not like I was ranting but he has chosen to ignore me.
    I don't think they should be allowed to get away with treating people like this but I am not sure what my options are.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by countrygirl765; 11-23-2013, 09:41 AM.

  • #2
    You have the right to file a complaint with the state for any time that you worked and were not paid for.

    Other than that, you have the right to file for unemployment and look for another job.

    FYI, I have worked as housekeeper in a hotel when I was otherwise unemployed. 15 minutes is more than enough time to clean a stay-over.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      I don't want to argue with you cbg but we happen to get a lot of construction workers and we are told that the sheets have to be changed everyday if one spot is on them, that the mud on their floors has to be vacuumed up everyday. So these stay overs are done as check outs everyday.
      We had one man there for a few months that chewed and spit in the bathroom floor. It would take more than 15 minutes to clean these types of rooms everyday. Most stay overs can be done in 15 minutes, I would agree, but a lot cannot.
      The company policy states 30 minutes per room it doesn't matter if it is a stay over or check out.

      Thanks for the advice though.


      • #4
        Easy stuff first.
        - This is a bad employer. The best and sometimes only cure for a bad employer is to find a job at a good employer.
        - Keep track of your hours worked at home. If you are not paid for all hours actually worked, file a wage claim, hopefully on your way out the door to the new job. WORKING OFF THE CLOCK IS ILLEGAL.

        Hard stuff:
        - Most of what you said is not illegal on it's face. I can tell you to build a house in the next 30 minutes, and fire you for failing to do so, and I would not necessarily or probably be legally wrong. It is not inherently illegal to have speed ups or unrealistic expectations.
        - Now if all employees are not being treated the same, THAT may or may not violate some law. This would be very detail specific. Treating men one way and women another way solely because of their gender risk a Title VII violation for example.
        - Forming a union might be an option.
        - There is a chance I missed some cause of action, so anyone else, please jump in.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          Thank you very much DAW.


          • #6
            Company policy is rarely if ever legally binding. I agree that there are some stay overs that cannot be done in 15 minutes. On the other hand, there are some check outs that can. The fact is that legally, IT DOESN'T MATTER what the company policy is. If the owners want things done in a way that is contrary to company policy, then you do it the way they want. If it's physically impossible, that's a shame (and I am sincere in that) but it does not provide you with any legal recourse.

            You have a difficult job. I am not discounting what you do or what you are being told to do. But it wouldn't do you any good if I told you yes, you can sue them and they'll have to give you your job back and allow you a full 30 minutes for every room no matter what and you'll get back all lost wages and more, when it isn't true. And it's not. Your legal recourse is what I told you.

            Signing a write up does not mean that you agree you were wrong; it means you have been advised of management's view on the matter. Walking off the job instead of signing means you're going to have a harder time getting unemployment. I'm not saying it's impossible - that's where the fact that they're asking you to exceed company policy might help you. But you didn't do yourself any favors by quitting when it comes to your unemployment claim. You'd have had an easier time of it if you'd let them fire you.

            But you absolutely have the right to be paid for all the work that you did, and you do have legal recourse for that.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


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