Eleven Middle Tennessee Hotels Fined by U.S. Labor for Wage Violations
January 3, 2012
According to regulators, there is a widespread noncompliance by hotels and motels in Tennessee in relation to federal labor laws, but a representative of the industry said that those that violate the laws are but a minority.
Around 35 franchised hotels and motels violated the labor laws during the fiscal year which ended September 30. Violations include minimum wage, overtime and many others. The 11 TN hotels were found to have violated these as well.
Specifically, the violations include excessive room and board charges made to employees who also live at the properties or housekeepers getting paid for rooms cleaned, thereby resulting to the wage of the person falling below the minimum $7.25. Other violations include paying “straight time” for all worked hours including overtime hours, as well as not being able to pay temporary employees for all the hours that they have worked.
According to the agency, there were also hotels and motels that did not classify employees accordingly, referring to them as independent contractors, which denied them protection under federal labor laws.
In a news release by the agency, the regulators “found widespread noncompliance with the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act,” and the citations and fines are part of an enforcement initiative that focused on the hotel and motel industry of Tennessee.
Among those that were cited were 10 hotels and motels in Nashville, and there was also 1 in Smyrna.
According to the chief executive of the Tennessee Hospitality Association, Greg Adkins, their industry operates within the law. He also said that, “For the amount of economic impact we have, that’s an extremely small portion. We work very closely with the Department of Labor to ensure our industry is complying with the regulations.”