Earlier this week, the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes agreed to a $2.1 million lawsuit with workers to settle a wage dispute lawsuit.
The Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes recently agreed to a lawsuit settlement, ending a dispute between workers and the resort. The workers filed the suit back in 2017 after demanding “pay for time they spent waiting to get uniforms before each shift and being driven from a remote parking lot.” According to the suit, “hotel management violated California labor law by requiring employees to show up as much as 30 minutes before their shifts to a remote parking lot to take a company shuttle to work, without providing compensation for that time.”
To make matters worse, the workers alleged they were required to “show up an additional 15 minutes before their shifts to get and put on work uniforms, also without compensation for that time.” On top of that, the resort allegedly failed to “provide proper meal and rest breaks.”
As part of the settlement agreement, the resort agreed to pay $2.1 million towards a fund, which will be “split among the approximately 400 hourly workers at the resort and their attorneys.” Additionally, the resort has already begun implementing “significant changes to its unlawful wage-and-hour policies that benefit employees.”
Despite the money and changes, Terri A. Haack, the president of Terranea, maintains the resort did nothing wrong and only agreed to the settlement in order to avoid more costly litigation. She said, “we are happy to have expediently resolved this matter and avoided costly and lengthy litigation that would have largely benefited a small group of plaintiff lawyers.”
The suit itself was originally filed by three workers, though after careful consideration it was determined the case met the “requirements to be considered a class-action lawsuit, representing about 400 hourly employees.” How much will each employee get, though? Well, according to the settlement agreement, the three lead plaintiffs will receive “as much as $7,500 each in back pay…but the biggest share of the settlement money will go to the lawyers for workers.” Haack said:
“Plaintiffs’ attorneys, including an attorney who also represents Unite Here Local 11, stand to receive more than $716,000 in legal fees as part of the settlement. Employees will receive individual sums that are a very small fraction of what the attorneys will receive.”
This isn’t the first time the resort has found itself in hot water, though. In fact, the resort has been in a labor feud with Unite Here Local 11, “a union that represents hotel workers.” Apparently, the union has been working to try and unionize the resort workers and even asked Haack to “sign a neutrality agreement, which would give union organizers access to the property to collect signature cards.” Haack refused to sign the agreement.