Cambridge Hotels Face Allegations of Breaking Wage and Hours Laws
Cambridge, Mass. – Several former staff members of the Kendall Hotel and the Mary Prentiss Inn are alleging that their employer knowingly failed to pay overtime wages owed to them.
The workers at the Cambridge hotels have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston claiming violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by the hotel’s owner Nicholas Fandetti.
According to the complaint, the hotels “have a longstanding and consistent practice of failing to pay their hourly workers … overtime wages for weeks during which the employees work more than 40 hours per week, in violation of the FLSA.”
The complaint was filed by Daysiane Urban from Medford, Meaghan Sage from Allston, Cheila Vargus from Everett, and Nestor Matute from Revere against the hotel’s parent company, Firehouse Inn, and against Fandetti from Watertown, who the complaint alleges “directly controls the pay practices at both hotels and is personally responsible for their failure to pay required overtime wages.”
It’s alleged that front desk, kitchen, and housekeeping staffs regularly work “more than 40 hours per week,” and sometimes management “would have employees work at one hotel for fewer than 40 hours in a week and in the other hotel for fewer than 40 hours in that same week, but the total hours of work would exceed 40” in total.
The defendant has yet to file an answer to the allegations with the court, but in a brief statement to Open Media Boston, an attorney for Firehouse Inn and Fandetti said, “We are currently reviewing the lawsuit and we will advise our client accordingly at the appropriate time. Beyond that we have no further comment.”
According to the complaint, within “the last three years, the plaintiffs worked as hourly employees” at the hotels for “more than 40 hours per week during numerous weeks, but the defendants never paid them any required overtime.”
In an exhibit filed as part of the case and seen by Open Media Boston, paystubs for three of the staff members show they worked more than 80 hours in a two week period, but were paid a flat rate.
The complaint claims that this indicates the “plaintiffs were paid a straight hourly rate but were not paid overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week.”
It’s alleged that the “defendants knowingly and willfully failed to pay any of their hourly employees overtime when those employees worked more than 40 hours per week, and the defendants … permitted their hourly employees to work more than 40 hours per week.”
The action is “brought on behalf of all hourly employees who worked for the defendants within the applicable statute of limitations,” says the complaint, which alleges that “the defendants have violated federal wage laws by failing to pay required overtime compensation to hourly employees who worked more than forty hours per week.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs could not be reached by Open Media Boston before the filing of this report.
The case will be heard in Boston by US District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton.
Photo attributed to Techiedog/Flickr, cropped, CC-BY-SA-2.0.