Close up of a young hotel maid holding clean folded towels

While Marriott is dealing with a multi-city labor strike in California, the state Labor Commissioner’s Office is investigating a Marriott-managed hotel in San Diego, according to an article on the Bloomberg website.

The staffing agency Marriott hired to provide workers is also part of the inquiry.

The investigation, by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, involves Marriott’s Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter and Hotel Cleaning Services Inc.

California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement targets wage violations, as well as retaliation against whistleblowing workers. The investigation of both the Hotel Cleaning Services and the Westin began on Oct. 10.

Approximately 130 porters, housekeepers, and other employees at the Westin initiated a strike on Oct. 7.

Turning to third-party staffing agencies to clean lobbies and restaurants is a common practice in the hospitality industry, Jeff Beck, a Michigan State University professor who has had various managerial roles at Marriott, said in the article.

Most hotel guests are fine with third-party companies working in public settings, such as lobbies and restaurants but hotel managers are likely not to admit that they have third-party companies or community agencies helping to clean guest rooms during the day, Beck said.

The hotel’s use of a temp agency might also be attributed to a tighter labor market.

Under California labor and employment law, both the contractor and the subcontractor are liable for wage violations. That means if wage violations are found in an investigation, Marriott could also be liable.

Read the full article.