For years, women who clean rooms at Hyatt hotels have been speaking out against the injuries and hazards they face at work. In a recent press statement, Hyatt denied there is a problem, reducing citations and settlements to mere technicalities. Despite their protests, California state regulators disagree.
In a bold move last week, state regulators fired back at statements made by a Hyatt spokesperson that problems housekeepers face at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel were “the equivalent of lagging paperwork.”
When two housekeepers in New York came forward to report assault on the job, taking on some of the most powerful men in the world, they exposed some of the grittier and often hidden aspects of hotel work–the work of scrubbing toilets, changing sheets, and encountering guests alone behind closed doors. Hotel housekeepers–overwhelmingly women, immigrants, and people of color–are the invisible backbone of the hotel industry. While incidents of sexual assault are uncommon, the women who work as housekeepers routinely face a broader spectrum of dangers at work, from sexual harassment to debilitating injuries from years of making beds and scrubbing floors.
Now, housekeepers from across North America are breaking the silence on abuses they face at work.