Attorneys Bryant & Ryan Win Reinstatement for Two Hotel Workers Represented by UNITE HERE Local 26

August 21, 2019

After UNITE HERE Local 26successfully went on strike against Marriotthotels to protect and improve pay and benefits, the Marriott-operated Aloft Hotel in Boston terminated a few workers on a highly questionable basis. Attorneys Patrick Bryant and Jillian Ryan persuaded neutral arbitrators to reinstate them.

In one case, a housekeeper, while cleaning a room, accepted an emergency phone call from her overseas mother. The mother had been hospitalized had been hospitalized. Although housekeepers are entitled to two paid 15-minute breaks during a shift and she was estimated to be on the phone about 15 minutes, Aloft terminated the housekeeper. The Hotel charged the housekeeper with "unauthorized access" for her time in a room that she was assigned to clean, and alleged that a 15-minute phone call in an unoccupied hotel room represented a serious breach of trust. The Arbitrator ordered the hotel to reinstate the housekeeper and pay her lost wages and benefits. He ordered the hotel to pay interest on the monies.

In the other case, Aloft again terminated an employee for "unauthorized access". This time, the Hotel claimed that a banquet employee spending down time in an office to which he had a key represented a grave breach of employee standards. The Arbitrator, as with above, dismissed this allegation handily. "It is quite clear that the grievant’s access to the [] office was not unauthorized." She found that the grievant and many other employees accessed the office in question on a regular basis. The arbitrator ordered the Hotel to reinstate the employee and reduced the discipline to a mere five-day suspension. She ordered Aloft to pay wages and benefits lost as a result of the wrongful termination.

These cases emphasize that Local 26's determination to win a better contract is equal to its resolve to enforce the terms of a contract,

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