Construction workers on a lift

Construction Workers at San Francisco Hotel Seek Over $700,000 in Unpaid Wages

Construction workers at a luxury hotel in downtown San Francisco are attempting to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in owed wages after working on a major remodeling project without pay for months. California’s Labor Commissioner sued the hotel owner and a contractor for allegedly failing to pay their workers.

The Labor Commissioner filed an unpaid wages lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of 17 workers. Hotel owners, Northview Hotel Group and Angelo Gordon, were named as defendants in the complaint, along with general contractor Excel Hotel Services Inc. and its CEO Stephen David Pavone.

The workers had been hired for a renovation project at Beacon Grand Hotel, formerly the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, from April 2021 to October 2022. The workers were not considered hotel employees. They were working under Excel, which was the contractor for the project.

The workers are seeking to recover $730,000 in unpaid wages in the lawsuit. Damages were calculated based on San Francisco’s minimum wage, which is $16.99 per hour through June 30. The amount also accounts for waiting time penalties owed to workers who did not receive their earned wages upon termination.

When multiple parties are involved, in this case, like the hotel owner and contractor, it is easy for them to pass the buck when it comes to paying workers properly. According to a KTVU report, workers repeatedly tried to discuss their unpaid wages with the hotel. Hotel management allegedly told workers they should obtain their money from the contractor. On the other hand, workers told the San Francisco Chronicle that Excel CEO Pavone claimed to be awaiting payment from the hotel.

Northview said it terminated Excel in October 2022 and hired local contractors to complete the remainder of the renovation work. The hotel group claimed it became aware of complaints about wage issues after Excel’s termination.

The workers told KTVU that because they were not getting paid their wages, they lost vehicles, tools, and opportunities to make money on other jobs. Many of the workers live out of state and had to look elsewhere for work. 

The remaining workers have united in their struggle to recover the ways they are owed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Before the California Labor Commissioner’s lawsuit was filed, the San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement launched an investigation into potential labor violations at the Beacon Grand Hotel.

The bottom line is that workers should be paid fully, fairly, and on time for all completed work. Filing a lawsuit calls for accountability for everyone involved in overseeing a project and ensuring workers are paid. The parties can no longer pass the blame to someone else.

There are many different types of wage violations, including unpaid overtime, denied meal and rest breaks, not paying wages in a timely manner, worker misclassification, and more. While wage theft occurs across many different workplaces, it is known to be rife in the construction industry in both commercial and residential projects. Workers are often forced to work long hours without proper pay or meal breaks.

Speaking up against your employer can be difficult in such circumstances. However, you deserve to be paid the wages you have earned.

San Francisco Bay Area workers have important rights when it comes to being paid for the work they have performed. If you believe you have a claim for unpaid wages against your employer, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable San Francisco employment lawyer. You may be able to recover the pay you are owed.

Contact McCormack Law Firm to learn more. We have experience helping San Francisco workers recover unpaid wages. Our lawyers are available to answer your questions and advise you on your legal options. Call 415.925.5161 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.

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