IBJNews

Mayor vetoes hotel-worker blacklisting proposal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has vetoed a proposed ordinance aimed at hiring practices by local hotels, the mayor's office announced Thursday afternoon.

The proposal, passed Monday night by the City-County Council, said hotels could no longer ban contract workers from direct employment. The measure was supported by Democrats and passed 16-9 along party lines.

Hotel housekeepers working for employment services allege hotels won’t hire them directly when better jobs become available at the hotel, per agreements between hotels and employment agencies.

Also, hotel workers who’ve resigned from temporary agencies and apply for employment directly with hotels have been told they’re ineligible for a period of time as long as one year, said Sarah Lyons of the hotel union-organizing group UniteHere!

Lyons said the practice has left about 1,000 workers trapped in minimum-wage hotel jobs with no health insurance or other benefits.

In a letter to the council explaining his veto, Ballard said state law already prohibits so-called "blacklisting," making a duplicate ordinance unnecessary. He also said there was "no compelling evidence" that showed "any hotel or cleaning service in Indianapolis had engaged in 'blacklisting.'"

In addition, he said, the proposal would be an "overreaching and overly burdensome city regulation on business" that interferes with contracting between private entities.

Hotel industry representatives told a council committee last week that local hotels have no contracts with employment services that prevent them from hiring workers directly.

Blacklisting allegations are part of a lawsuit filed in federal court here last January by 14 hotel workers against several downtown hotels and Hospitality Staffing Solutions. The suit, which is pending, also alleges wage and hour violations.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Not a Problem
    There is nothing unusual about temporary staffing agencies trying to protect their employees from being hired away by their clients. If you're the hotel operator and you want to hire an employee from a staffing service, you can do so, but you have to pay a fee to the staffing agency. Headhunters for professionals work the same way. The difference here is that the workers are (largely) unskilled so the fee is probably more than the hotel operator would want to pay. The suggestion that vetoeing an ordinance means the mayor is "in somebody's pocket" or that there is collusion is unsubstantiated. I suspect that this had more to do with the fact that there is a union behind the proposed ordinance. Permanent employment would make it easier for the union to organize.
  • All temp agencies work that way
    Not sure why the hotel community was being singled out in this ordinance. That's how all temp agencies work, whether you need a clerical assistant, accountant, or hotel housekeeper. The temp agencies spend money on hiring, screening, training, payroll management, etc. which is why they require a fee from the employer (like a hotel) if they want to hire that person directly from the agency. So why single out the hotels? If anything, the council should propose an ordinance ensuring the temp agencies clearly communicate to new recruits that this is what they're getting themselves into, or that the temp employees can legally choose to pay the agency's fee themselves (maybe in installments) so the employer isn't disincetivized to do so.
  • black listing
    The hotel representatives are not telling the truth. My son worked for a temp agency for a year when he moved back to Indy. Many of the places that the temp agency sent him to work were looking for workers, but he was told by the hotel/restaurants that they could not take his application as they had a contract with the temp agency the prohibits them from hiring a temp employee unless they pay a large amount of money to the temp agency or had worked a certain amount of hours for the temp agency at that certain employment location. If they had the specified number of hours worked, then the company could offer the temp worker the opportunity to apply for that position. What the temp agency did was to send the employee to another location so they did not reach to amount of hours that the employer said they needed to be released from employment with the temp agency in order for the employer not to have to pay that large amounth of money to the temp agency for that employee. Kind of like selling your sould
  • additional pressure
    The only thing a separate ordinance would do is to put additional pressure on the colluding hotels and employment services. Ballard is showing that he is in the pocket of these people and could care less about a $8 per hour housekeeper.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

ADVERTISEMENT