Hotel Worker Suffers Brain Hemorrhage After a 14-Hour "Work Day"
By David Goldstein, Esq.
Imagine yourself as a hotel dishwasher, cleaning rack after rack of dirty dishes for eight straight hours, standing at the sink with the heat from the steaming hot water leaving you weak; your legs and feet are throbbing from standing for so long. Then, imagine being told that your eight-hour shift is only the beginning of your work day—you're on the hook for at least six more hours…with no help.
That was what 20-year-old Claudia Sanchez faced one day last April as she performed what she was told were her duties at the Long Beach Renaissance Hotel. But her body couldn't take it, and after that 14-hour shift, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and fell into a coma right there in the hotel's parking lot.
Working hard wasn't new to Claudia. In fact, it was not unusual for her to be the only dishwasher on duty, and when she would ask her managers for help, the answer was always the same: "No, there is no help for you."
That young woman who enjoyed the company of her family as well as her regularly scheduled Zumba class is now facing a long, hard road to recovery. Claudia can only speak a few words, she cannot walk on her own, the right side of her body is immobile, and she is in a great deal of pain.
I am representing Claudia (through her father) in a Workers' Compensation claim, so I know first-hand that this is one of the most egregious cases of abusive workplace conditions, with an outcome for Claudia that is beyond description.
The hotel industry in Southern California, and Long Beach in particular, has a history of deplorable working conditions, including the lack of meal and rest breaks, working off the clock, sexual harassment. In Claudia's case, it is clear that the 14-hour shift she was required to work resulted in her brain hemorrhage.
The Renaissance has denied the Workers' Compensation claim, but we will prevail. We will fight for justice on behalf of Claudia and her family, and we will win. And, such a victory will have a positive ripple effect on all those other hotel workers and their families who continue to face deplorable working conditions.