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Lawsuit claims wages were withheld

Fri., Jan. 4, 2013, midnight

Former employees sue Davenport Hotel

Three service workers formerly employed at the Davenport Hotel have filed a lawsuit against the Spokane hospitality company, claiming it deducted wages for work breaks they didn’t take.

Attorney Kenneth Zigler filed the claim in Spokane County Superior Court. He said he hopes to certify the claims as a class action against the corporation that operates the hotel and other downtown businesses.

Zigler said it’s too early to guess how many other hourly wage workers might join the suit. The current Davenport workers he’s contacted “don’t want to put their name on the lawsuit,” the attorney said.

Lynnelle Caudill, managing director of the hotel group, said the suit is without merit. “This appears to be an action being pushed by a former disgruntled employee who was terminated and banned from hotel premises, for unrelated reasons,” she said via email.

Caudill added: “The hotel’s practices are in full compliance with all Washington and federal laws.  Our employees are hardworking, and we go out of our way to make sure we treat our staff fairly.”

The three plaintiffs are Richard Munoz, Mary Morgan Corrigan and Nicole Hughes. The suit doesn’t indicate which jobs the three held or when they left the company.

Zigler said they and others who might join the suit were employed at the historic Davenport Hotel, the Davenport Tower, the Post Street Ale House, the Hotel Lusso or the Peacock Lounge. Any claims would only apply to practices during the past three years.

The suit says workers consistently lost wages when they were not paid for 10-minute rest breaks or 30-minute lunch breaks that were not taken.

Attorney Keller Allen, representing the hotel, said the Davenport deducts 30 minutes from timecards of those working more than five hours a day. That’s a standard state employment practice, he said.

Any worker not taking lunch breaks can submit a form noting he or she is owed an additional 30 minutes for that shift, said Allen.

“We have records that show that Mr. Munoz filled out that form a number of times,” said Allen.

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