OSHA’s recent string of hotel inspections in response to formal safety and health complaints filed by UNITE-HERE and others on behalf of hotel housekeepers is under serious scrutiny from the House of Representatives Subcommittee that oversees OSHA’s operations. OSHA leadership is defending its decision to inspect hotels, and is signaling that OSHA will not shy away from inspecting employers in the midst of organizing campaigns and/or contentious bargaining over labor agreements.
Over the last year, OSHA received a number of formal, written complaints alleging that employees at Hyatt Hotels were exposed to various hazards, including musculoskeletal injuries, and exposures to hazardous chemicals and potentially infectious materials. The Complaints also alleged that injury and illness records were inadequate. OSHA has already conducted detailed workplace inspections in response to these Complaints at hotels in Illinois, Texas, Indiana and elsewhere. OSHA has dedicated substantial agency resources (700+ hours on just two inspections of the same employer in the same city) to its first wave of inspections in response to these coordinated multi-city OSHA Complaints.