VANCOUVER – A worker recently laid off from the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of his colleagues alleging they were all wrongly terminated.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of current and former hourly employees of the hotel, according to Unite Here Local 40, a union that represents workers at several hotels in downtown Vancouver and was working with Pan Pacific employees who were in a union formation at the time of its formation shots were interested.
In the judicial lawsuit, plaintiff Romuel Escobar claims the hotel decided to cut its staff from 450 to 80 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but deliberately misled workers about its plans.
“In the spring and summer of 2020, the defendant repeatedly informed his employees that he had hoped and intended to get them back to work,” the lawsuit said.
Escobar began working for the hotel in 1996 and by the time he was fired on Aug. 28, he was alleged to have worked his way up to a senior concierge position. His last shift at the hotel was on March 12, 2020.
Because he and other workers believed the hotel intended to get them back to work, the lawsuit states that they “did not begin the difficult process of finding new work as early as possible”.
The lawsuit also alleges that the hotel fired employees “batches” in order to avoid triggering labor laws that would have required them either to give them advance notice or to receive higher compensation for their dismissal.
None of the allegations have been proven in court. CTV News Vancouver has requested comment from the hotel. This story will be updated when a response is received.
The union said in a press release that if the class action lawsuit is successful, it believes workers could be owed up to $ 3 million in compensation.