State regulators respond to Hyatt on repetitive motion injuries

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PHOTO BY FABIO VENNI VIA CREATIVE COMMONS

The Guardian received a phone call from Amy Martin, chief counsel of the California Occupational Safety & Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) this morning in response to our article spotlighting Cal/OSHA's recent settlement with Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf. The settlement marked the final resolution of a set of housekeeper complaints filed in 2010 regarding repetitive motion injuries.  

Martin commented in response to statements made on behalf of Hyatt by spokesperson Pete Hillan, who told the Guardian that "what was found at Fisherman's Wharf was the equivalent of lagging paperwork," and stressed that the charges filed against Hyatt were found to be without merit.

"Cal/OSHA believes it found plenty of evidence both of injuries sustained by housekeepers, as well as violations of Cal/OSHA regulations," Martin said. "It is technically true that [citations] were withdrawn," she added, but that was the outcome of an in-depth settlement negotiation in which Hyatt agreed that the findings would be construed as a violation under the Injury Illness and Prevention Standard, a separate area of workplace safety regulations.

"To say that it's lagging paperwork is simplifying it," added Erika Monterroza, a Cal/OSHA spokesperson who joined the call.

In other Hyatt-related news, don't miss Caitlin Donohue's post about why some members of the yoga community are calling on attendees of the Yoga Journal conference to decide which side of the picket line they're on. (All of which seems strangely ironic when you consider how yoga is often viewed as a remedy for repetitive motion injuries.)

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