Feds conduct ‘routine’ probe of Island hotel labor practices

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Hotels here are under the microscope.

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division is investigating hotels here to make sure they comply with labor laws, said Judith Gonzalez, the agency’s assistant district director in McAllen.

Gonzalez said officials will investigate a “sample” of five to 10 hotels compiled by District Director Nathan Barrow.

The Island’s “high number of hotels” led the agency to select the area for the investigation, Gonzalez said.

“The hotel industry has some of the most vulnerable workers in the sense they are paid close to or at minimum wage,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the investigation does not stem from complaints but is part of the department’s routine duties.

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