- Housekeepers in Atlantic City casinos recently told Insider that its hotels don't always enforce daily clean-ups.
- Without daily cleaning, rooms are often left with more filth staff has to deal with.
- Cleaning becomes more difficult, especially with limited time before the next guest.
If you think you're being polite by holding off on a hotel's daily cleaning service, think again.
In a recent Insider story showing how poor work conditions are pushing Atlantic City casino housekeepers on the verge of a strike, staff said in interviews that delaying cleaning services makes their jobs more difficult, especially when they have to deal with filth built up over days, sometimes a week, and with only 30 minutes or less to do so before the next guest.
"You think you're doing me a favor, but you're not — you're just offloading more work," said Ronette Lark, a 24-year-employee at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.
Cleaners often already have to deal with unsightly and unknown grime found in rooms, but delaying the work for days can make the task more strenuous and unbecoming, housekeepers told Insider.
And for housekeepers in Atlantic City, many of them who have families, adding to the strains of the job is the pay. Cleaning staff reported either an hourly wage of $16.25, which is $3.25 above the state's minimum wage, or less. Infrequent cleaning also means guests don't tip as often.
"I could do 14 checkouts, and I'm lucky if I take home $20. That's how bad it is," Iris Sanchez, a staff at Caesars in Atlantic City, said.
In addition, when rooms aren't cleaned, arriving guests often blame and sometimes verbally abuse, staff, according to Mercedes Cuadros, another housekeeper at Caesars.
Cuadros, who has worked at Caesars for 11 years, said in an interview that she would prefer if there was a mandated law for daily cleaning services at hotels.
The ask is not unprecedented.
On June 15, the Los Angeles City Council passed a local ordinance that provides more hotel worker protections. One component of the ordinance is automatic daily room cleaning.
Maria Hernandez, an organizer at Unite Here Local 11, which represents Southern California hotel workers and petitioned for the LA ordinance, told Insider that one reason daily cleaning enforcement helps workers is that it keeps housekeepers employed.
She said reducing those services has been one method various industries try to cut down on labor.
For those who are worried about being polite to staff, Hernandez encouraged guests to take advantage of the service.
"At the end of the day, it doesn't really help your housekeeper because then that means they're not servicing rooms every day," Hernandez said. "It's just a lot more time for them to get the job done."