A 50-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic has sued the Grant Hyatt Hotel of New York over claims of sexual harassment. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday and also charges her union and the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, alleging these groups did nothing to protect her during the time she was subjected to sexual harassment. The suit specifically mentioned lack of support from the management of the hotel, as well as co-workers who turned vindictive when she complained about her situation.
The victim alleges that the unwanted sexual advances began when she was appointed kitchen steward of the hotel five years ago. She claims that management looked the other way when she reported several incidents of sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching and lewd sexual innuendoes. She claims that when she complained about the behavior, her co-workers turned against her and threatened to physically harm her. She stated that one co-worker threatened to have her killed or beaten up if they lost their jobs once employers retaliated against her complaints.
The woman stated neither the management or the union did anything to support her, and refused to transfer her to another department. She stated that the environment made her life a living hell but she tolerated the abuse because she was supporting her teenage son by washing dishes for $25 an hour. She is currently out on disability leave on work-related incident.
Legal spokesperson for the victim has stated that the union's conduct is as horrific as management for the employers. The union representing the plaintiff was not available for comments. However, a representative of the Hyatt has said that the Grand Hotel in New York is "committed to maintaining a safe work environment for all employees" and does not tolerate harassment of any kind. The spokeswoman added she was not able to comment on current cases of litigation.
If you or a loved one suspects you are victims of sexual harassment at the workplace, you should speak to a legal expert in the field who can advise you of your rights and help prevent an employer from violating your rights on the job.
Source: NYDailyNews.com, "Kitchen worker sues Grand Hyatt New York over alleged sexual harassment" Barbara Ross, Bill Hutchinson, Jul. 29, 2013