Schimmel & Parks, APLC - Litigation
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Hotel housekeeper files sexual harassment claim

Certain jobs in California might put workers in uncomfortable situations through no fault of their own. Working in hotels is one such job. When guests are at a hotel, the workers are required to clean up and perform other duties that might result in confusion, mixed signals and other problematic circumstances. If a guest behaves inappropriately, it is up to the employer to ensure that its workers are safe and free from sexual harassment, assault and other behaviors. Unfortunately, some employers do not adhere to this requirement and their workers are put in danger.

A housekeeper for a hotel chain has filed a lawsuit against her employer saying she was harassed by drunk men and the employer did not protect her. The woman, 51, began working for the company in 2000. She performed several jobs including cashier and hostess until 2012 when she received a breast cancer diagnosis. After a leave of absence for treatment, she went back to work. Since she had lost her hair, she says that the employer did not want her to work as a front person. Later, she was transferred to housekeeping.

Working the nightshift, she was assigned to clean men's restrooms. She says that men used the restroom while she was there and made comments she deemed inappropriate. In 2017, a man seemed to try to force his way into a room as she cleaned it. Later that year, another man who seemed drunk grabbed her in the restroom of the hotel bar. He offered her $50 and attempted to kiss her. She fled and when she complained, a supervisor laughed and said he should have offered more money. Even after she was given a large piece of paper to tell patrons that the restrooms were being cleaned, they were ignored and she kept being harassed.

While sexual harassment at the workplace is often perceived as a superior mistreating a lower-level employee, there are many categories of sexual harassment that warrant a legal filing. If customers are sexually harassing workers, that could be the basis of a lawsuit. When an employee is being treated in such a way and asks management for help, the employee has the right to believe protection will be provided. If it is not, a legal filing could provide them with compensation for what happened. Those who are working in any job where customers, co-workers, superiors or anyone else is committing sexual harassment should understand their rights and consider a lawsuit.

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