Press Release 10-15-2019

EEOC Sues Hotel Operators for Sexual Harassment

 Female Employees at the Wyndham Garden New Orleans Airport Hotel Were Subjected to Hostile and Abusive Work Environment, Federal Agency Charges

NEW ORLEANS - The operators of the Wyndham Garden New Orleans Airport hotel in Metairie, LA., violated federal law when they discriminated against two female employees because of their sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed Sept. 30. 

The operators - Expotel Hospitality Services, LLC, and EP Wyndham Garden, LLC - provide management services to IHG, Hilton, Choice, Marriott and Wyndham hotels.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the operators created a hostile and abusive work environment at the hotel by allowing a male manager to sexually harass two female employees. The manager con­tinually made sexually inappropriate comments to and engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct toward the employees. The female employees told multiple male and female supervisors and managers about the comments and conduct, but the operators of the hotel took no action in response to their complaints. 

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-12875) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The EEOC, which has authority to bring the suit on behalf of the public, has asked the court to permanently enjoin Expotel Hospitality Services, LLC, and EP Wyndham Garden, LLC from engaging in discrimination. It asked the court to award punitive and compensatory damages, as well as backpay, to the affected female employees.

"Employers must take sexual harassment seriously," said Keith Hill, director for the EEOC's New Orleans Field Office.

Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the Houston District Office, remarked, "An employer must not only seek to prevent sexual harassment but must also swiftly correct and remedy it when it does occur."

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.