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Press Release 07-22-2019

EEOC Sues Monroe Hotel for Pay Discrimination

Courtyard Monroe Airport Hotel Paid Women Less Because of Their Gender, Federal Agency Charges

NEW ORLEANS - The operators of the Courtyard Monroe Airport hotel in Monroe, La., violated federal law when they discriminated against employees because of their sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed last week.

The owners are AH 2007 Management, LP, and Aimbridge Hospitality, LLC (collect­ively, Aimbridge), which are based in Plano, Tex., and manage hotels nationally and internationally, in­cluding the Courtyard Monroe Airport.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Aimbridge paid the Courtyard Monroe Airport hotel's only male guest service representative $15.25 per hour while paying a female front desk supervisor and each of his female co-workers - who were also guest service representatives - $11 or less per hour. Aimbridge eventually began paying the female supervisor $16 per hour. However, Aimbridge never began paying the female representatives more, the EEOC said. 

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 19-914) on July 16 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division, 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 Aimbridge from engaging in future discrimination. It has also asked the court to order Aimbridge to correct any past and future disparities in pay for male and female guest service representatives by providing back pay and by paying female guest service representatives more, to be consistent with what the male guest services representative had been earning. It asked the court for punitive and compensatory damages as well.

"Employers are prohibited by federal law from paying women less than men for equal work, and from discriminating in pay or other conditions of employment because of gender," said Keith Hill, director for the EEOC's New Orleans Field Office.

Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the Houston District Office, cautioned, "A person's gender should not - and must not - be a factor in determining a person's pay."  

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