Davis, Torosis and Zwick Write to CEO About Harassment at Hampton Inn As Strikes Resume

Date:

Last week, strikes resumed at a pair of Santa Monica hotels as Southern California elected leaders wrote the new Craig Smith, the Chief Executive Officer Aimbridge Hospitality which operates several hotels in Southern California including the Hampton Inn and Suites in Santa Monica. The letter repeats allegations that hotel management at the Hampton Inn fired a female employee after she reported a co-worker of repeated sexual harassment.

The letter can be read here, at Unite Here Local 11’s website.

The letter, which is signed by dozens of Southern California elected officials and community leaders including Santa Monica Councilmembers Gleam Davis, Jesse Zwick and Caroline Torosis, arrived days before strikes resumed at hotels in Santa Monica including the Hampton Inn and Suites, the Courtyard by Marriott (also managed by Aimbridge Hospitality), Viceroy and Le Meridien Delfina. 

The letter reads, “At the Aimbridge-managed Hampton Inn in Santa Monica, one worker recently alleged in a letter to the California Civil Rights Department that a male coworker repeatedly verbally threatened her at work, including by aggressively calling her a “fucking bitch.”… She alleges that the hotel failed to respond appropriately to her complaints of harassment, and that instead, the hotel retaliated against her by terminating her. Another woman worker has also come forward alleging that she was sexually harassed by management of the same hotel.”

The letter tells of similar stories at Aimbridge-managed hotels in Anaheim and San Pedro. For more on the accusations made against management at the Hampton Inn, you can read the initial complaint here.

The writers go on to make three demands of Smith and Aimbridge:

First, they ask for a meeting with Aimbridge to discuss the concerns. 

Second, they ask that the corporation move immediately to correct the actions of leadership at their hotels before legal cases advance against it. These actions should include: holding managers who have failed to effectively address sexual harassment and implement necessary policies accountable and ensuring that workers who have suffered harassment are not required to interact with their abusers. 

Third, Aimbridge should appoint an Ombudsperson on gender-based discrimination and harassment, who can provide an independent assessment of the company’s practices, recommend systemic reforms, and ensure complete and appropriate remediation in particular cases.

So far, officials with Aimbridge Hospitality are sticking with their management and defending their actions telling officials, “We are confident in our position, including the actions taken by Aimbridge in response to each of the underlying complaints.”While Unite Here! Local 11 and hotels throughout Southern California announced a deal last month, there are still five hotels in Santa Monica operating without a union contract. Workers at the striking hotels are asking for terms similar to the ones that were in the agreement reached with other hotels last month, including an immediate and regular wage increases that will see salaries rise by $10 (40%-50% depending on the petition) by the time the contract expires in 2028.

Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

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