LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–District Attorney George Gascón has voiced concern for workers in the wake of allegations brought forth by a former events server alleging that she was subjected to race and sex discrimination while working at the Chateau Marmont. With the support of UNITE HERE Local 11, the former server and other workers have spoken out about their experiences at the ritzy hotel.
District Attorney Gascón stated: “I am aware of the civil lawsuit and allegations made regarding the Chateau Marmont Hotel. Workers can often feel powerless when dealing with hostile workplaces, dangerous work conditions, and wage theft. I am committed to protecting workers in Los Angeles County.”
Gascón’s comments follow Hollywood icon Jane Fonda’s recent pledge to boycott the Chateau Marmont until it demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that all workers—regardless of their race, sex, or background—feel treated with dignity and respect.
The District Attorney’s comments reference a civil lawsuit filed in late January by former employee Thomasina Gross against the Chateau Marmont. Ms. Gross alleges in her suit that the hotel has a racially stratified workforce where the most desirable jobs tend to be filled by white workers or light-skinned people of color who fit the Chateau’s “look,” while less desirable jobs tend to be filled by workers of color. Ms. Gross, who is African-American, alleges she repeatedly sought promotions to better paid and more stable positions for which she was qualified, but she was overlooked in favor of white employees. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that in the Chateau’s “anything goes” party atmosphere, guests—especially when drunk or under the influence of other substances—touched Ms. Gross without her consent.
Last March, the Chateau Marmont management fired virtually its entire workforce, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel without job security or affordable healthcare during the pandemic. Ms. Gross is among a number of workers who have since spoken out about their experiences at the hotel dubbed “Hollywood’s Playground.”
“After giving much of my life to the Chateau—a company that never loved us back—it was devastating to be put out on the street during the pandemic. But to know that leaders like our new district attorney George Gascón is committed to standing up for workers like us gives me hope for a brighter future,” said Walter Almendarez who worked as a bellman at the iconic Chateau Marmont for 23 years.
In response to the workers’ appeals, Jane Fonda, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, state senator Ben Allen, and the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization for Women, among others, have voiced their support for the Chateau Marmont workers and their campaign for justice and accountability.
UNITE HERE Local 11 is the union of more than 32,000 workers in hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas & convention centers in Southern California & Arizona.
PRESS CONTACT: Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 | [email protected]
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