May 15, 2019 • Adam L. Parry
Category: Press Releases
The Stokes Wagner team has defeated claims of discrimination, harassment and wage violations against the storied Beverly Hills Hotel. The claimant was a former employee of The Beverly Hills Hotel Logo Shop who was terminated for cause. She alleged that during her employment, she was subject to rampant use of racial slurs, including the “N-Word,” by Hotel management and fellow employees. She also claimed that she suffered from race-based favoritism and that she was ultimately terminated because of her race. She also claimed that the Hotel failed to provide her with required rest breaks and to pay her for all hours worked. Claimant sought damages for lost income, emotional distress, unpaid wages, related penalties, and attorneys’ fees.
The Stokes Wagner team countered her claims with the testimony of several current and former employees, who testified that her allegations of pervasive race discrimination and harassment through the use of racial slurs at the Hotel were simply untrue. Their testimony established that racial slurs, favoritism, and discrimination have no place at The Beverly Hills Hotel, which prides itself on welcoming both employees and guests from every part of the world. The arbitrator, Sara Adler of the American Arbitration Association, found no evidence that employees were treated differently because of their race.
Similarly, Ms. Adler found Claimant’s wage and hour claims unsupported. The arbitrator found that the Hotel’s policies regarding rest breaks and timekeeping policies provided for all required rest breaks and compensation, and the evidence showed that she took her breaks and was properly compensated for all time worked.
The arbitration award found in favor of The Beverly Hills Hotel on all causes of action and awarded nothing to the Claimant.
On the Stokes Wagner team representing The Beverly Hills Hotel were attorneys Diana Lerma, Peter Maretz, Adam Parry, and Ben Herold, and paralegals Eleanor McCloskey and Perla Cuevas.
Case Title: Eleni Kassa v. Kristy Whitford, Sajahtera, Inc. d/b/a/ The Beverly Hills Hotel, and DOES 1 thru 50 inclusive
Case Number: 01-17-0005-6831
Forum: American Arbitration Association
Nature of Suit: Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, Failure to Prevent Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Defamation of Character
Arbitrator: Sara Adler, Esq.
Date Filed: May 3, 2017
Law Firms: Stokes Wagner, ALC (Respondent); Odiase Law Group, Michael Hailu & Associates (Claimant)