Southwest Florida thrives on offering all the good weather and beaches of South Florida except with a whole lot more white people. A British family staying at the Ritz-Cartlon in Naples (the beach resort, not the other Ritz-Carlton in town) and specified they wished not to be served by "people of color" or anyone with "foreign accents."
Instead of politely declining the request, the hotel typed, "As per [managing director] Mr. Staros, this couple is very, very prejudice and do like like ppl of color or foreign accents," into its computer system and carried on with the family's requests.
The Ritz-Carlton went about carefully aiding and abiding the bigotry until Wadner Tranchant, a 15-year veteran of the hotel and a Haitian-American, was scheduled to serve the family at the hotel's restaurant. He was told not to, and is now filing a federal discrimination lawsuit.
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The suit, filed under the U.S. Civil Rights Act, names Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC and Edward V. Staros, its vice president and managing director. Because the law concerns employment, the family is not named in the suit.
The lawsuit also claims it wasn't the first time a similar situation has happened at the hotel.
"The Ritz-Carlton cannot comment on pending litigation but can say the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company does not allow discriminatory actions by employees or guests," Vivian Deuschl, vice president of public relations for the Ritz-Carlton, told the Naples Daily News.
Last year, the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach faced three federal discrimination complaints filed by Haitian-American employees. Though those complaints claimed management in the housekeeping department was openly discriminating.