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Colored Folk Need Not Apply to this [Racism] Thread

tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/23/florida-hotel-alleged-racist-demand
A British family has been banned from staying at a chain of luxury hotels after allegedly requesting not to be served by "people of colour" at a Florida resort.

The demand, allegedly lodged by the family on arrival, has emerged in a claim by a Haitian-born waiter against the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida. The family, named by the hotel as the Morgans, are said to have checked in on 29 February.

According to the writ, the hotel – at the direction of its managing director, Edward Staros – recorded on its computers the "preference" that the family not be served by "people of colour" or staff with "foreign accents". The note reportedly added: "This couple is very very prejudice".

The claimant, Wadner Tranchant, 40, a naturalised US citizen who has worked at the Ritz-Carlton for 15 years, said that on 12 March the hotel "instructed the serving staff regarding the stated prejudice of the Morgan family" when they reserved a table in the restaurant. Tranchant's attorney, Michael McDonnell, told the Guardian: "As a lawyer you are required to conduct an investigation before taking a case, and we have done that. There are a number of witnesses to support his story."

Tranchant is still employed at the Ritz-Carlton despite his lawsuit against the hotel chain, McDonnell said.

The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 (£49,000) in compensation for Tranchant, who was "humiliated, embarrassed, frightened, intimidated, subject to undeserved shame and suffered severe emotional distress". No date has been set for a hearing. The hotel has 20 days from when the lawsuit was filed on Tuesday to submit a formal response.
The Ritz-Carlton's website promises "world class restaurants and impeccable service" at its Naples property, a 450-room waterfront hotel with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico, two heated swimming pools and two golf courses designed by the former world No 1 Greg Norman where rates start at $439.

Tranchant's claim states that staff in the restaurant were advised "through its computer notification system and word of mouth" of the family's "stated prejudice", and that as Tranchant began to serve them "he was prevented by his supervisors from doing so because they did not want to be waited on by a black person".

The lawsuit adds: "Other employees also encountered similar treatment on multiple occasions", with "such conduct so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person in [Tranchant's] position would find the work environment to be hostile or abusive".

The Ritz-Carlton group declined to say whether any staff had been disciplined, but confirmed the family had been contacted and "banned from staying at any Ritz-Carlton hotel". Vivian Deuschl, a company spokeswoman in Washington, said the hotel "does not tolerate or condone discrimination of any kind by its employees or visiting guests."

Bruce Seigel, the hotel's director of marketing, added: "The hotel has very strict policies in place to prohibit discrimination and harassment and we take very seriously any allegation of discrimination or harassment."

The case provoked a flurry of comments on US websites. "The hotel should be fined heavily … and the money given to a charity that helps fight racism," was one view.

"Those beastly boors from Britain should ha ve been given the boot the moment they made their bigoted request," noted another blogger.

One New Yorker posted: "I know this may sound wrong, but I have to side with the hotel on this one. They're simply doing what they're supposed to and honor the old adage about the customer always being right."

I'm torn on this one. Firstly its an obvious money grab by the staff member, as 75k is massive compared to whatever he would have been tipped by the Bigots, and I really doubt the claims of "humiliated, embarrassed, frightened, intimidated, subject to undeserved shame and suffered severe emotional distress".
Secondly The hotel exist to serve its customers, and while the colored aspect is clearly racist, who hasn't gotten annoyed at someone who has a horrible accent/bad English. Call a tech support number if your life is lacking that experience.
Ideally, the hotel should have just told them to GTFO, but idk if its right to force the hotel to lose customers. The plaintiff was presumably still working, so its not like he lost wages, and besides being bigoted to hell, IDK if "no coloreds" is substantially different from "can you have Cindy(the blonde) wait on us?"

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Posts

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The hotel should have refused them service when they made the request, and refunded their money. Clearly the request is blatantly impossible and illegal. Heck, it's a request so insane that I have trouble even believing it's real.

    tbloxham on
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  • Protein ShakesProtein Shakes __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2010
    Well, they got banned already.

    So what are we discussing exactly?

    Protein Shakes on
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  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    This is one of those stories that's so O_o that after reading it I had to double check to make sure it wasn't from the daily mail.

    Raiden333 on
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  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited April 2010
    tbloxham wrote: »
    The hotel should have refused them service when they made the request, and refunded their money. Clearly the request is blatantly impossible and illegal. Heck, it's a request so insane that I have trouble even believing it's real.

    You don't believe there are highly racist people in the world?

    Anyways about the article... the anger is focused at the wrong people. The scum are the people who made the request, not the hotel that was just trying to do its job. Part of the job of the service industry is to bend over backwards to make people happy. I know this having been a waiter myself.

    The customers were the fucks. The business could've chosen to be cool and refused their business, but I can't seem to bring up a whole lot of anger because they didn't.

    Loklar on
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Loklar wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    The hotel should have refused them service when they made the request, and refunded their money. Clearly the request is blatantly impossible and illegal. Heck, it's a request so insane that I have trouble even believing it's real.

    You don't believe there are highly racist people in the world?

    Anyways about the article... the anger is focused at the wrong people. The scum are the people who made the request, not the hotel that was just trying to do its job. Part of the job of the service industry is to bend over backwards to make people happy. I know this having been a waiter myself.

    The customers were the fucks. The business could've chosen to be cool and refused their business, but I can't seem to bring up a whole lot of anger because they didn't.

    I find it less amazing that the request was made than that it was recorded and, apparently, agreed to by the hotel. I mean, that's a pretty big request. Something like that would presumably have to go through at least a shift manager at the reservations desk or similar. You'd think someone would have had the brains (and, I suppose, balls) to say, "No, sir/ma'am, I'm afraid that the Ritz isn't capable of segregating its staff by accent."

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  • BallmanBallman Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    In that kind of service industry, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the request was complied with just to keep from rocking the boat. The whole "This couple is very very prejudiced" line in the computer makes me think that the staff knew it wasn't right, but thought it was better to just keep their head down and live with it.

    The British couples are assholes and should probably have their request denied. That said, I understand why that didn't happen. I don't understand why the waiter deserves $75k for his suffering. Then again, maybe there's more to this that we aren't being told. Who knows?

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  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Ballman wrote: »
    In that kind of service industry, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the request was complied with just to keep from rocking the boat. The whole "This couple is very very prejudiced" line in the computer makes me think that the staff knew it wasn't right, but thought it was better to just keep their head down and live with it.

    The British couples are assholes and should probably have their request denied. That said, I understand why that didn't happen. I don't understand why the waiter deserves $75k for his suffering. Then again, maybe there's more to this that we aren't being told. Who knows?

    I'd wager this isn't the first time they've done something like this. Maybe the guy reached a breaking point?

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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Stupid people. Stupid lawsuit.

    Slider on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I think it's hard for people without a legal education, myself included, to attach a monetary value to emotional distress and not feel like the sum is completely arbitrary. I do think think that damages for things like that are necessary, though, and I'm not balking at the 75k figure. Claims of humiliation aren't out of line when you've been told you can't serve food to a bunch of rich people because of your skin color, and you have to go along with it because the dude telling you this is your boss.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Wait.

    A British family, staying in Florida requested no foreign accents. Right?

    Did.....did they only want British staff to serve them?

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Stupid people. Stupid lawsuit.

    This.
    The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 (£49,000) in compensation for Tranchant, who was "humiliated, embarrassed, frightened, intimidated, subject to undeserved shame and suffered severe emotional distress".

    This guy doesn't actually realize how lawsuits work.

    zeeny on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Agghhh, the comments.
    "I know this may sound wrong, but I have to side with the hotel on this one. They're simply doing what they're supposed to and honor the old adage about the customer always being right."

    Maybe it sounds wrong because it is wrong, douchebag.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • NeliNeli Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    They may be assholes and prejudiced

    but suing the hotel for it? Nope that is just silly

    Neli on
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  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    $75k actually doesn't seem like that much to me, considering the senstive nature of these claims. I'm surprised that the hotel didn't just settle.

    I'm surprised that a legal suit was filed at all, though. Anybody who's been a server knows that it's pretty common for asshole customers to disparage you for any number of reasons. Girls I know that have served have had to endure sexual harassment, inappropriate remarks amount their weight, height or other body features, stupid remarks about their accents, and lots of other stupid bullshit. Usually they just get told to suck it up. This sort of behavior is far from rare.

    I wish the hotel had just told them that their prejudicial and inappropriate requests would be denied. More employers need to stick up for their workers in service positions.

    Duffel on
  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    zeeny wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    Stupid people. Stupid lawsuit.

    This.
    The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 (£49,000) in compensation for Tranchant, who was "humiliated, embarrassed, frightened, intimidated, subject to undeserved shame and suffered severe emotional distress".

    This guy doesn't actually realize how lawsuits work.

    Do you?

    King Riptor on
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  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Neli wrote: »
    They may be assholes and prejudiced

    but suing them? Nope that is just silly

    Why is it silly to sue them?

    I mean, it'd be silly if he was suing because there were bigoted customers at the hotel, but my interpretation is that he's suing because he was pressured into complying with a racist request, which in turn demeaned him. Maybe I'm missing something, but that seems as much a case of a hostile work environment as anything else.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • NeliNeli Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well suing people for money is rare over here and I think it is the opposite over there and I don't feel qualified to comment on the situation anymore because it seems really stupid to me to sue someone because you felt demeaned

    Neli on
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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Agghhh, the comments.
    "I know this may sound wrong, but I have to side with the hotel on this one. They're simply doing what they're supposed to and honor the old adage about the customer always being right."

    Maybe it sounds wrong because it is wrong, douchebag.
    Besides, the customer is damn well not always right.
    The plaintiff was presumably still working, so its not like he lost wages, and besides being bigoted to hell, IDK if "no coloreds" is substantially different from "can you have Cindy(the blonde) wait on us?
    Well, for one thing, race is a protected class, and hair color is not.

    Captain Carrot on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Neli wrote: »
    Well suing people for money is rare over here and I think it is the opposite over there and I don't feel qualified to comment on the situation anymore because it seems really stupid to me to sue someone because you felt demeaned

    What's the preferred method for discouraging/punishing discriminatory practices and the creation of hostile work environments in your legal system?

    Robos A Go Go on
  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Agghhh, the comments.
    "I know this may sound wrong, but I have to side with the hotel on this one. They're simply doing what they're supposed to and honor the old adage about the customer always being right."

    Maybe it sounds wrong because it is wrong, douchebag.
    Besides, the customer is damn well not always right.
    The plaintiff was presumably still working, so its not like he lost wages, and besides being bigoted to hell, IDK if "no coloreds" is substantially different from "can you have Cindy(the blonde) wait on us?
    Well, for one thing, race is a protected class, and hair color is not.

    Cindy is also a woman though.

    Loklar on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I think it's hard for people without a legal education, myself included, to attach a monetary value to emotional distress and not feel like the sum is completely arbitrary. I do think think that damages for things like that are necessary, though, and I'm not balking at the 75k figure. Claims of humiliation aren't out of line when you've been told you can't serve food to a bunch of rich people because of your skin color, and you have to go along with it because the dude telling you this is your boss.
    I've got a legal degree and I have to say the waiter's lawsuit here is just a money-grab by an ambulance-chasing lawyer and a client who sees a potential pay-day. This family are a bunch of douches, but the waiter hasn't really suffered actual damages here- what did he lose, some tip money (which he might not have gotten anyway, since I doubt racist Brits are good tippers to black waiters). Hurt feelings don't count. He and his lawyer are betting, probably correctly, that the Ritz will throw them some nuisance money on a settlement because they want this whole thing to go away.

    Yeah, the hotel should've told these people to stuff it from day one. But, their actions didn't end up harming this waiter in any real way. The manager probably did him a favor by pulling him off their table.

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  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I think it's hard for people without a legal education, myself included, to attach a monetary value to emotional distress and not feel like the sum is completely arbitrary. I do think think that damages for things like that are necessary, though, and I'm not balking at the 75k figure. Claims of humiliation aren't out of line when you've been told you can't serve food to a bunch of rich people because of your skin color, and you have to go along with it because the dude telling you this is your boss.
    I've got a legal degree and I have to say the waiter's lawsuit here is just a money-grab by an ambulance-chasing lawyer and a client who sees a potential pay-day. This family are a bunch of douches, but the waiter hasn't really suffered actual damages here- what did he lose, some tip money (which he might not have gotten anyway, since I doubt racist Brits are good tippers to black waiters). Hurt feelings don't count. He and his lawyer are betting, probably correctly, that the Ritz will throw them some nuisance money on a settlement because they want this whole thing to go away.

    Yeah, the hotel should've told these people to stuff it from day one. But, their actions didn't end up harming this waiter in any real way. The manager probably did him a favor by pulling him off their table.

    What do you mean by harm in a "real way"? What distinguishes between his experience and a more legitimate claim? Do you need financial damages to receive money?

    Robos A Go Go on
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Loklar wrote: »
    Agghhh, the comments.
    "I know this may sound wrong, but I have to side with the hotel on this one. They're simply doing what they're supposed to and honor the old adage about the customer always being right."

    Maybe it sounds wrong because it is wrong, douchebag.
    Besides, the customer is damn well not always right.
    The plaintiff was presumably still working, so its not like he lost wages, and besides being bigoted to hell, IDK if "no coloreds" is substantially different from "can you have Cindy(the blonde) wait on us?
    Well, for one thing, race is a protected class, and hair color is not.

    Cindy is also a woman though.
    Is it really hard to see the difference between requesting a specific person and excluding an entire class of people?

    Bama on
  • LoklarLoklar Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I think it's hard for people without a legal education, myself included, to attach a monetary value to emotional distress and not feel like the sum is completely arbitrary. I do think think that damages for things like that are necessary, though, and I'm not balking at the 75k figure. Claims of humiliation aren't out of line when you've been told you can't serve food to a bunch of rich people because of your skin color, and you have to go along with it because the dude telling you this is your boss.
    I've got a legal degree and I have to say the waiter's lawsuit here is just a money-grab by an ambulance-chasing lawyer and a client who sees a potential pay-day. This family are a bunch of douches, but the waiter hasn't really suffered actual damages here- what did he lose, some tip money (which he might not have gotten anyway, since I doubt racist Brits are good tippers to black waiters). Hurt feelings don't count. He and his lawyer are betting, probably correctly, that the Ritz will throw them some nuisance money on a settlement because they want this whole thing to go away.

    Yeah, the hotel should've told these people to stuff it from day one. But, their actions didn't end up harming this waiter in any real way. The manager probably did him a favor by pulling him off their table.

    What do you mean by harm in a "real way"? What distinguishes between his experience and a more legitimate claim? Do you need financial damages to receive money?

    Doesn't the onus fall on the claimant to show they were hurt?

    And what was the hurt, everyone already knew the guy was coloured. Nothing untrue was said.

    Loklar on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited April 2010
    The hotel is legally prevented from discriminating against not only it's guests, but it's staff based on race. The hotel doesn't get an "out" on this just because one of it's customers asks it to discriminate anyway.

    The Morgans should have been refused the first time they made this abhorrent request, and since they weren't, the hotel is liable for discrimination. And I don't doubt for a minute that they put their staff through hell while bending over backwards to make sure this family never caught a whiff of melanin.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hmm, wonder why the hotel didn't just send up whoever on staff was available... what's the couple goign to do, complain? That's like free good publicity.

    "Can you beLEEVE this hotel wouldn't honor my request to not have darkies set foot in my room?! BOYCOTT!"

    KalTorak on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Is the assumption that a person can't be hurt by racial discrimination by his employers, or that this particular story was unlikely to result in that kind of hurt?

    I wouldn't say with 100% certainty that this person didn't simply shrug off the request and go about his day, but I've experienced discrimination and do feel qualified to say that it can cause lasting damage, if not in these circumstances then at least in similar circumstances.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Hmm, wonder why the hotel didn't just send up whoever on staff was available... what's the couple goign to do, complain? That's like free good publicity.

    "Can you beLEEVE this hotel wouldn't honor my request to not have darkies set foot in my room?! BOYCOTT!"

    It sounds like they didn't make the request in advance, but rather after the plaintiff attempted to serve them.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Deadfall wrote: »
    Wait.

    A British family, staying in Florida requested no foreign accents. Right?

    Did.....did they only want British staff to serve them?
    This was my first question too. Maybe they wanted only "American" accents to fulfill some vague full tourist experience of being in America?

    Darlan on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited April 2010
    Neli wrote: »
    They may be assholes and prejudiced

    but suing the hotel for it? Nope that is just silly

    The hotel discriminated against it's staff in an effort to accommodate these people. That's not legal.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I think it's hard for people without a legal education, myself included, to attach a monetary value to emotional distress and not feel like the sum is completely arbitrary. I do think think that damages for things like that are necessary, though, and I'm not balking at the 75k figure. Claims of humiliation aren't out of line when you've been told you can't serve food to a bunch of rich people because of your skin color, and you have to go along with it because the dude telling you this is your boss.
    I've got a legal degree and I have to say the waiter's lawsuit here is just a money-grab by an ambulance-chasing lawyer and a client who sees a potential pay-day. This family are a bunch of douches, but the waiter hasn't really suffered actual damages here- what did he lose, some tip money (which he might not have gotten anyway, since I doubt racist Brits are good tippers to black waiters). Hurt feelings don't count.
    The fuck? Since when?

    Also, you're saying that being told "you're black, they don't want you" isn't damaging?

    Captain Carrot on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    What do you mean by harm in a "real way"? What distinguishes between his experience and a more legitimate claim? Do you need financial damages to receive money?
    Typically, to recover money in a civil suit, you have to show that you incurred some sort of monetary harm as a result of the Defendant's actions (or faiilure to act). Hurt feelings, shame and feeling bad about yourself is not enough. There is a tort called infliction of emotional distress, but you still have to show that the emotional distress led to actual losses (such as you quitting your job or racking up medical bills due to depression). Granted, you can also recover punitary damages as a result of really terrible behavior. But, you typically can't recover punitive damages if you can't show actual damages. It's a state-by-state thing, so maybe Florida is diferent.

    From what I can tell here, the waiter didn't actually suffer any actual harm from these events. He didn't lose his job and there is no indication that there were actually any effects on him from this, other than hurt feelings. Civil courts don't really exist to let people avenge what they consider wrongs- they exist to allow people to be made whole for their actual losses.

    And the reason the plaintiff's lawyer picked $75K is because that's the minimum to get a State case into Federal Court, assuming certain other requirements are met (which I won't bore you with here). He's keeping his options open in case he wants to try and change courts.
    Also, you're saying that being told "you're black, they don't want you" isn't damaging?
    In of itself, probably not. Unless you suffer specific, quantifiable losses as a result or there is a State law that grants damages for such behavior, there simply are no damages there, in a legal sense.

    The guy's lawyer is suing for infliction of emotional distress and a vague claim of a hostile work environment. He's hoping for a quick settlement for nuisance money (maybe $25K- with a third going to him) since the Ritz probably just wants this whole thing out of the papers.

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Neli wrote: »
    Well suing people for money is rare over here and I think it is the opposite over there and I don't feel qualified to comment on the situation anymore because it seems really stupid to me to sue someone because you felt demeaned

    What's the preferred method for discouraging/punishing discriminatory practices and the creation of hostile work environments in your legal system?

    Saying that a supervisor telling the staff "that crazy British family said they don't want anyone except white people without accents serving them, so everybody steer clear, okay?" (or whatever the actual wording was) amounts of a hostile work environment seems weird to me. I don't think it's an okay thing for the British family to do, but the hotel seems to have been aware of it being a weird, stupid request. I have to assume that the hotel staff weren't be jerks to the non-white employees about it...but maybe I'm wrong?

    CptHamilton on
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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    My first reaction was "Wow, banning and a lawsuit. Those Brits really take this thing seriously" (remembering the recent case of a gay couple suing a UK Bed & Breakfast for refusing them service). Then I looked again and saw Florida.

    TL DR on
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    What do you mean by harm in a "real way"? What distinguishes between his experience and a more legitimate claim? Do you need financial damages to receive money?
    Typically, to recover money in a civil suit, you have to show that you incurred some sort of monetary harm as a result of the Defendant's actions (or faiilure to act). Hurt feelings, shame and feeling bad about yourself is not enough. There is a tort called infliction of emotional distress, but you still have to show that the emotional distress led to actual losses (such as you quitting your job or racking up medical bills due to depression). Granted, you can also recover punitary damages as a result of really terrible behavior. But, you typically can't recover punitive damages if you can't show actual damages. It's a state-by-state thing, so maybe Florida is diferent.

    From what I can tell here, the waiter didn't actually suffer any actual harm from these events. He didn't lose his job and there is no indication that there were actually any effects on him from this, other than hurt feelings. Civil courts don't really exist to let people avenge what they consider wrongs- they exist to allow people to be made whole for their actual losses.

    And the reason the plaintiff's lawyer picked $75K is because that's the minimum to get a State case into Federal Court, assuming certain other requirements are met (which I won't bore you with here). He's keeping his options open in case he wants to try and change courts.

    Not only did I not grimace at this post, I appreciate the bolded tidbit. Good show.

    TL DR on
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Neli wrote: »
    They may be assholes and prejudiced

    but suing the hotel for it? Nope that is just silly

    The hotel discriminated against it's staff in an effort to accommodate these people. That's not legal.

    While in the general case of the hotel acceding to the 'no colored people' request for their whole stay I agree, I'm not entirely clear on where the line can be drawn in a service industry workplace.

    If I walked into a restaurant and, after the waiter came by, went to a manager and said, "I don't like my waiter. I want a different waiter." I assume that they would go along with it to keep my business.

    If I change it to "I don't like my waiter because he's black. I want a different waiter that isn't black." does it become illegal for them to give me a non-black waiter? If they only have the one black waiter working at the time, is it still illegal?

    CptHamilton on
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  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I think it's hard for people without a legal education, myself included, to attach a monetary value to emotional distress and not feel like the sum is completely arbitrary. I do think think that damages for things like that are necessary, though, and I'm not balking at the 75k figure. Claims of humiliation aren't out of line when you've been told you can't serve food to a bunch of rich people because of your skin color, and you have to go along with it because the dude telling you this is your boss.
    I've got a legal degree and I have to say the waiter's lawsuit here is just a money-grab by an ambulance-chasing lawyer and a client who sees a potential pay-day. This family are a bunch of douches, but the waiter hasn't really suffered actual damages here- what did he lose, some tip money (which he might not have gotten anyway, since I doubt racist Brits are good tippers to black waiters). Hurt feelings don't count. He and his lawyer are betting, probably correctly, that the Ritz will throw them some nuisance money on a settlement because they want this whole thing to go away.

    Yeah, the hotel should've told these people to stuff it from day one. But, their actions didn't end up harming this waiter in any real way. The manager probably did him a favor by pulling him off their table.

    He was denied work due to his skin color. That is very much an issue.

    Scalfin on
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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Scalfin wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I think it's hard for people without a legal education, myself included, to attach a monetary value to emotional distress and not feel like the sum is completely arbitrary. I do think think that damages for things like that are necessary, though, and I'm not balking at the 75k figure. Claims of humiliation aren't out of line when you've been told you can't serve food to a bunch of rich people because of your skin color, and you have to go along with it because the dude telling you this is your boss.
    I've got a legal degree and I have to say the waiter's lawsuit here is just a money-grab by an ambulance-chasing lawyer and a client who sees a potential pay-day. This family are a bunch of douches, but the waiter hasn't really suffered actual damages here- what did he lose, some tip money (which he might not have gotten anyway, since I doubt racist Brits are good tippers to black waiters). Hurt feelings don't count. He and his lawyer are betting, probably correctly, that the Ritz will throw them some nuisance money on a settlement because they want this whole thing to go away.

    Yeah, the hotel should've told these people to stuff it from day one. But, their actions didn't end up harming this waiter in any real way. The manager probably did him a favor by pulling him off their table.

    He was denied work due to his skin color. That is very much an issue.
    It's not clear that's the case, unless he was the only waiter in the restaurant at the time and they were the only customers.

    Most likely, the manager just put him on a different table. And, he probably made better tips there than he would with the racist Brits (though, Brits are notoriously bad tippers, so it's unlikely these folks were worse than the norm).

    If this was a catering event and the manager sent him home because the people paying for the event had requested no non-white waiters, he's have a better case for claiming damages.

    Modern Man on
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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited April 2010
    Neli wrote: »
    They may be assholes and prejudiced

    but suing the hotel for it? Nope that is just silly

    The hotel discriminated against it's staff in an effort to accommodate these people. That's not legal.

    While in the general case of the hotel acceding to the 'no colored people' request for their whole stay I agree, I'm not entirely clear on where the line can be drawn in a service industry workplace.

    If I walked into a restaurant and, after the waiter came by, went to a manager and said, "I don't like my waiter. I want a different waiter." I assume that they would go along with it to keep my business.

    If I change it to "I don't like my waiter because he's black. I want a different waiter that isn't black." does it become illegal for them to give me a non-black waiter? If they only have the one black waiter working at the time, is it still illegal?

    Basically, yes. As was said further up in the thread, race is a protected class. If you just don't like your waiter, you can request another one, and they can alter his assigned duties simply for a personality clash. What they can't do is alter his duties because he belongs to a certain race, and say "Okay, everybody on this side of the room is allowed to serve the Morgans, everybody on this side of the room can't even speak to them."

    As for the 75,000 in damages, despite what Modern Man would have us all believe with his internet-armchair legal counsel, we only have a short news article to inform us about the situation. We have no idea what the full extent of what happened here was. Was the guy threatened with disciplinary action if he spoke to the Morgans? Was he shoved off into some shitty job he wasn't hired to do for the duration of their visits? We don't know what happened to make the $75,000 emotional damages happen, so dismissing them out of hand seems idiotic to me, and a knee-jerk reaction to other frivolous lawsuits.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • konkonsnkonkonsn Registered User
    edited April 2010
    If I walked into a restaurant and, after the waiter came by, went to a manager and said, "I don't like my waiter. I want a different waiter." I assume that they would go along with it to keep my business.

    You don't have to tell the manager, but generally they ask why to prevent future situations like this from happening.
    If I change it to "I don't like my waiter because he's black. I want a different waiter that isn't black." does it become illegal for them to give me a non-black waiter? If they only have the one black waiter working at the time, is it still illegal?

    And black is not something they can change for future situations.

    konkonsn on
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