Feds Sue Colorado Hampton Inn For Firing Non-Hispanic Workers
The federal government is suing a Hampton Inn franchise in rural Colorado on behalf of at least three white and non-Hispanic employees who say that they were fired based on negative stereotypes, according to the lawsuit filed last week.
The suit alleges that Century Shree Corp. and Century Rama Inc., owners and operators of the Hampton Inn in the Western Slope community of Craig, relied on stereotypes that suggest white or non-Hispanic workers are lazy, when they fired the employees.
The discharges were in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that brought the lawsuit.
"An employer cannot discharge or refuse to hire an individual based on derogatory beliefs about that person's race or national origin," said EEOC regional attorney Mary Jo O'Neill in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
"Employers cannot choose employees based on the color of their skin or their ancestry," said O'Neill, who is based in Phoenix. "This form of blatant discrimination clearly violates federal law."
The plaintiffs worked as housekeepers and launderers, all of whom resigned or were fired and replaced by Latinos during a three-month period, The Huffington Post reported.
The EEOC complaint also alleges that the companies violated federal record-keeping laws when they failed to maintain employment records for at least one year so that the agency could properly investigate the charges.
The lawsuit is unusual, O'Neill told HuffPost, since discrimination cases typically are brought by minority employees.
"I've been doing this work for 30-some years," she said, "and I've never filed a case like this."
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