Civil Rights Department Secures $115K Settlement Over Alleged Employment Discrimination at SoCal Hotel Management Companies
November 7, 2023
For Immediate Release
Settlement resolves Director’s Complaint alleging disability and sex-based employment discrimination
In addition to monetary compensation, hotel management companies must update employment complaint policies and complete antidiscrimination training
SACRAMENTO – The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) today announced securing a $115,000 employment discrimination settlement against Brighton Management, LLC, and Doubletree Hotel by Gringteam, Inc., which manage roughly two dozen hotels primarily across Southern California. The settlement resolves a Director’s Complaint filed on behalf of a group of employees, which, among other things, alleged a hostile work environment on the basis of sex, failure to provide reasonable disability accommodations, and retaliation against employees for exercising their civil rights. In addition to monetary compensation, the settlement requires the hotel management companies to update their employment complaint policies and complete antidiscrimination training in order to help prevent any future discrimination.
“Everyone is entitled to a workplace free from discrimination, harassment, or retaliation,” said CRD Acting Director Mary Wheat. “At the California Civil Rights Department, we’re committed to holding employers accountable when they violate our state’s civil rights protections. Whether it’s the hotel industry or anywhere else, we’ll keep using all the tools available to us to defend the rights of people across California. Today’s announcement is a prime example of the work we do every day to protect our state’s residents. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, I encourage you to file a complaint with our department.”
In 2020, CRD filed a Director’s Complaint against the hotel management companies — which operate numerous hotels for brands such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt — alleging unlawful employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of disability and sex. Under California law, CRD is authorized to investigate, conciliate, mediate, and litigate civil rights complaints on behalf of individuals and the State of California. While settlements secured by CRD most often arise from and work to address complaints submitted by an individual, a Director’s Complaint is one tool available to help address potential violations on behalf of a group of individuals or otherwise resolve broader civil rights concerns identified by CRD during the course of an investigation.
As a result of the settlement announced today, the hotel management companies — subject to the review of an independent monitor — are required, among other things, to:
- Have all management, human resources personnel, and staff complete training on the prevention of discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Rewrite and revamp complaint processes and investigation procedures to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal law.
- Cease and desist from discriminating against or harassing employees because of disability or sex, as well as comply with all federal and state antidiscrimination laws.
- Advise all employees of their rights to complain of any harassment or discrimination without fear of retaliation.
- Pay $115,000 to be distributed to affected employees.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of discrimination, CRD may be able to assist you through its complaint process. General information about CRD’s complaint process and how to file a complaint is available here. General information regarding California’s protections against discrimination in the workplace is available here.
CRD is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Formerly known as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the mission of CRD is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-fund programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.