A restaurant at the Trump International Hotel is facing a lawsuit for allegedly discriminating against its African-American employees.
Two former employees along with a current worker at the BLT prime, the steak house at Trump’s luxurious hotel in Washington, D.C., “allege that the Trump Organization and hotel managing director Mickael Damelincourt saw to it that the restaurant routinely steered black employees to less lucrative shifts and subjected them to discriminatory behavior by other staff and by guests.”
Dominique Hill and JaNette Sturdivant, who used to work at the famous restaurant, and Irving Smith Jr., a current employee, said the hotel managing director Mickael Damelincourt gave less lucrative jobs to black people.
Smith worked as a BLT server until he was demoted to an assistant server.
“They started hiring all these people and instead of putting them on day shifts they was giving them night shifts and keeping us on day shift,” he told The Washington Post. “Next thing I know, within the month all the black people were on the day shift.”
The former server also mentioned after President Donald Trump's election, one of his co-workers used racial slurs. When he complained to the management, the complaints reportedly fell on deaf ears.
“He used to say ‘This is white America time, you need to get used to it, and if you don’t get used to it you should go work somewhere else,’” Smith alleged. “I would go to work crying and ask god why are you doing this? We were so comfortable and gave up everything to go to this place. And then to be treated like this.”
Hill claims only four black employees still work at the BLT although the hotel opened with 15 or more. Apparently, the rest left after facing racial discrimination.
However, Trump Organization spokeperson Amanda Miller denied all these allegations, claiming “the plaintiffs worked for a third-party restaurant company that is solely responsible for the direction, supervision and management of its own employees.”
But, it won’t be much of a surprise even if they were involved in racially profiling black people. After all, the Trump Organization does belong to a president who blamed both the sides for the violence at a rally solely led by white supremacists.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque