SLS Hotels to pay $2.5M for discriminating against Haitian workers in Miami

The downtown Miami skyline on Sep. 8, 2017. This week, the EEOC announced a $2.5 million settlement against SLS Hotels in Miami Beach for discriminating against 17 Haitian dishwashers. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Aug. 1 (UPI) — The SLS luxury hotel chain has been ordered to pay a $2.5 million settlement for discriminating against Haitian dishwashers at its hotel in Miami, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week.

The settlement will be awarded to 17 black Haitian dishwashers at the South Beach hotel who were wrongfully terminated because of their race and national origin, the EEOC said. Before the dishwashers were fired, they were subject to abuse ranging from being forbidden to speak their native Creole while Hispanic co-workers were allowed to speak Spanish and being required to carry heavy items up several floors of stairs while being referred to as “slaves” by their Hispanic supervisor.

When the dishwashers complained about their treatment to higher-up supervisors, they were terminated and replaced by a staff “made up almost entirely of white and/or Hispanic workers,” their lawsuit stated.

In addition to paying $2.5 million, the SLS Hotel will provide retraining for human resource officials, management personnel and hourly employees at its six hotels in the South Florida region for the next three years. These training sessions will be monitored by an independent consent decree monitor who will provide comprehensive reports to the EEOC.

Data on terminations and layoffs over the next three years will also have to be submitted to the EEOC.

“EEOC will continue to protect workers in the hospitality industry, including the black Haitian community that makes up a significant part of the South Florida workforce,” said Michael Farrell, district director for the EEOC’s Miami office.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here