The landmark celeb hangout Chateau Marmont is being hit with several civil suits alleging racial discrimination and sexual misconduct.
Both suits were brought by former employees to the hotel.
According to reporting by The Hollywood Reporter, one was filed last December by Adrian Jules, a Black guest relations employee who began working at the iconic hotel in 2017.
Jules is suing for employment discrimination, alleging his superiors were negligent in handling a sexual harassment complaint. Jules claims he received several unsolicited explicit text messages from a white woman coworker.
"You have to think, as a man, and a Black man specifically, if you get a message like that, you’re immediately terrified," Jules told THR. "What would have happened had I sent text messages like that to her?" He added, "You do what the employee handbook tells you to do, and nobody listens."
The second suit comes from an events server, Thomasina Gross, who alleges racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. Gross filed her complaint on January 27 in L.A. County Superior Court.
Gross, who is Black, claims she was overlooked for higher-paying positions in favor of new hires, who were all white. She alleges she was then made to train them.
Gross has placed the majority of the blame on Chateau general manager Amanda Grandinetti, who is white. According to THR, other employees complained about comments made by Grandinetti they describe as “racially insensitive.”
Gross and Jules were laid off at the start of the pandemic in mid-March, but 30 employees told THR at the time they believed that they, along with over 200 others, were let go due to their attempts to unionize the hotel.
Celebrity hotelier André Balazs, 63, purchased the hotel in 1990. It’s been a secret escape for such power players as Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Drake, Joe Jonas, Keanu Reeves, Dakota Johnson, and many more.
Employees say the heart of the issue is the lack of skilled management and HR. Many of the roles previously held by experienced staff have been replaced by junior-level people.
THR reports a story of a Chateau housekeeper by the name of Sonia Molina Sanchez. She says while she was cleaning a room when a male guest began masturbating. She reported the incident to her manager hoping the guest would be black-listed from the hotel. The man continued to check into the hotel.
"[Management] made me believe that they were going to deal with it, but they didn’t do anything," Sanchez tells THR. "They made me feel unsafe at work. Every time I saw him, I was reliving my experience. I felt abused again."