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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: January 03, 2020 04:19PM

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/1/2/1909000/-Black-Marriott-patron-forced-to-sign-no-party-policy-White-guests-aren-t-lawsuit-alleges?detail=emaildkre

From the article:

"A black woman is
seeking
$300,000 in a lawsuit against the Marriott hotel chain after she said a clerk at an Oregon hotel made her sign a "no party” policy that white guests weren’t
forced to sign, according to the lawsuit, emailed to Daily Kos Thursday. As first reported by The Oregonian, attorneys representing Felicia Gonzales, a
51-year-old Marriott rewards member, filed the suit Monday, about a year after Gonzales’ stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown/Convention
Center in January 2019. A former resident of Portland, the woman had driven from her current home in California to visit family, according to the suit. 

”Ms. Gonzales had never had a problem or noise complaint at any other Marriott hotel she had ever stayed at, but she signed the form so she could get into
her room and move forward with her trip,” attorneys stated in the suit. Then, she started to observe how other guests were treated. “Having to sign a ‘NO
PARTY’ Policy form did not feel right to Ms. Gonzales, so she went back to the front desk,” attorneys said in the suit. “Ms. Gonzales observed as multiple
Caucasian guests checked in. None of them were asked to sign a ‘NO PARTY’ Policy.” 

Gonzales requested a copy of the document she had signed, according to the suit. "The clerk stated the signed forms were locked in the General Manager’s
office and would not provide her a copy of the signed form," attorneys said in the suit. The law firm representing Gonzales, Kafoury & McDougal, also emailed
Daily Kos an unsigned version of the form its client had been required to sign. The document was created "to ensure we can protect the hotel and our guests
at all times" and "not to insinuate any distrust in the 'average' guest,” the hotel stated in the form. "No hotels want to have parties in them and we
don't want that type of business," the hotel stated in the poorly crafted policy. "Portland is such a fun city to visit with friends & family and we are
pleased to be a great gathering place however, we respectfully request that all guests be aware of other guests in the hotel and keep noise & activity
to a minumum."

With a policy like that, it’s no wonder that hotel general manager Lee Luetjen is also named in the suit. “Defendant Lee Luetjen directed, knew or had
reason to know that the policy would be applied in a discriminatory manner and that African American customers would be asked to sign a ‘NO PARTY’ Policy
that similarly situated Caucasian customers are not asked to sign,” attorneys for Gonzales stated. They later added in an emailed statement to Daily Kos
that they want an explanation from the Marriott. “It is incumbent upon Marriott to explain why our African American client was treated differently from
other guests, and Marriott should produce all documentation regarding this policy, including the instructions hotels were given on how to implement the
policy,” the firm said in the statement."

Oops! Now what was that about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' history about its beliefs in the origin of African-americans? Never mind. The individual hotels are franchised, and the Mormon Marriott family cannot be held responsible for the behavior of their franchisees, right?

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: January 03, 2020 04:27PM

Whew. I thought at first they meant no *political* party. That would have been seriously OTT. (Edit to add: Not that the racial discrimination isn't OTT - understatement).

Glad I read it again and got the real scoop. Still, that does sound discriminatory, if that is an accurate reflection of the facts. What the hotel could do instead is to post a sign stating their policy and/or include it in the paperwork all guests fill out while registering. And that would ensure that it's not a hit and miss part of registering or worse, directed at only certain people according to their skin colour or any other demographic used to exercise discriminatory practices.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2020 05:54PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 03, 2020 04:46PM

(I suggest you read this, either out loud or in your mind, with a thick Spanish accent.)

"I had to sign a 'no raping' agreement when I went to check-in at a Trump hotel! But I didn't sue! No, it made me proud!"
     --Señor Speedy Gonzalez

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Posted by: MrBeel ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 10:23AM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> (I suggest you read this, either out loud or in
> your mind, with a thick Spanish accent.)
>
> "I had to sign a 'no raping' agreement when I went
> to check-in at a Trump hotel! But I didn't sue!
> No, it made me proud!"
>      --Señor Speedy GonZales


HAHA This is clearly the post of he year!!

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: January 03, 2020 07:07PM

No mention of Lamanites?

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 03, 2020 07:12PM

If the story is true as reported, that should be a rather quick settlement for her.

What constitutes a party, anyway? I've traveled with large groups of friends and gotten together with them in one suite every evening for drinks, conversation, and laughter with no complaints. I would think that a hotel would welcome so many people booking rooms at the same location (we were always given a special rate to book together.) I'm sure that alumni groups and fraternal organizations do this all the time.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: January 03, 2020 10:37PM

That clerk must have been less valiant in the war in heaven.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 01:00AM

My junior high school aged granddaughter has been to two birthday parties at Marriott hotels this Christmas season. It's the fad now, for parents to rent two or three rooms at the top, and have the girls spend the night, with the parents in one of the rooms. They swim in the pool and hot tub, have snacks, watch TV in the room, go down the hall and up and down the elevators in their pajamas to get ice and soda pop. They giggle all night long. In SLC, they ice skate at the Galavan, beforehand, and enjoy all the city Christmas lights. I've always felt sorry for the poor saps who are staying at the same hotel on business trips, who expect a good night's sleep. What's this teaching the kids?

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 01:07AM

I think the parents are trying to prove what a great job they're doing by making their kids' lives 'special'. What's sad is that if the next set of parents spends a bit more money, that next party is 'specialer'...

Doesn't every parent dream of his/her kids being able to say, "You're special, but I'm specialer!"

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Posted by: xxMo0 ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 04:40AM

'Then, she started to observe how other guests were treated.'

So she's drawing her conclusion in regards to discrimination based upon watching maybe a half-dozen additional guests within a short time frame? They're going to need a much broader time frame and data set than that when discovery comes up to conclude whether the request was discriminatory or not, and if so whether it was due to the guest's race or some other factor.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 04:54AM

Excellent. And how do you obtain that greater data?

Through the discovery process in a law suit!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 07:43AM

I think the easiest way for the hotel to avoid problems is to have all guests sign the policy.

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 07:19AM

Some responses:

First, I liked Nightingale's suggestions. I think that at the individual hotel level, these would go a long way towards preventing future problems.

Second, quoting my last sentence from my original post:

"The individual hotels are franchised, and the Mormon Marriott family cannot be held responsible for the behavior of their franchisees, right?"

During the 1990s, I worked at a hotel franchiser (not this one) first handling an 800 reservations line and then doing what was called "Inventory Control" where we, in written reports to the franchisees, encouraged them to make more of their rooms available on more dates for the 800 number to book. In that latter capacity (and from an article in Fortune magazine I read around the same time), I learned that franchising was becoming the rage within the hotel industry. It allowed the franchisers to earn all the money (from hotel name licensing fees) without having to take all the risks of actually running a hotel. I also learned that franchisers could (and did) set conditions on the franchisees if the franchisees wanted to have their hotel branded a certain way (say as a Marriott, for example). Most of these involved general cleanliness and keeping the individual hotels up to the brand standard. However, as this news item reminded me, maybe franchisees, as part of these agreements, should also be forced to not engage in discriminatory behaviors against race, religion, disability, etc. And, if the individual franchisee is found to have knowingly engaged in such behaviors, then the hotel can no longer be considered to be part of that franchise. A great way to force franchisers to hold to this model would be to hold franchisers legally accountable for the behavior of their franchisees, something which does not currently apply in many cases.

Third, Ms. Gonzales is probably undercutting her own case against the franchiser when the article says that other Marriotts didn't have this policy. Still, I believe that holding the franchisers accountable and responsible for the behavior of their individual franchisees would go a long way towards minimizing future problems in this area.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 07:42AM

I worked for a hotel once that has gone through at least three name changes. First it was a Stouffer's, then a Hilton, and then something else. The hotel just leases the brand name. Supposedly the brand name company imposes certain standards, but I never saw any changes of note.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 07:45PM

I just LOVE their waffle battle, I mean, batter, in the morning. As long as there aren't bullet holes in the walls.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: January 04, 2020 09:04PM

Otherwise, no. But at least someone lets me take my dogs.

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Posted by: Franchise_Wars ( )
Date: January 28, 2020 05:00PM

Interesting discussion about holding the franchis"or" company responsible for the actions of the franchis"ees" that lease their name. That's mostly not the case these days from what I've seen. The Erin Andrews stalking case had a judgment against the franchise company and the real estate owner, but Marriott International had no liability. I'd guess that would probably be the case here as well.

I also know from the Andrews case that the franchise company was replaced pretty quickly. The hotel in question still carries the Marriott name, but it's managed today by somebody else who's less risky in their behavior. I'd expect that to end up being the case for the Gonzales case as well. Stay tuned ....

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