Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Charges Pending Against Hyatt for Employee Appreciation Prank

I would expect to read a story like this from a garage owned by a man named Joey. I find it surprising that a story like this would come from the Hyatt.

Two middle aged sisters worked for the Hyatt as housekeepers.  One day when they arrived at work they heard laughter from their co-workers and management.  Apparently, someone used photos of the two women and placed their faces on the bodies of slimmer cartoon women in bikinis.  The pictures appeared on an “employee appreciation” bulletin board.  Apparently, one of the sisters did not appreciate the “commendation” and took the pictures down.  The sisters felt ashamed and humiliated by the prank.  The ladies indicated that they do not own a bikini.  Believe it or not, the sisters were told to put the pictures back up on the bulletin board.  Within a month, the Hyatt fired the two women for taking too many breaks.   Let’s see the Hyatt try to get that one past the judge.

The two women have a case against the Hyatt pending with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Their claims involve sexual harassment and retaliation.  Thus, the ladies’ sexual harassment claim is based on denigrating them by placing their photos on sexually suggestive cartoons.  The retaliation aspect comes into play because the law is designed to protect anyone who participates in a proceeding geared towards stopping harassment or opposing a practice in the company that promotes harassment.

While the burden is on the ladies to prove their harassment and retaliation cases, it looks like this will be a difficult case for the Hyatt.

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