Former employees of Hollywood hotels protest over mistreatment in the workplace

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Friday, December 16, 2022
Former employees of Hollywood hotels complain of mistreatment
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Former employees of two Hollywood hotels that are up for auction held protests this week complaining about mistreatment in the workplace at the luxury properties.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Former employees of two Hollywood hotels that are up for auction held protests this week complaining about mistreatment in the workplace at the luxury properties.

The ownership group of the two hotels is already under fire for alleged "fat-shaming" of patrons who say they were denied entrance to the company's nearby Hollywood nightclub based on their looks.

The Thompson and Tommie hotels in Hollywood are set to be auctioned later this month after a major lender announced it was foreclosing, according to published reports.

"At the Thompson, my coworkers and I faced disrespectful comments from management about our sexual orientation, the language we spoke and more," said Earl, one former Thompson hotel employee.

"I was also treated in a way I felt was unacceptable," said Alexander, a former employee of the Highlight Room nightclub. "One of my bosses made sexually suggestive comments to me I thought were unacceptable."

The workers appeared with the UNITE HERE Local 11 union, which represents hospitality workers, saying they hope that sharing their experiences will help other workers as the properties are set to come under new ownership following the auction.

"The beautiful life the Tommie and Thompson have promoted has not been translated to the workers who make their business a success, nor to many who do not meet their ideal of what's attractive and appealing," said Rev. Jennifer Gutierrez with United for Economic Justice.

The hotels are owned by Relevant Group, a real estate developer that also owns the nearby Highlight Room. The Thompson branding itself is owned by the Hyatt hotel chain.

The Highlight Room, situated on the rooftop of Relevant Group's nearby Dream Hotel, was recently called out on social media by Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Gabriella Halikas who says she and another friend were denied entrance to the club because of their size.

Curvy Sports Illustrated model says Hollywood club engaged in fat shaming

When asked to comment on this week's hotel protest, a representative for hotel ownership referred ABC7 to a statement the company issued after the Gabriella Halikas incident in November. The statement at that time noted that the doorman involved in the incident worked for a third-party promoter and was no longer involved in working at the door.

"Our company does not tolerate discrimination of any kind," the November statement also said. "We are always appreciative of feedback on our operations and continue to work on how to improve our guest experience."