Black Employees At Trump DC Hotel’s Steakhouse Allege Racial Discrimination

Riccardo Savi/Sipa USA

Black employees on Wednesday filed a civil complaint against the Trump Organization and the managing director at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. alleging racial discrimination, the Washington Post reported.

Dominique Hill, Irving Smith Jr. and JaNette Sturdivant, current and former employees at BLT Prime in the luxury hotel, alleged that the Trump Organization and Mickael Damelincourt, the luxury hotel’s managing director, subjected black employees to discriminatory behavior and gave them shifts where they earned less, per the report.

“They started hiring all these people and instead of putting them on day shifts they was giving them night shifts and keeping us on day shift,” Smith Jr. told the Washington Post. “Next thing I know, within the month all the black people were on the day shift.”

Hill told the Washington Post that the hotel opened with 15 or more black employees, but that only four remain.

Hill, Smith Jr. and Sturdivant are seeking $14.5 million in damages, according to the report.

In a statement to the Washington Post, the Trump Organization called the allegations “utterly baseless” and claimed “the plaintiffs worked for a third-party restaurant company that is solely responsible for the direction, supervision, and management of its own employees.”

The company that operates BLT Prime, ESquared Hospitality, said it “wholeheartedly” disputed Hill, Smith Jr. and Sturdivant’s allegations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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