Managers at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes made sure that whenever their boss Donald Trump came to visit, only the prettiest hostesses were working, according to the LA Times.
Former employees said that under pressure from Trump, managers made sure that Trump’s clubhouse restaurant was staffed with attractive young women over more experienced employees, according to court documents cited in the article.
“I had witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that restaurant hostesses were ‘not pretty enough’ and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women,” Hayley Strozier, who was director of catering at the club until 2008, said in a sworn declaration.
Initially, Trump gave this command “almost every time” he visited, Strozier said. Managers eventually changed employee schedules “so that the most attractive women were scheduled to work when Mr. Trump was scheduled to be at the club,” she said.
The LA Times used sworn court declarations found in documents from a 2012 labor relations lawsuit brought against one of Trump’s development companies in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The allegations by some employees that the workplace culture encouraged appearance-based hiring are a small part of the broader lawsuit, which centered around the lack of meal and rest breaks mandated by California law. That was largely settled in 2013. Golf course management agreed to pay $475,000 to employees who had complained about break policies, although they never admitted any wrongdoing.
Gail Doner, a middle-aged woman who worked as a server at the golf club from 2007 to 2011, wrote in her court declaration that the youngest and prettiest hostesses got the best shifts, despite their lack of restaurant experience or efficiency.
Meanwhile, Doner — who had 20 years of experience working for wine vendors, and was at “the top of [her] game” while working for Trump National — said managers slowly cut back her shifts until they stopped scheduling her at all, “effectively firing [her].”
“I chose not to fight to get my job back because by that point I was fed up with the toxic environment and the way that I was treated,” Doner wrote.