BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA Five former employees are suing the recently-retired general manager of the luxury Beverly Hills Hotel, alleging sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
Alberto del Hoyo, HOTELS’ 2000 Independent Hotelier of the World award recipient, retired last week. Now, five employees say del Hoyo and another employee engaged in “racist, sexist and illegal conduct” during his time heading up the Dorchester Collection property. They are suing del Hoyo and the hotel in California state court.
Employees first complained to hotel officials about del Hoyo in 2006, according to the lawsuit, when he allegedly grabbed a female employee by the buttocks and pinned her against an office machine. The hotel took no action against del Hoyo at that time, settling that lawsuit on his behalf, according to the latest filing.
The lawsuit claims that del Hoyo would routinely casually touch the breasts of the hostesses at the hotel’s Polo Lounge, activity that motivated two of the plaintiffs to quit more than a year ago.
The allegations are reaffirmed by another plaintiff, Robert Sulatycky, the hotel’s former director of food and beverage. In an interview with NBC4 LA, Sulatycky says: “I did witness the rubbing of females’ legs or thighs, a lot of kissing, hand-holding, arms resting around their backs where his hand was resting on their upper buttocks.”
Sulatycky also claims that del Hoyo described African-Americans as being “too lazy” to work and made similarly racist comments about Mexicans, allegedly using the slur “wetbacks” on a frequent basis.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary compensation. Along with del Hoyo, the defendants are Beverly Hills Hotel Corp. and Micah Paloff, director of operations at the hotel’s Polo Lounge.
Representatives for the hotel did not immediately respond to requests for comment from HOTELS. Del Hoyo and Paloff could not be reached for comment.