In a lawsuit that raises questions about the limits of good customer service, a longtime server at a Florida hotel alleges that his employer honored the request of a visiting British family who did not like being waited on by black staff members or people with “foreign accents.”
The family’s request was recorded when they checked in at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida, and later a black staff member was reportedly disallowed from serving the family of racists. A lawsuit filed on behalf of the waiter, 40-year-old Wadner Tranchant, seeks $75,000 in damages due to a “hostile and abusive” work environment. Papers filed in the lawsuit detail the incident:
“Plaintiff’s normal duties entailed providing service to guests, including the serving of food, but as Plaintiff began to provide such services on March 12, 2010, he was prevented by his immediate supervisors from doing so, as to the Morgan family because they did not want to be waited on by a black person,” the lawsuit says.
The suit goes on to say that Tranchant was “humiliated, embarrassed, frightened, intimidated, subject to undeserved shame and suffered severe emotional stress, which is continuing and for which Plaintiff is seeking medical and psychological treatment.” Court papers named one member of the family, Rodney Morgan, but did not name others in their party. The Ritz-Carlton has said that the family is not welcome back at the property.