Fired African-American Hotel Worker at Irvine Embassy Suites Claims Racial Discrimination

irvine_embassy.jpg
Clergy members and activists protest Irvine Embassy Suites
Activists and clergy members from numerous organizations gathered outside Irvine Embassy Suites earlier this month to support former employee Aaron Westly who claims management fired him after he complained to no avail about a coworker calling him an "animal" and "nigger." The story of racial harassment went unreported save for the Tri-County Bulletin, an African-American newspaper serving the Inland Empire, Long Beach and Orange County.

In an article by Dianne Anderson, Westly recounts how he reported the incident to Human Resources. They responded with a dim light bulb of an idea of placing him in a room full of Latinos for an instructional 'learn to get along' session. Two of Westly's Latino coworkers already knew how to get along and backed his claims as witnesses.

Despite that, Westly lost his job at Irvine Embassy Suites the day before Thanksgiving. UNITE Here Local 11, entrenched in a long labor battle with the hotel, actively supported his cause. "He was saying that he's been called names like that before in his life, he lives in America and he's a Black man, that's true," says union spokeswoman Daria Ovide in the Tri-County Bulletin. Ovide claims that if hotel workers had the ability to unionize without intimidation, Westly would've been afforded protections in the matter as a union worker. "But that this time he's standing up and fighting back."

Anderson reached out to Iger & Associates for comment. The consulting firm stood up for Irvine Embassy Suites saying it has a strong history of hiring and supporting workers of color. They called Westly's claims of discrimination "unfounded" while taking a swipe at UNITE Here for opposing secret ballot elections for unionization.

Westly is seeking legal recourse but no lawsuit has yet been filed.

This month's protest rally, organized by Pastor Donald Wilson, enjoyed the support of many community groups. The NAACP, Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance, National Action Network, the Orange County Interdenominational Alliance and Southern Christian Leadership Conference rallied together with others. And OC's anti-black beat goes on...

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34 comments
taidodinh
taidodinh

freaking sue them asap freaking racists 100 percent paid out 

hitman_martinelli
hitman_martinelli

There is more to this story then meets the eye. Ok, can't anyone say he was called a name or was sexually harassed? Where is the proof it happened? We do not have all the facts or if the name calling happened! Is it possible, he was a subpar worker, got fired then trumped up the story of name calling and complaints that got him fired? Is that possible?

Josh English
Josh English

The lack of intelligence, in some of these comments, is just astounding. Racism is quite a sad psychological illness. :/

brianhudspeth40
brianhudspeth40

Get over it I think the fact in black countries they are genociding whites. Tell me more about this job though............. Anti white story writer I think your a punk who hides behind his desk thinking of ways to race bate.

Kamilah Middleton
Kamilah Middleton

Some of these comments are disgusting. If this man actually was treated unfairly he SHOULD fight back. It's ridiculous that some people automatically assume that he's making it up. We don't know what really happened and things like that do happen ALL THE TIME. Yes, SOME people do pull the "race card" however, it's not fair to assume that everyone that speaks out against discrimination is a liar. It saddens me that some people are so close minded and ignorant.

Robert Simmons
Robert Simmons

Figures Claudia liked that post of yours. Just assume that every black person will make a false allegation so don't hire them.

Robert Simmons
Robert Simmons

"I better not hire the black guy! I am not going to hire him because I have some weird fantasy in my mind that one day he might make a false allegation".... SERIOUSLY Steve!! WHO THE FUCK THINKS LIKE THIS?

Robert Simmons
Robert Simmons

You should change "you" to, "I" Steve. Don't try and drag others into your racist hiring practices. You put that right there on Facebook for the world to see. I seriously hope you really aren't in a position to hire people.

UniteHereSucks
UniteHereSucks

bahahaha Unite Here is a joke. They bully guests and the employees of the hotel. I had actually quit working there due to how bad the bullying from the unite here supporters got even though they are not allowed to talk about union things while on the clock... they still did. They even scared the kids in my family one time and made them cry because the picket line was yelling at them and calling THE KIDS names. They want the hotel employees to vote for or against the union while including their name on the ballot whereas the Hotel will only allow an antonymous vote to PROTECT their current employees. Why do you think the union wants the employee's names on the ballot? So they can bully those employees who do not vote for the union. Seriously Unite Here is a giant joke and there are more employees that despise this union rather than think they will help. Take a hint Unite Here, move on with your life and go find a hotel that ACTUALLY needs a union. 

Mike Frenes
Mike Frenes

Lets hear all the details from both sides before saying anything. Thats not all that happened. The guy who got fired and the media are acting sleezy by beiing misleading here.

targetmedia
targetmedia

sounds like the name-callers in this were Mexicans-what's up Gustavo?

Kaitheena Henderson
Kaitheena Henderson

Not suprising at all in OC! HR will find ways to sweep those complaints under the rug.

Beachboy211
Beachboy211

@taidodinh    this article is only about the possibility of unionizing a hotel chain to does not have unions, they are using this individual as a tool to sacrifice him to blackmail the hotel to unionize

Beachboy211
Beachboy211

You have very good point, but again is not to assume either side is correct, first take the investigation point, and come up with the proper information. But again, this is all about unions not about the individual. It appears, that this story was written with a slant to help unionize hotel workers in Orange County, this would be a bad thing for the hotel chains in Orange County, which would raise the cost of hotels and services.

But again, going back to the individual we should get all the information first before we throw mud at either side, we are two quick to jump to the aid of a black man, but were willing to throw a white man under the table when we had to derogatory comments regarding his ethnicity,  it appears the society is one-sided, again, and we need to be balanced

Beachboy211
Beachboy211

Mr. Simmons: it appears you want to control someone's right to hire or fire some of based upon your concerns that individual might have an undertone philosophy that it by possible. He hires an African-American or black person. The fear is that the person may automatically throw the race card out and put his life in his business and his family in jeopardy.... You now have just found that individual who does the hirings personal life under the bus, that is a racist philosophy on your own side based upon discrimination of his own personal beliefs when comes the fiery someone for his own organization or business that he owns.... Now who is the races

swatkaynine
swatkaynine

@UniteHereSucks  I don't know about this particular situation, but my experience with unions are that they are bullies. They use bully tactics and usually hire non union members, just people off the street to fill their picket lines because they are too lazy to support their own cause. Many people I have spoken with in a union are sick and tired of paying dues and getting nothing in return. 

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

@targetmedia Sounds like we'll call out anti-Black racism no matter the culprit. So what's really up?

targetmedia
targetmedia

@GustavoArellano @targetmedia  having fun with you Gustavo...of course I am :)


happy to see that you write the story based on the facts, not based on a narrative you want to push..that's called good journalism!



targetmedia
targetmedia

@GustavoArellano @targetmedia  while I certainly know where you are coming from, I don't think you are driving a political agenda in your editorial pages like the NY/DC media does..you've gone after sympatico Dem pols (like in Santa Ana) also...and your work on the priest scandals is very important (every bureaucracy has to be kept accountable)...


My biggest prayer is for Murdoch to get control of the LA Times or another big news channel in California-would mean some long-overdue media oversight of government in LA City/County and Sacramento...not going to happen though :(



GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@targetmedia Tell that to all the Know Nothings who now infest these pages, refugees from the OC Register...

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