Area Sheraton Hotel faces complaint stemming from sexual harassment incident

By Jon Campisi | Sep 20, 2011

A woman who was employed as a housekeeper at a Philadelphia hotel when she experienced an alleged incident of sexual harassment by a hotel employee has filed a civil complaint against the hotel and its parent company.

Conshohocken, Pa. attorney Richard M. Wiener, of the Law Offices of Richard M. Weiner, LLC, filed the personal injury lawsuit Sept. 16 at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court on behalf of Philadelphian Evelyn R. Estrella.

The defendants named in the complaint are Sheraton Operating Corporation, doing business as the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

According to the complaint, Estrella was employed by a temp agency and assigned to work as an independent contractor, performing housekeeping duties at the Sheraton Society Hotel at 1 Dock Street at the time of the alleged incident.

On Sept. 19, 2009, at about 11:30 in the morning, Estrella was cleaning one of the hotel’s rooms when a male hotel employee entered the room, cornered the plaintiff, and made “offensive and threatening sexual comments to her,” the lawsuit claims.

As a result of the encounter, the suit states, Estrella sustained psychological injuries, anxiety and mental and emotional distress. She has suffered physical pain, mental anguish, embarrassment and humiliation.

The lawsuit claims that Estrella has incurred expenses related to medical attention, she has been prevented from carrying out her usual duties, activities and occupations, and she has suffered a loss in earnings because her work has been affected.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence for failing to provide a safe work environment for the plaintiff, failing to properly screen individuals working at its hotels, failing to properly manage its hotel, failing to have in place, enforce and/or monitor appropriate practices and/or procedures for providing a safe work environment, failing to properly supervise hotel employees and failing to correct a dangerous condition and/or situation.

Estrella demands compensatory damages be awarded in her favor against the defendants in a sum not to exceed $50,000, together with other court relief deemed appropriate by the court.

A jury trial has not been demanded.

The case number is 110901684.

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