Former hotel employee says supervisor discriminated against him before termination

By Jim Boyle | Nov 21, 2014

A former engineering supervisor for the Embassy Suites hotel in Philadelphia says that his

employer harassed and discriminated him based on his Jamaican background, according to a wrongful termination suit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Winston Ricketts, of Philadelphia, seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Embassy Suites' parent company, Hilton Worldwide, including payment of wages and benefits he would have received if he had not been terminated.

According to the complaint, Ricketts began working for Embassy Suites in June 2002 and enjoyed a positive experience until the June 2013 hiring of his direct supervisor, Jose Maysonet, who allegedly began a discriminatory campaign against the plaintiff.

The claim says, for example, that Maysonet repeatedly sent Ricketts home early before the end of his shift. No other employees received such orders, and when Ricketts asked why he was being sent home, Maysonet allegedly replied, "Go back to Jamaica."

Ricketts reported the conduct to upper management, but was informed that no corrective action would be taken against Maysonet. According to the complaint, Maysonet began to severely retaliate Ricketts, treating him in an aggressive and hostile manner and calling him a snitch.

The claim says that Ricketts repeatedly complained to his other managers of Maysonet's behavior, but no action had been taken. In one instance, instead of disciplining Maysonet, a general manager sent Ricketts home for an 11-day suspension. When he returned to work, he was given a final written warning for insubordination, based on a report from Maysonet that Ricketts says was fabricated.

Finally, on Aug. 23, 2013, Ricketts was summoned to the main office and terminated based on a report that he had argued with a contractor. The claim says that Ricketts did meet with a contractor to escort him to a work site, but the exchange was pleasant and friendly. The plaintiff suspects that Maysonet filed a false report in order to force Ricketts' termination.

The plaintiff is represented by Sidney Gold in Philadelphia.

The federal case ID is 2:14-cv-06646-TJS.

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