Plaza Agrees to Muslim Discrimination Settlement

June 9, 2005 ( - The Plaza Hotel has agreed to a $525,000 settlement of a lawsuit charging the well-known leisure spot with harassing Muslim and Arab-American employees.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in its suit filed for the employees that Plaza managers called Arab-American employees terrorists after the September 11 attacks, referring to them as “Osama” or “dumb Muslim,” according to the Associated Press.

According to the news report, the EEOC sued the Plaza and Fairmont Hotel Management LP in September 2003. Since then, the Plaza has been sold to Elad Properties, which has closed the hotel for remodeling and plans to reopen it in fall 2006 as a condominium building and smaller hotel. The settlement signed byFairmont covers the company’s 14 hotels nationwide and will be in force at the new Plaza if Fairmont becomes its managing agent, the EEOC said. The settlement also includes additional anti-discrimination training for the hotel staff.

“The EEOC takes very seriously allegations of harassment based on religion and/or national origin,” Sunu Chandy, an EEOC senior trial, told the Associated Press. “We are proud of these brave employees who stepped forward to the EEOC to report this harassment.” The 12 workers will divide the $525,000 according to the severity of the harassment they experienced, Chandy said.