Felicia Gonzales says she wasn’t allowed to enter her room at the Portland Marriott Downtown without signing a “no party” policy, even though white guests weren’t being shown the same document.
A California woman is suing the Marriott hotel chain, claiming its management discriminated against her when she was asked to sign a “no party” policy.
According to The Hill, the suit was filed by 51-year old Felicia Gonzales.
Gonzales, who is black, said she was handed a copy of the hotel by clerks at the Marriott Portland Downtown, in Oregon. While employees promised Gonzalez that its “no party policy” was applicable to all guests, she didn’t see others receiving a copy of the same.
OregonLive.com reports that Marriott spokesman Jeffrey Flaherty didn’t offer comment.
But attorneys for Gonzales provided a copy of the “no party policy” to OregonLive.com. The two-page document maintains that Marriott simply wishes to inform guests of noise limits and “not to insinuate any distrust in the ‘average’ guest.”
“No hotels want to have parties in them and we don’t want that type of business,” the policy said.
The policy further explained that guests may be held responsible for any missing items, and that they’d be liable for damages caused by “invited or unvented person(s).”
Gonzales, notes OregonLive.com, lived in Portland her entire life—she only moved to California in October of 2018. She visited the Residence-branded Marriott Portland Downtown in January of last year, driving 20 hours to visit her family. Her lawsuit notes that Gonzalez was a Marriott rewards member and “had never had a problem or noise complaint at any other Marriot hotel she had ever stayed at.”
But when Gonzalez arrived to check-in for her five day stay in Portland, she was told she wouldn’t be given a key until signed the “no parties policy.”
“Having to sign a “NO PARTY” Policy form did not feel right to Ms. Gonzales, so she went back to the front desk,” the suit recalls. “Ms. Gonzales observed as multiple Caucasian guests checked in. None were of them were asked to sign a “NO PARTY” Policy.”
The complaint alleges that, since leaving Portland, Gonzales has suffered long-term psychological and emotional trauma.
“As a result of the above-described discrimination, Ms. Gonzales suffered, continues to suffer, and will in the future suffer from embarrassment, frustration, anger, humiliation, a sense of increased vulnerability, and feelings of racial stigmatization,” the lawsuit says.
Her lawsuit claims that Marriott International, along with its local general manager and a front desk clerk, violated Oregon law prohibiting certain forms of discrimination. She’s asking for $300,000 in damages and up to $1 million in punitive damages.