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A Black Hotel Cook Sues Employer Midtown Hotel for $25 Million Dollars

Julius Jones says working at The Roger Smith Hotel in Midtown Manhattan is no picnic.

Jones, who is African American, said that he started working at the hotel in November 2008 and endured violent behavior and offensive language from some white colleagues and supervisors but did not quit because he feared he would not find another job in the current economic climate.

The lawsuit alleges that on October 28, 2010 defendant Jeffrey Farley, kitchen manager at The Roger Smith Hotel at 501 Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, pulled a white pillow case from a towel bag and pulled it over his head and directed his attention towards Jones in the presence of Defendants Daniel B. Mowles, Salvatore Maida and employee Justin Palmer and asked Jones: “Julius, how does that make you feel? Do you feel insulted?” as his white male colleagues mocked him and laughed, according to the lawsuit. Defendant Jeffrey Farley acted as if he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

“I was scared for my life when I looked around the room and saw only white colleagues in the room,” Jones said. “I had racial problems at the hotel before but nothing like this.”

Sanders said his client was subjected to further discrimination when just weeks after he filed his complaint, Daniel B. Mowles, a manager, and Salvatore Maida, a dishwasher, approached Julius Jones in the kitchen and attempted to intimidate him into withdrawing the complaint. “You know, in my culture, the Italian Mafia gets rid of rats,” Maida told the horrified Jones according to the lawsuit.

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