Three employees from the BLT Prime steakhouse in the Trump International Hotel are suing the Trump Organization for $14.5 million for racial discrimination in a civil lawsuit.
Current BLT Prime employee Irving Smith Jr. and former employee Dominique Hill filed the suit. JaNette Sturdivant, another previous employee later joined the two in taking legal action.
The employees claim the hotel’s managing director at the Washington D.C. location Mickael Damelincourt put Black workers on shifts where they were likely to earn less money. A journalist from the Washington Post verified the claims after visiting the restaurant where he noticed all of the night staffers were white and day staffers were of mixed ethnicities. They also say the managing director allowed for other forms of racial discrimination from staff and restaurant patrons.
Smith and Hill claimed the discrimination heightened after Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Smith said management never took action after he informed them a White coworker told him, “This is white America time, you need to get used to it, and if you don’t get used to it you should go work somewhere else.”
While the Trump Organization dismissed the charges based on their claim that the three were employed by ESquared, a third party. Yet, their lawyer said the corporation’s contract with ESquared indicates the Trump Organization can still be held accountable.