Ritz-Carlton Naples speaks out over discrimination suit

Luxury hotels aims to please everyone, but how far can guest requests go before they become offensive?

A British family who visited the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples in March requested they not be served by “people of color” or staff with “foreign accents,” according to a federal lawsuit filed this week. Now, the Florida beach resort is being sued by a current employee, Wadner Tranchant, who says the hotel approved the guest’s request, and that he was discriminated against because he was black.

I spoke briefly with Bruce Seigal, director of marketing for the Ritz-Carlton Resort of Naples, who reiterated the hotel’s no-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination.

“We absolutely deny that Ritz-Carlton in any way condones discrimination in any form. We value our guests and employees and their diversity in all respects,” said Seigal. “We are in the process of reminding all of our employees of Ritz-Carlton’s strong non-discrimination policies.”

According to the lawsuit filed and obtained by ABC News, Tranchant seeks more than $75,000 in punitive and compensatory damages. As for the guests? Seigal tells me the guests in question were barred from the hotel and other Ritz-Carlton Hotels shortly after their stay ended, as information about their conduct and comments came to light.