A former employee of a Myrtle Beach hotel claims a general manager denied Black employees some of their job benefits and called him a disparaging name that was racially motivated, according to a lawsuit filed in February.
The suit was filed Feb. 22 against the operators of the Hampton Inn Hotel at the Northwood location, court records show.
Kevin Simmons, a Black man and former employee of the hotel, filed the suit in Horry County court against Raleigh Krishna, Inc. and CN Hotels, which operates the inn.
Simmons was hired at the hotel in April 2016 to work as a breakfast host before eventually being promoted to director of housekeeping and chief engineer of the maintenance department, the suit states.
Monica Anderson, a white woman, was hired as general manager of the hotel in June 2019.
Anderson made several comments to employees regarding the “need for diversity at the hotel,” which has a primarily Black staff, Simmons alleges.
Anderson referred to Simmons as “boy” several times, despite Simmons’ request that she stop, according to the filing. The suit refers to the name-calling as “racially-charged.”
Anderson fired the front desk manager, who is a Black woman, in December 2019 as part of several personnel changes and hired all white employees to fill the positions, the lawsuit alleges.
Anderson could not be reached when a Sun News reporter called the Hampton Inn Hotel front desk. She also did not respond to a request for comment via e-mail.
CN Hotels did not respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit states that white workers were given job benefits that were denied to Black employees, including being allowed to stay at the hotel for discounted rates.
Anderson “nit-picked” Simmons about his job performance without merit, he claims, despite Simmons being “competent, if not more than competent” in his job duties.
The lawsuit also alleges defamation, claiming Anderson spread false rumors about Simmons to other employees.
Anderson allegedly told the others that Simmons stole from the company, had a sexual harassment case against him, and that he used drugs while working. Those claims are all false, the suit alleges.
Simmons complained to the hotel’s owner about Anderson on three occasions, but nothing was done, the suit alleges.
Simmons was furloughed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, but came back to work at the hotel in May.
Simmons had received calls from co-workers saying Anderson was trying to get him fired, the suit claims.
Simmons was fired June 2, 2020, for misusing the company credit card, the lawsuit states, after Anderson accused him of using the card for personal reasons.
The lawsuit alleges the hotel’s owner knew of Simmons’ use of the card in advance, and that Simmons always paid back the amount charged to the card.