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MEJIA v. NEW YORK SHERATON HOTEL

October 4, 1979

TANIA M. MEJIA, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW YORK SHERATON HOTEL, a division of SHERATON CORP., SHERATON CORP., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLACK

SUPPLEMENTAL FINDINGS OF FACT

Judgment in this case dismissing the complaint on the merits was entered in the District Court on November 1, 1978. Notice of appeal therefrom dated November 28, 1978 was filed by the plaintiff pro se. (She was represented throughout the District Court proceedings by a privately retained attorney). An application was made to the Court of Appeals, pro se, for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. On November 29, 1978 the District Court certified that the appeal lacked merit, was not taken in good faith and that the party otherwise was not entitled so to proceed.

 The Court of Appeals, (Honorable Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland, Jon O. Newman and Amalia L. Kearse, CJJ) entered an order on August 14, 1979 reciting that

 
We find no merit in that portion of appellant's claim based upon her employer's failure to promote her to a front office cashier's position which entitles her to the relief sought. However, in order that we may make an informed decision on appellant's claim of unlawful discharge, we remand to the District Court for further findings on that issue alone.

 The following findings on the subject remanded have heretofore been made in the District Court's Decision dated October 31, 1978, to wit:

 
Plaintiff alleges in her complaint that she was discharged on June 24, 1975 from her position as a chambermaid with the Sheraton Hotel on account of her Spanish surname and the fact that her primary language was Spanish.
 
The defendants deny any discriminatory purpose or effect of their conduct and assert that the discharge from employment was for violation of a posted rule forbidding chambermaids from going into a guest's chambers while off-duty a serious security infraction.
 
The facts established herein are the following.
 
On June 24, 1975 plaintiff was discharged from her employment at the hotel. The termination of employment form which was filled out at the time and dated June 25, 1975 states that the plaintiff was terminated "for being found . . . in Room 612 which was an occupied room when she was not on duty, which is a strict violation of House Rule No. 17".
 
The Sheraton Hotel employs about 650 persons, more than a third of whom are of Hispanic origin, is a commercial type hotel catering to the general public; and persons of Hispanic origin were regularly employed (by the Hotel). . . .
 
The credible evidence clearly and convincingly establishes that plaintiff was not discharged for any discriminatory reasons or by reason of Hispanic origin. Defendants sustained their burden and established by clear and convincing evidence ample legitimate grounds for terminating her employment.
 
The Court heard and saw the witnesses and on the basis of the demeanor evidence, the testimony, documents and reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom has resolved the issues of credibility herein in favor of the defendants.

 The foregoing findings heretofore made in the District Court's Decision are hereby supplemented by further evidentiary detail from which the ultimate facts were derived in part.

 On September 23, 1971 plaintiff was given an "Employee Warning Notice" issued by the hotel regarding jewelry and articles of clothing that were allegedly given to her by a guest. She was informed that at no time was an employee to take articles out of the hotel without an official pass signed by her department head. She was also informed to be sure that no similar occurrence happened in the future and she was directed to return the articles in question to the guest. At the time, the plaintiff ...


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