Destination Hotels, the owners of La Cantera Resort and Spa, are responding to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit accusing the firm of discriminating against Spanish-speaking employees, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Destination Hotels absolutely denies recent EEOC claims regarding its workforce at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio," the firm said.
The lawsuit said Destination Hotels manager referred to Mexican-American employees as 'Mexican spies' and forbade them from speaking Spanish, even to other Spanish speaking employees and even when nobody else was around. When employees complained about the policy, they were demoted or fired, the lawsuit claims.
Destination Hotels says the allegations are 'three or four years old' and says firmly that 'no employee has ever been fired for speaking Spanish or any other language, and half of the employees named in the lawsuit are still at the resort.'
"We are proud to employ a diverse, multi-cultural workforce, more than 72%of whom are racial and ethnic minorities, with 54% being Hispanic. More than half of the total resort management team is Hispanic," Destination Hotels said. "Eighty-four percent of the referenced banquet department associates are racial and ethnic minorities, and more than 72% of all banquet associates and 100% of current banquet management are Hispanic. Not only is Spanish regularly spoken, but also Arabic, Farsi, Korean and about nine other languages."
The company said it is so concerned for the welfare of its employees that it continued to pay full time staffers during the five months the resort was closed due to recent upgrades.