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Kitchen Baker at the Westin Hotel in Times Square Awarded $3 million by
a Jury Because of Hidden Camera Installed Near His Workstation in
Retaliation for Discrimination Complaints

NEW YORK, March 11, 2010 - Yesterday afternoon, after a more than three-week trial in Manhattan Federal Court, a jury awarded $3 million dollars to baker Moises Mendez, a 46-year old immigrant from Ecuador and a resident of Washington Heights, who repeatedly filed complaints with the Human Resources Department at the Westin Hotel at Times Square (the "Westin Hotel") about alleged discrimination being committed against him at the hotel based on his race (Hispanic) and national origin (Ecuadorian).

A federal jury found that Starwood Hotels unlawfully retaliated against Mr. Mendez, a hardworking and dedicated employee, when it secretly installed a hidden camera near his workstation in the kitchen of the Westin Hotel shortly after he filed written complaints of unlawful discrimination with the Human Resources Department.  The jury awarded Mr. Mendez $1 million for his emotional distress and pain and suffering, and $2 million in punitive damages to punish Starwood for its unlawful actions.

After the trial, Mr. Mendez stated that "I put my faith in America's system of justice and I look forward to going back to work today."

Ken Thompson, a partner at Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP and trial counsel for Mr. Mendez, commented that "It was outrageous for Starwood Hotels to install a hidden camera over Mr. Mendez's workstation to retaliate against him because of his complaints of discrimination.  This is America.  And hopefully, this jury verdict will make it clear to all employers that they simply cannot retaliate against employees who complain about discrimination." 

There will be a press conference today at 2:30 PM outside the Westin Hotel at the corner of 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan as Mr. Mendez returns to work at the Westin Hotel for the first time since being awarded $3 million dollars at trial yesterday. 

About Thompson Wigdor and Gilly: Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP specializing in handling high-profile, complex litigation and government investigations, as well as counseling clients in a wide array of substantive legal areas, including employment law, criminal law, sports and entertainment law, labor relations, and civil rights.  The firm has obtained numerous multi-million verdicts on behalf of their clients.  They can be reached at (212) 257-6800 or 


Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP
Kenneth P. Thompson 
(212) 257 6800 

Also See: Knoxville Marriott Sued for $1.5M after Guest Finds Hidden Camera in Bathroom Light Fixture / Sept 2002

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