One of the city’s fanciest hotels is the site of some of the sleaziest sexual harassment, a new lawsuit charges.
Six women who worked as cocktail servers, bartenders and hospitality coordinators at the Plaza Hotel and its famous bar, The Palm Court, allege in a suit filed in Bronx Supreme Court that they endured a “permissive and toxic culture in which women are routinely treated as sexual objects.”
In one egregious example, Crystal Washington alleged she was routinely harassed starting in 2014 by a union delegate for The Palm Court, Syed Islam.
“Mr. Islam would frequently leer at Ms. Washington, saying ‘You’ve got a nice a–‘ or ‘I can tell you had sex last night, I know you like the back of my hand,'” the suit reads.
He allegedly tried to entice another one of the women who brought the lawsuit into a threesome and told her, “I want you so bad you won’t regret it.”
In another vile example, Dana Lewis alleged she was sexually assaulted by general manager Christian Floren, who is the most senior ranking employee at The Palm Court.
She said Floren followed her into the coat check three times on a single day this past February and forced himself on her.
“You know you want this,” he allegedly said.
After the third rejection, Floren cried and begged Lewis not to report him to Human Resources, the suit says.
In yet another example, a cocktail server, Paige Rodriguez, said the Plaza’s former manager, Raul Abrantes, made raunchy remarks to her around late 2014.
“My d–k hurts, I had sex with three girls I met at the bar last night,” he said, according to papers.
Abrantes left the job in the summer of 2016 and has since returned, boasting “I can hit on the staff now since I don’t work here,” according to papers.
The women, four of whom are still working at the hotel, allege that instead of attempting to address a pervasive “rape culture,” management has retaliated against them in an effort to protect the brand.
They seek damages to be determined at trial.
A press rep for the Plaza did not return a call.