Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Employer of the Week

MARTINEZ, Calif. (CN) - A night desk clerk claims the Best Western hotel put her on unpaid leave and constructively fired her because she complained that a regular guest masturbated in front of her in the lobby.

Angela Estrada sued the Best Western John Muir Inn in Contra Costa County Court. She did not sue the guest, though she names him in the complaint.

Estrada claims that Percy Gault "works for one of John Muir's highest paying and regular hotel customers, which regularly pays for its workers to stay at John Muir throughout the year when it is working on large scale construction projects."

At around 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 25 last year, Estrada says, she "looked up to see Gault staring at her with his shirt lifted up and his pants pulled down past the base of his groin. Gault's penis was fully exposed and erect as he masturbated in front of her," according to the complaint.

Estrada says she immediately called a hotel security guard, who "directed Gault to leave and not to return to the lobby."

Estrada says she reported the incident to the police and to the hotel's general manager, who "assured Estrada that she would be protected."

But four days after the incident, Estrada says, her general manager told her she had to take 30 days off without pay.

Estrada demands punitive damages for a hostile workplace, retaliation, constructive firing, and wrongful employment practices in violation of public policy. She represented by Kelly Armstrong of San Francisco.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.