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Ritz-Carlton Seems to Acknowledge White-Only Request

Ritz-Carlton released a statement about a recent lawsuit filed by a waiter, Haitian-American Wadner Tranchant, who claims the Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Naples, Fla. catered to a family's requests to be served by white-only staff. The company said it deeply regretted the "manner in which the recent incident was handled while the guests were on property and the effect on Mr. Tranchant, a valued and long-term employee."

While saying it wouldn't comment on pending litigation, Ritz-Carlton denied many of the allegations, including the charge that the general manager nor the management staff wrote down the family's racist request in a database nor did he ask Tranchant or other staff members to comply with any discriminatory wishes.

However, it seems as if Ritz-Carlton is acknowledging that something akin to the racial incident occurred. From the statement:

Not long after their departure, the guests attempted to make another reservation at the hotel and were informed by [general manager] Mr. Staros they could not return. The guest contacted the corporate office to complain about the refusal to accept their reservations and the banning message was reiterated. . . . Simon Cooper, Ritz-Carlton president, is personally committed to ensuring that appropriate action is taken to address the shortcomings related to this incident and reinforcing training and education on Ritz-Carlton's policies to our managers so that they respond immediately and appropriately if guests make inappropriate remarks or requests.
Addressing shortcomings? Appropriate education? Reinforcing training? All this is beautiful doublespeak for, "We screwed up by not telling the racist limeys to get out when we had the chance. Heads will roll. We will make sure there can be no other lawsuit because of this again."

Mr. Wadner's case must be pretty airtight to get this kind of acknowledgement rather than termination. It also sounds like he shouldn't settle for anything less than mid-six figures.

Photo: Ritz-Carlton, Naples

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