The former maintenance manager at an Indian Rocks Beach resort is suing his former employer after he said the CEO and general manager berated him for hiring a black employee.
According to a lawsuit filed in Pinellas County Court, Jacob Hood was hired as director of maintenance operations at Seaside resort in April 2018. The trouble started the following September when he took time off to claim workers’ compensation.
Harborside is part of the New collection of hotels, which also operates the Cordoba hostel in downtown Saint Petersburg, the New Hotel on the Indian coast and Central hotel in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Hood says his bosses at Harborside didn’t believe his injury was legitimate and “Resent (his) … injury, receipt of workers’ compensation and work restrictions,” according to the lawsuit.
These work restrictions led Hood to hire a maintenance technician. This is, he says, when the CEO Justin alex hodges and general manager Dustin Shelton told him “these are not the kind of people” that they want to work in their hotel because “they don’t have the right look”.
All three men are white, but Hood is married to a black woman. The lawsuit goes on to say that Shelton and Hodges told him he had a “weakness for these people.”
But Hood tells the court that Shelton didn’t stop there. The lawsuit says Shelton continued to cause tension by making increasingly derogatory comments about blacks and telling Hood he was not allowed to hire blacks, saying “White is right. “
“Dustin Shelton approached the plaintiff and made derogatory comments about African Americans,” the lawsuit says. “Such as” ghetto, hood rat, garbage, thugs, scum and southern St. Petersburg “, which caused tension between the plaintiff and the general manager.”
Hood says he tried to report the behavior but was ignored and no corrective action was taken. He accuses the management of the complex of ridiculing him for his injury and hiring a black person and scrutinizing his work too much to find or create a reason to fire him.
Hood is suing for racial discrimination and discrimination against his injury. The lawsuit doesn’t say a specific amount, but says Hood is looking for more than $ 100,000.
Hood could not be reached for comment.
Representatives for Harborside Resort did not respond to a request for comment.
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