The situation was difficult to report internally, as the hotel had no clear-cut method of filing such a form of workplace hostility, according to Tsamis. Calls by Windy City Times to the human resources department at the hotel were not returned.
The matter grew more complicated because the manager is friends with the son of the general manager and the human resources manager, according to Kosman.
“Because there was not a policy of reporting in place, I wrote a letter to Bricton Group,” Tsamis said.
(From a WindyCityMediaGroup.com article) When Hernan Cortes began working for Holiday Inn in 2006, he was pleased with the job.
“It was an excellent work environment,” said Cortes.
Things changed radically in August 2009, when, according to Cortes, his new male supervising manager began sexually harassing him and, ironically, discriminating against him due to his sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, two forms of workplace hostility, have intersected in a case involving employees of a Holiday Inn franchise in Elmhurst, Ill. The hotel is run by The Bricton Group, which is based in Park Ridge, Ill.
Two employees of the hotel have sought legal advice due to the alleged incidents.
Dan Kosman, the second employee seeking legal assistance, began working for the hotel in June 2009. Around August, his supervising manager—the same manager who also supervised over Cortes—allegedly began sexual harassing him as well.
“I’d walk by and he’d pinch my butt,” Kosman said. “I’d be by the filing cabinet, bending over, and he’d come over and bump me purposely.
Kosman added that the manager also committed more lewd actions, such as exposing his penis to him. Cortes reportedly faced similar harassment.
Discrimination based on sexual orientation also came into play, when other employees were present, said Kosman and Cortes.
“He called me ‘F squared,’ which mean ‘f’ing faggot,’” Cortes said.
“As the harassment went on, he was obviously a closeted gay,” Kosman said. “When there were other people around, he was definitely throwing [ homophobic words ] around to whomever he was talking to. I would be somewhere on the sidelines … and he’d say, ‘Oh, that guy’s a fag.’”
Kosman sought the advice of Lambda Legal, an organization that offers legal assistance to the LGBT community, in December. Lambda referred Kosman to his current lawyer, Betty Tsamis.