Hampton Inn by Hilton in Williamston has been in hot water after a cellphone video surfaced this weekend about the incident where a white employee was harassing a black family using the hotel pool (read more here).
Hilton released a statement over the weekend, stating that they have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination. However, there have been at least a couple of very public cases in the past year (read more here and here) about just that. Now, the hotel owner has also released its views on what went on.
Here’s the post from the hotel:
Here’s in the text form:
A Statement From the Hampton Inn by Hilton Williamston:
‘The ownership and management of Hampton in by Hilton Williamston have zero tolerance for racism. Our goal is to treat each guest with respect and hospitality from the moment they check In through the duration of their stay.
We would like to address an incident which occurred last Friday involving one of our employees and a guest of the hotel. Up until today, our normal process has been to involve law enforcement when we were unable to confirm if an Individual is a guest of the hotel. We now understand this process may have unnecessarily escalated this situation. We are truly sorry for the impact that this experience had on our guest and her family. We are making every effort to contact the guest directly, so that we can continue to listen to her experience, offer our apologies, and make this situation right.
As of Sunday, we can confirm the employee involved is no longer employed at the hotel. We can also confirm that the practice of calling law enforcement will only occur when there is illegal activity or a threat to our employees or guests. We will ensure that our employees are trained to be able to clearly identify and de-escalate these situations. We are also committed to ensuring every employee at our property, not just those who are in leadership, receive training consistent with Hilton’s Diversity & Inclusion standards.
We stand ready to hear more from the guest and commit to taking the lessons of those conversations into account in our pathway forward. Our ultimate aim is to ensure all employees understand and deliver the inclusive hospitality we expect ant our guests deserve.’
—Vimal Kolappa, CEO, Washington Hospitality, LLC and Owner, Hampton Inn by Hilton Williamston
Here’s the press release from the city and police report of the incident:
Here’s the statement that Hilton released earlier:
“Hampton by Hilton has zero tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind. On Saturday, we were alerted to an online video of a guest incident at one of our franchise properties. We moved quickly to identify the hotel and the guest, so that we could make contact and review the matter.
Even as we communicated our expectations to the ownership and management of the Williamston property on Sunday, we learned that the team member is no longer employed at the hotel. We have apologized directly to the guest and her family for their experience, and will work with them and the hotel to make this right. We remain in contact with the hotel’s ownership about follow up actions, and to ensure that in the future, their employees reflect the best values of our brand and are welcoming of all.”
– Shruti Gandhi Buckley, Global Head, Hampton by Hilton
The statement from the hotel leaves questions unanswered. They state that they only call caps when they cannot confirm if someone is a guest staying at the hotel. The mother showed the employee their room key that should have been enough.
Also, the employee in question appears to have followed policies that the hotel owner had implemented, yet she was fired. Why? She can now likely sue the hotel for wrongful termination.
I hope that the guest exercised Hampton’s 100% satisfaction guarantee.