Five-star hotel ordered to pay £50,000 to cleaner molested by guest

Ruling comes six years after alleged sexual assault against female cleaner involving member of Qatari prince's entourage

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The Independent Online

A cleaner who was allegedly molested at a Paris hotel by a member of a Qatari prince's entourage has been awarded £50,000 in damages.

The cleaner, a Guinean woman who is now aged 33 and requested anonymity, was allegedly sexually assaulted while at work at the five-star Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome in an incident in 2010.

No action was taken against the perpetrator and the woman was later fired in January 2011, reportedly for refusing to transfer to another hotel after attempting suicide and taking sick leave on several occasions due to “post-traumatic stress” following the incident.

The Paris labour relations tribunal ordered the Park Hyatt hotel to pay £26,000 and the company that provides its cleaning crew to pay £24,000, both for lacking sufficient safeguards against such incidents.

The tribunal ruled that the woman's dismissal was “tantamount to discrimination”. According to her lawyer the incident is a first in the area of sexual harassment.

As well as lacking sufficient safeguarding measures, the hotel was faulted for failing to alert the police on the evening of the assault, which "allowed the aggressor to flee" the following day.

The hotel has disputed the decision, saying it was in “total disagreement” with the ruling and would appeal.

Speaking to the AFP news agency after the ruling, Park Hyatt's vice-president, Michel Jauslin, claimed the decision was “based on multiple untruths and shows that the tribunal was manipulated."

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