Almontaser v. Hilton Hotel Historic Case

At a Glance

Date Filed: 


Case Description 

Almontaser v. Hilton Hotel is a suit which charged the Hilton Hotel for intentional employment discrimination against Arab-American Muslims who worked as catering staff at the New York Hilton Hotel.

Naji Almontaser, who is Muslim, worked at the Hilton Hotel for many years and alleged that he was constantly denied rightful promotional opportunities. He and other Muslims working at the Hilton charged that they were subjected to racial and religious epithets and subjected to retaliation for filing complaints.

Almontaser also claimed that he was subjected to years of verbal abuse by coworkers and supervisors, which escalated after September 11, 2001, with no recourse. He asserted that he was also improperly accused of not being at work when he was not scheduled and had been required to provide doctor’s notes when he was absent from work, unlike his white, non-Arab, and non-Muslim co-workers. Almontaser approached the hotel personnel department to report several incidents of bias and was told that there would be investigations, but nothing happened.

After some discovery, New York Hilton Hotel settled the case in 2003. Mr. Almontaser was promoted to the position of Captain at the hotel, and received a cash settlement and an increase in his salary and benefits. To ensure that all of its employees act in a courteous, fair, and legally appropriate manner, the company also settled on implementing sensitivity training programs.