51-year-old Felicia Gonzales was told she had to sign a "no party policy" agreement when checking into the Residence Inn by Marriott Portland Downtown/Convention Center in Portland, Oregon in January 2019.
Because she was told that this policy had to be signed by all guests Gonzales signed.
But the whole situation bothered her, so she later returned to the front desk.
When she did, she witnessed several White guests check in and get their keys without having to sign the "no party policy." Gonzales is Black.
Gonzales filed suit on Monday, December 30th in Multnomah County Circuit Court seeking $300,000 for embarrassment, frustration, humiliation and “feelings of racial stigmatization."
Her lawsuit describes the incident:
"Having to sign a 'NO PARTY' Policy form did not feel right to Ms. Gonzales, so she went back to the front desk. Ms. Gonzales observed as multiple Caucasian guests checked in. None of them were asked to sign a 'NO PARTY' Policy."
The lawsuit states that Gonzales was a Marriott Rewards member who had "never had a problem or noise complaint at any other Marriott hotel she had ever stayed at."
A black woman had to sign a "no party" agreement when she checked into a Portland hotel, while white guests weren't… https://t.co/RIYVUhmwBb— NBC News (@NBC News)1578007866.0
She only signed the policy "so she could get into her room" after having driven 20 hours to reach Portland.
The policy, provided by Gonzales' attorneys from Kafoury & McDougal, states that it was created to inform all guests of noise limits and didn't intend to "insinuate any distrust in the 'average' guest."
It also holds guests accountable for items missing from rooms and damage to the hotel by "invited or uninvited person(s)" and further states:
"No hotels want to have parties in them and we don't want that type of business."
Folks on social media were disappointed, but largely not surprised.
@NBCNews Not surprised by the obvious racism once again. https://t.co/12dLUVJaYn— Linda2375 (@Linda2375)1578009424.0
@auntjody1976 @NBCNews Oregon has a deeply, deeply racist history that puts the south to shame in some ways. When t… https://t.co/AamxWUpXV6— Jane Not my real name Parker💗💜💙 (@Jane Not my real name Parker💗💜💙)1578012196.0
@Mokey2020 @NBCNews Not all of it - white Nationalists have homes there too and have a long dark history— fuzzy (@fuzzy)1578015017.0
Jeff Flaherty, a spokesperson for Marriott, told The Oregonian that the company does not comment on pending litigation. A spokesperson did tell The New York Post that the hotel in question is a franchise and is operated by a third-party management firm, however.
Gonzales' suit says it could be amended at a later date to include $1 million in punitive damages, as well.
The book Another Day in Post-Racial America: To the Mothers of the Black Lives Matter Movement, With Love is available here.
"Dedicated to the mothers of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and set among the stories of unarmed black men, women, and children who were victims of excessive use of force and racial bias, Liuzzi Hagan's memoir is a candid, emotionally intimate account of the devastating personal effects of politically motivated and systematized racism in America."