A former general manager at an upscale Pasadena hotel is suing her former employer, alleging she was abruptly stripped of her job at age 50 in 2020 despite low absenteeism and frequent recognition for her work, including winning a working mother of the year award.
Nicole Duval’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town alleges wrongful termination and discrimination. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit brought Friday.
A Marriott representative could not be immediately reached.
Duval was hired as an entry-level employee in July 1995 and was promoted often during her career at Marriott hotels, the suit states. She managed the Residence Inn Maui Wailea in Hawaii from July 2016 to May 2019 and then became general manager at the Residence Inn By Marriott Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town on Walnut Street in May 2019 until losing her job last fall, the suit states.
Duval had a solid work record during her 25 years with Marriott hotels, including no absences in her last decade there, the suit states. She was invited to meet with the Marriott family at their home in Maryland many times and she once won Marriott’s Working Mother of the Year Award, which is annually awarded to just one employee in the entire Marriott corporation, the suit states.
However, younger employees routinely chided Duval because of her age and for being white, the suit states.
“Ms. Duval was told that she was old and needed to get with the times, made fun of for not being contemporary with modern applications and technology and that her way of managing employees was archaic,” the suit states.
Duval was suspended on Sept. 24 without either a warning or a chance to complete a performance improvement plan, the suit states. She was then terminated Oct. 2 and replaced by someone substantially younger, the suit states.
Younger workers at the hotel were never fired for performance issues without written warnings and the person promoted to Duval’s position had numerous absences, complaints and disciplinary issues, the suit states.
As the hotel’s general manager, Duval was making $126,000 a year with a paid annual vacation, medical, dental and life insurance and a potential for bonuses, but she has not found comparable work since then, the suit states.
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