After two Motel 6 properties, located in Phoenix, Arizona, provided US immigration authorities with guest lists, the hotel and its parent company, G6 Hospitality, find themselves at the center of a class-action lawsuit focused on discrimination and privacy laws. Rumors that the Motel 6 brand was allegedly training employees to hand over clients’ to ICE upon request, without requesting a warrant first, fueled the suit. Motel 6 is now prepared to settle the discrimination suit. Hotel owners must be aware of federal, state and local privacy and anti-discrimination laws before handing guest and employee information over to law enforcement authorities. Hotel Business reports the facts surrounding the on-going litigation.
PHOENIX—Motel 6 and a prominent Latino civil rights group appear prepared to settle a class-action discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of Latino guests, according to court documents.
The lawsuit alleges that the company discriminated against Latino guests at two properties here whereby Motel 6 employees provided guest information to immigration agents, resulting in the arrest of at least seven guests. It is also alleged that the hotel brand has a corporate policy or practice of disseminating information from guests provided at check-in to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In January, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) sued Motel 6 and parent company G6 Hospitality on behalf of eight anonymous plaintiffs who were caught up in the ICE dragnet that snared more than 20 guests at Motel 6 locations in Phoenix, according to the Phoenix New Times. Five plaintiffs are residents of metro Phoenix, two live in Tucson, and one lives in Washington state, according to the complaint.
MALDEF said that by sharing guest information with immigration authorities, Motel 6 violated an array of state and federal laws.
“This is a note of settlement in principle,” MALDEF President Thomas Saenz said in a statement to Phoenix New Times. “We are still working on the details and plan to present to the court a public filing with the full details of the settlement in the next couple of weeks.”
The details on the tentative agreement weren’t made available to the public. They were revealed on Friday in court records. It is subject to the approval a federal judge.
G6 Hospitality didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.