There are calls for patrons to boycott a Sydney hotel after its security staff refused entry to a woman with cerebral palsy who was celebrating her 21st birthday.
Door staff at the Marlborough Hotel in inner-city Newtown allegedly belittled and mocked the woman who they claimed was intoxicated, with one heard to say “watch this disabled bitch fall”.
Friends of the woman took to social media calling for people to boycott the venue.
Liane Gorham wrote on the venue’s Facebook page:
“My friend’s beautiful and inspiring daughter was refused entry on the night of her 21st birthday. She suffers cerebral palsy. Disgraceful and discriminating behaviour by your door staff. She was laughed at and belittled. Shameful!”
Hotel management went into immediate damage control, posting a message on Facebook admitting that it “screwed up”:
“We apologise for the humiliation and distress that we caused. We are committed to building awareness of this issue with our entire team through intensive anti-discrimination training.”
A spokesperson later told Fairfax that the two guards involved in the incident will no longer work at the venue, and the company that provides its door staff will undergo discrimination training.
“We are incredibly disappointed with the incident and have offered our unreserved apology to the young woman, her friends and family,” the spokesperson said.
Miles Heffernan, Litigation Director at Discrimination Claims, said the case was an appalling example of impairment discrimination.
“What a couple of low-lifes those bouncers are – thanks to their ignorance and heartlessness, they have ruined a very special night for this young woman,” he said.
Mr Heffernan said he is not surprised hotel management responded so quickly.
“Not only is this a bad look for the business, but it is also a blatant case of impairment discrimination, which is unlawful.
“You cannot treat someone less favourably because of an impairment or disability, and that’s exactly what happened in this case.”
The mother of the woman said she did not want to be identified, but said she was pleased that the hotel had acted swiftly to remove the door staff responsible.
If you believe you have suffered discrimination on the basis of an impairment or disability, you may be entitled to compensation.
Please call Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837.
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