A black teacher has sued a five-star Houston hotel after a worker allegedly slammed her for showing off her shoulders – before grabbing a shawl and draping it over her body.
Blessing Nwosu, 28, claims she was discriminated against by being asked to cover up, when many white women were wearing skimpy outfits with their shoulders on show.
She’s asking for $1million in damages for the shock and humiliation she had to face at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston, Texas.
Nwosu was going to Bloom and Bee restaurant inside the hotel for her friend Stephanie’s birthday on May 24 when she was told to cover her shoulders while dining.
The restaurant host came up behind the woman and put a shawl on her shoulders during the 2pm lunch, the lawsuit claims.
But the hotel has fought back – and said that she was offered the shawl ‘respectfully’ and the legal action is nothing more than Nwosu attorney’s way of getting ’15 minutes of fame’ and ‘a pot of gold.’
Blessing Nwosu, 28, claims she was discriminated against by being asked to cover up, when many white women were wearing skimpy outfits with their shoulders on show
She’s asking for $1million in damages for the shock and humiliation she had to face at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston. She is pictured in the dress she was wearing to lunch
The lawsuit states: ‘Because of her race and ethnicity Blessing was discriminated against by members of the hotel’s staff that similarly situated Caucasians did not have to endure.
‘Accordingly, Blessing brings this action against Defendants to recover damages.’
Images from Bloom and Bee show ample women – of all races – posing with their food in dresses that clearly show off their shoulders and other body parts.
Nwosu – a published author and grade school teacher – was wearing a red bodycon dress with straps fastened behind her neck when she was approached and stopped at the restaurant.
The federal lawsuit contends: ‘Blessing entered the restaurant and sat down with her friends at the table.
Nwosu was going to Bloom and Bee restaurant inside the hotel for her friend Stephanie’s birthday on May 24 when she was told to cover her shoulders while dining
Pictured: Bloom and Bee restaurant
Pictured: Post Oak Hotel in Houston, Texas
‘Shockingly, the restaurant host then came up behind Blessing and put a piece of cloth (shawl/scarf) on Blessing’s shoulders.
‘Simultaneously the host said that the cloth had to be put on a customer’s shoulder if their shoulders are showing. Blessing found her treatment to be very rude.
‘At the time there were about four Caucasians in the restaurant with exposed shoulders.
‘The Bloom & Bee Restaurant has a public Instagram page which features many Caucasian (white) women exposing their shoulders.’
The lawsuit stated that: ‘Blessing was heart-broken over the incident, and experienced at least stress, lost hair, nausea, insomnia, embarrassment, fear, tenseness leading to muscle aches, and headaches.’
She claims that despite ‘the passage of the civil rights laws over half a century ago’ she was left to feel ‘extremely embarrassed, belittled, and ashamed of being treated in a discriminatory fashion.’
Speaking to KHOU 11, the teacher said: ‘Everybody was looking, I feel like I was being made a spectacle and it was embarrassing.’
Images from the restaurant’s social media show women wearing dresses with their shoulders on show
One woman even wears a strapless dress at the eatery
The Post Oak Hotel said in a statement: ‘The Post Oak attracts hotel patrons from all over the world and is one of the most diverse properties in Houston both in employees and in its customer base.
‘The plaintiff entered one of the hotel’s restaurants for lunch and approached the hostess stand.
‘The hostess noticed on her own that plaintiff was clearly overexposed in her dress and discreetly and respectfully offered her a shawl for coverage.
‘The hostess is a minority and denies any discriminating nature towards the plaintiff and simply wanted plaintiff to cover up.
‘This is nothing more than a frivolous lawsuit filed by an opportunistic lawyer looking for 15 minutes of fame and a pot of gold.
‘It’s a lot cheaper these days to use the media for free publicity in lieu of paying for billboards or television advertising.’
This is not the first time in recent months that the hotel has come under fire for alleged discrimination.
Willie Powells, a black man, claimed hotel staff told him to remove his hat, when there were white people at the bar also wearing hats. He filed a lawsuit on October 7.