Demand justice for the employees of The Robey Hotel

Demand justice for the employees of The Robey Hotel

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Industry workers of varying race, gender and sexualities. started this petition to Groupo Habita and

We are a group of local hospitality professionals who currently or have previously worked at The Robey Hotel. The impact of the countless separate (while all eerily similar) experiences has grown to be too large to be ignored any longer.


In light of current national events, many of us found ourselves reflecting on our time at The Robey. While the toxic culture that relied on discrimination, harassment, and prejudice was immediately apparent for most of us, we have finally decided that it is time to speak out. While some of us chose to use our platforms to shed light on the glaring issues held within their walls, we were (unsurprisingly) overwhelmed by dozens of similar tales from current & past employees, local artists and musicians, and guests.


The world is finally starting to put businesses like this under a microscope; the lens no longer protects racist operating standards. While we know it may be a daunting task to build a Diversity and Inclusion program from the ground up, there are many professionals willing to help. We have consulted with several Human Resource Business Partners within the Chicago Hospitality sector; we have come up with the below requirements to help them meet the bare minimum inclusivity standards in order to avoid a lawsuit. While most of the below should have already been included and followed in their hiring practices, employee handbook, and new hire on-boarding, they can and must be included going forward-

 - For not only his own continued racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, sexual harassment, and sexual assualt but also for the workplace environment that he has created to make this kind of behavior welcome and ignored, Santiago Leon must be removed from his position and from The Robey Hotel altogether.
 - For his lack of leadership while making racist and sexist comments, embracing and following suit in the toxic work environment, and public display of disregard for employees that he harmed, Chef Kevin McAllister must be removed from his position and from The Robey Hotel altogether.
 - The Robey Hotel must hire a professional Human Resources Business Partner from outside of Grupo Habita, with all up to date certifications.
The Robey must hold on-going mandatory training for all employees, contractors, managers, and owners. Until there is a new successful functioning HR department the instructors must be sourced externally. Instructors will preferably be chosen by the staff members and community members of The Robey’s new Diversity and Inclusion Council and the HRBP

 - Required training topics for All-Staff
        - Anti-racism
        - Anti-sexism
        - Anti-homophobia & Anti-transphobia 
        - Gender, gender identity 
        - Diversity and Inclusivity

        - Discrimination in the Workplace
        - Sexual Harassment in the work place
        - Safe Serving (TIPS, Basset, etc)

 - Required Training Topics for Management & Senior Leaders
        - Race and Gender Disparities
        - Leadership and Inclusive Leadership 
        - Interviewing, Hiring, and Training Without Discrimination
        - Unconscious Bias
        - Handling Guest Interactions Without Discrimination
        - Unconscious Bias
        - How to De-escalate Harmful Work Situations

 - The Robey Hotel must make it public who the community members of their new Diversity and Inclusion Council will consist of.
 - The Robey must have an SOP in place to ensure that both their hourly and salaried managers are paid fairly and based on experience versus their race, gender, and/or sexual or gender identity.
 - The Robey will reevaluate it’s tip system with the new HRBP to ensure that it is accurate and fairly distributed.
 - The Robey will not use bad reviews as a means to terminate employees unless a proper investigation has taken place and only if it is a repeat issue with an employee.
 - The Robey will implement regular anonymous feedback opportunities for hourly staff to voice their thoughts and concerns.
 - The Robey will bring in more diversity among their DJ’s, Musicians, Artisans, and Local Partners. This talent will be paid based on a budgeted system vs. the color of their skin or the hotel’s music preference.
 - The Robey will make an effort to be more inclusive and diverse with the music genres that are played, while music is still respectful to its guests and of a business setting (ie, no derogatory words or phrases, no foul language, etc).
 - The Robey will create and enforce an anti-fraternization policy protecting hourly staff and holding accountable salaried staff and people in positions of power.
 - Within The Robey’s training on overserving, underage drinking, drugs in the workplace The Robey will investigate these violations among their own hourly and salaried employees and hold parties accountable. 

    While we wish there was never a need for this letter, we appreciate the time spent listening & rectifying these issues. We want them to know that these requirements are necessary for them to take into consideration; choosing which changes to implement is not an option.  Their efforts are for the Chicago community to be aware of, so that they may be held accountable. If you are looking for more insight we are happy to provide you with the testimonies and experiences we have shared among ourselves (while respecting the individual privacy of each contributor.) We truly hope that they will adapt and contribute to this movement and never stop working towards improvement, education, and positive change in order to serve and protect the members of our community.

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