Jamaicans sue US ski resort over wages

Five Jamaicans who were recruited to work at a Montana ski resort for the ultra-rich, just north of Yellowstone National Park, say they and more than 100 other Jamaicans were discriminated against and paid less than other employees doing the same work.

They sued the club and a hospitality staffing agency last year and were scheduled to enter mediated settlement talks in Missoula yesterday, court records said.

The lawsuit alleges the Jamaicans did not receive tips or service charges that are included on restaurant and bar bills like other employees did while cooking for or serving wealthy club members, who include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffett, and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The club’s and the plaintiffs’ attorneys declined to comment prior to the mediation session.

While five people filed the lawsuit, they allege the discrimination was directed at 110 Jamaicans who received employment visas to work at the exclusive ski and golf club in the mountains near Big Sky during the winter of 2017-18.

The complaint argues the lost tips and service charges could amount to around US$500 a night for workers at the nicest restaurants.

Jamaican cooks were paid US$12 per hour while others were paid US$15 to US$18 an hour, the complaint alleges.

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