Santa Monica, California's posh Shangri-La Hotel has been found guilty of discriminating against a Jewish group and fined $1.2 million.
The Los Angeles Times says a jury has ruled that the Shangri-La Hotel and its owner discriminated against members of the group, Friends of the Israel Defence Forces, two years ago when staff ordered them out of the hotel during a scheduled pool party.
Digital Journal told you last month, the group had gathered at the hotel for the party, but shortly after it started they were told to remove their literature and banners and get out. The employees say they were following the orders of hotel owner Tehmina Adaya, a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent.
The LA Times reports, during the trial, in Santa Monica Superior Court, the jury heard a deposition from former employee, Nathan Codrey, who said Adaya was furious when she realized who the party was for. Codrey's deposition said Adaya told staff, "If my [family finds] out there's a Jewish event here, they're going to pull money from me immediately."
The LA times reports the jury found that Adaya and the hotel violated California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on sex, race, color or religion, and in doing so, inflicted emotional distress. The panel awarded the plaintiffs more than $1.2 million in statutory damages and a hearing on punitive damages is scheduled for next week.