Town of Palm Beach News

Former Employee Sues Mar-a-Lago

President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is currently being sued by the former executive pastry chef of the private club, Graham Randall. Randall is also suing two senior managers at Mar-a-Lago, claiming that he was laid-off in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment against two female chefs, as first reported by Palm Beach Daily News.

Randall was employed at the Palm Beach club from 2012 to 2017. According to Randall’s lawsuit, during his employment he received complaints from two young chefs who said they had been receiving lewd messages from two married, high-level food and beverage managers at the club. Randall reported these complains to Mar-a-Lago’s human resources department.

Read the full lawsuit here.

Management looked into these claims and interviewed Randall as a part of the investigation. The result was written reprimands of both managers and the managers apologizing to the women, according to the lawsuit.

Former Employee Sues Mar-a-Lago

Six months after the investigation, in October 2017, according to the lawsuit, the same managers who had been reprimanded laid Randall off. The managers told Graham at the time of his termination that the club expected to lose $2.5 million from charity fundraisers that were canceled in the wake of President Trump’s comments about a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one woman dead.

Randall did not believe this explanation. In his complaint Randall mentioned that at the same time that he was fired, the club was hiring more foreign guest workers than the year before, including additional pastry chefs. In the same year that Randall was laid off, Trump received 70 visas to hire foreign works for Mar-a-Lago, and had received 64 the season before.

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In response to the six-month gap between the managers’ punishment and Randall losing his job, Randall said in his complaint that he believed they “waited sufficient time to cover their tracks, and then retaliated against me.”

Randall has also filed a federal employment discrimination action against Mar-a-Lago.

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Alanna Barrett

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