Colorado House Minority Leader Mike May is being sued for sexual harassment and retaliation by former employees of a hotel he owns in Wyoming. May is co-owner of MARS Development LLC, a hotel development company.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Wyoming; two months afterward, Republican May announced he was resigning his legislative seat to focus on business. He rescinded his resignation within days over the naming of his successor and a resulting ethics investigation into a lobbyist rooting for one of the candidates. May will leave office after this year because of term limits.
Former front desk clerk Dawn Bray claimed that May invited her to his room and that she was denied a promotion after turning him down. May denies the allegations citing “The Wyoming Department of Labor found these complaints to be completely frivolous.” Indeed, the Labor Department found that the person hired for the supervisory position Bray sought held a bachelor’s degree in tourism and had worked for and had been promoted several times by another local hotel.
Both sides in the lawsuit agree that May had gone to the hotel in October 2008 to look into complaints about sexual harassment. These included allegations by three other staff for being retaliated against for making complaints about sexual harassment at the hotel.
Darren Bressler, an assistant food and beverage manager, quit after complaining about the way management handled a waitress’ sexual harassment complaint.
Jessie Lopez, a server, claims in the lawsuit that a customer made “numerous” sexual advances toward her and reportedly invited her to join him and his wife in their room for sex. When she informed the general manager, her complaint was ignored and she was instructed to “Take the receipt back to your threesome.”
Debbie Yost was a front desk clerk who also performed human resources duties. She claims to have been harassed and stalked by a co-worker. Upon complaining of these behaviors, her HR responsibilities were eliminated.