Chicago Housekeepers Detail Sex Harassment From Guests

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — The arrest of the head of the International Monetary Fund for the alleged sexual assault of a New York hotel housekeeper has emboldened housekeepers at Chicago hotels to tell their stories of unwanted encounters.

“They encounter guests alone, behind closed doors,” according to their union vice president, Jo Marie Agriesti. “The most important thing right now is to break the silence.”

Housekeepers stood with mops and buckets on the steps of the old Chicago Water Tower on North Michigan Avenue, detailing things that, they say, happened to them in Chicago hotel rooms.

Claudia Virto said was cleaning an occupied room during a convention when she was confronted by a naked guest.

“When I walked out, he was completely naked,” she said. “I got like freaked out, really scared.”

She says she complained, but management wouldn’t do anything.

“I couldn’t do anything else because I was afraid to lose my job,” she said

Appolonia Rivera says she was upset by a guest in a bathrobe who exposed himself.

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“He was closing his legs, opening and closing his legs,” she said.

She reported the flasher.

“And the supervisor was just laughing about it,” she said

The housekeepers held the protest to force hotel management to take the harassment complaints seriously.

Advocates for the hotel housekeepers say they are a highly vulnerable class — mostly female, often immigrants, working alone in isolated conditions.

“We need to fight for ways to protect these women as well as others on the job,” University of Chicago Prof. Virgina Parks said.

The head of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association told CBS 2 that sexual harassment of housekeepers is not a problem.

  • FR

    Housekeepers should not unexpectedly invade rooms. Guests paid for privacy.

  • nancy

    If I paid for a room with a standard checkout time (11 AM) and the front desk knew I had not yet checked out, and housekeeping walked in on me I would call the desk and charge them with unlawful entering. If the housekeeper went into a room and someone had the bathroom door shut because they were in the shower, don’t you think you could hear the water running or even the exhaust fan? I don’t condone the potential harassment that goes on, but at the same time, if I paid for an 11 AM checkout they should not be in my room until after that time.

  • billyd

    Here we go again with an imaginary, union cooked-up grievance designed to shakedown employers for a few more bucks. What a crock. Nancy’s right. The vast majority of these “incidents” involve situations where the maid walks in and sees a guest naked. BFD. Grow up, or go back to Central America and try and to make $12 to $18 an hour for changing linens. Good luck. Bon voyage.

  • ChicagoDaughter

    To the comments above..I believe that is why they knock on the door and say HOUSEKEEPING!

    • billyd

      Right. I stay in hotels often, and more than a few times I have been in the shower, not heard the knock, and gotten out to see the maid in my room. Maybe if they actually opened the door a bit and LISTENED for sounds of occupancy this could be avoided – but that would probably require a whole new set of complicated and expensive union work rules…

  • Deport

    hope they all legal US Citizens….. ?

    • citizen

      Are you serious?

      I hope I win the lottery, even though I don’t play.

  • Nick Thompson

    Where are all the hot housekeepers?

  • Roberta Waker

    I agree that they should knock and if they hear water running, DON”T enter the room. I’ve stayed at hotels and have NEVER had a problem with the “Do Not Disturb” sign put out when showering. While housekeeping usually does announce themselves, you don’t always hear them. If they cleaned the rooms AFTER check out time, this wouldn’t be a problem either. Of course, if they don’t speak English. . . . that could create a problem too..

  • mike

    NOT A SINGLE POST HAS SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM SEXUAL HARRASMENT!!!! And while I sympathize with “nancy” and billyd’s experiences (I’ve seen this myself) YOUR STILL A COUPLE OF CONDESCENDING JERKS nancy and billyd!!! You probably didn’t even think ONCE about the housekeepers who may have NEVER made the mistakes the ones you encountered did yet YOUR PRIVACY is all you mentioned…no thought at all about the right to dignity these people have even though they perform hte “menial” tasks that you probably couldn’t do if your life depended on it. SO TYPICAL

    • Stan Jankowitz

      Boo Hooo, Pu$$y

  • mike

    excuse me! I meant YOU’RE a couple of jerks ..not YOUR a couple of jerks…and that includes YOU ROBERTA!!

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  • bigbiz2

    Housekeepers are soooo hot !! Look at Arnolds Latina baby momma…Yeah Baby
    or IMF head DSK’ s middle aged Black AID’s infected sex toyu…hot hot hot!!

  • citizen

    Why would a housekeeper be afraid of a criminal violation be perpetrated on them, unless they are ILLEGAL immigrants, which is a wholly different problem.

    ….but nevertheless, NOBODY, whether legal or illegal, should be subjected to this sort of treatment.

  • citizen

    But then again, guests stay for multiple days are likely to encounter housekeepers in their rooms. Even if the housekeeper very well can be an Illegal immigrant, she still doesn’t deserve to be subjected to sexual harassment.

  • Jose

    Look at the picture. Does anybody in their right mind believe that those women(?) are being sexually harassed?

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