'I Was Shocked': Couple Claims They Were Kicked Out of Hotel Because of Discrimination - NBC 6 South Florida

'I Was Shocked': Couple Claims They Were Kicked Out of Hotel Because of Discrimination

Rami Ziyadat and Taylor Schneider said they were relaxing by the pool on Tuesday at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort when a pool worker confronted Rami

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    Couple Claim Discrimination at Fort Lauderdale Hotel

    Rami Ziyadat and Taylor Schneider said they were relaxing by the pool on Tuesday at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort when a pool worker confronted Rami.

    (Published Friday, May 31, 2019)

    A couple from Chicago celebrating their two year anniversary says they were kicked out of a popular South Florida resort due to the color of his skin.

    Rami Ziyadat and Taylor Schneider said they were relaxing by the pool on Tuesday at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort when a pool worker confronted Rami.

    "She told me ‘you don’t look like you belong here, I’m calling security,'" said Ziyadat. "I was shocked because I never dealt with anything like that in my life."

    The couple said after reporting what happened they were given free drink and spa vouchers and then went to their hotel room.

    A short time later they said security knocked on their door and told them they had fifteen minutes to leave the property.

    "My girlfriend thought we were being pranked,” said Ziyadat.

    "I was caught off guard, I really thought and was looking for the cameras, like this is a prank show," said Schneider.

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    It was no prank. The couple found a new hotel and an attorney who filed a lawsuit in federal court late Friday afternoon.

    "Discrimination of any kind is not acceptable and it won’t be tolerated,” said attorney Yechezkel Rodal.

    The attorney says the hotel claims to have kicked the couple out due to "inappropriate behavior."

    Ziyadat and Schneider said they did nothing inappropriate. They claim they kissed and put sun tan lotion on by the pool.

    A business can deny a customer service but Ziyadat believes he was discriminated against due to his middle eastern background.

    "They put us out in the streets on our two-year anniversary, we can never get that back," said Ziyadat.

    NBC 6 reached out to the hotel’s general manager and received a statement that read, "Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of our culture and operations. We remain committed to providing an environment where all feel welcome. It is our practice not to comment on legal matters."

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