Sofitel Lets Housekeepers Wear Pants After Alleged Sexual Assault by DSK

In the wake of the alleged sexual assault of a New York City housekeeper by former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Sofitel hotel where the attacked is reported to have occurred says that female housekeepers can now wear pants. A New York Hotel Workers Union official reports that hotel employees protested about the uniform, says the New York Post:

Sofitel, a hotel chain that prides itself on a traditional dress code, made the concession amid concern about the vulnerability of chambermaids after Strauss-Kahn was charged over allegations that he sexually assaulted and tried to rape a 32-year-old housekeeper.

It goes without saying that it doesn’t speak to well of the hotel that it took such a terrible incident — a violent crime against one of its employees — for such a change to be instituted.

Earlier in the week, New York Assemblyman Rory Lancman said that hotel housekeepers should have panic buttons to “protect themselves from perverts” and as “another way to improve their working conditions,” according to the New York Daily News. Lancman has also introduced the Housekeeper Injury Prevention Act, which would require that hotels use fitted sheets instead of flat ones, so the housekeepers would not have to lift heavy mattresses:

“You come and lift up a 50- or 60-pound mattress 15 or 20 times a day for 10 years and tell me if it’s easy on your back,” the Queens Democrat said.

Lancman, who is chairman of the Assembly subcommittee on workplace safety, cited a study that found hotel workers had an injury rate 25% higher than other service workers.

Hotels chains have been reviewing their security measures to protect employees after the alleged sexual assault by Strauss-Kahn.

Earlier today, the Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said that they have evidence that will “undermine the credibility” of the housekeeper’s case. According to the New York Times:

The suggestion, contained in a three-page letter from the lawyers to Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, was almost entirely devoted to the lawyers’ complaints about unauthorized disclosures of the case to the press. But it included a reference to unspecified information that they said would hurt the prosecution’s case.

In the letter, sent Wednesday and made public Thursday, the lawyers, William W. Taylor III and Benjamin Brafman, complained “that our client’s right to a fair trial is being compromised by the public disclosure of prejudicial material even before these materials have been disclosed to his counsel.”

“Indeed,” they added, “were we intent on improperly feeding the media frenzy, we could now release substantial information that in our view would seriously undermine the quality of this prosecution and also gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant in this case.”

The New York Times describes the letter as a “form of legal gamesmanship — allowing Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers to hint at damaging information about the housekeeper without revealing it.” His lawyers have hired the Guidepost Solutions to investigate her background.

DNA samples taken from Strauss-Kahn can be linked to evidence found on the housekeeper’s uniform, the New York Times reported earlier this week. Prosecutors in the case also say that they have been in contact with “more than one” woman who said Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her. Further, at a court appearance, a prosecutor described Strauss-Kahn as having “a propensity for impulsive criminal conduct.”

Strauss-Kahn is currently under 24 house arrest under the surveillance of an armed guard and must wear an electronic ankle monitor. He is staying at a TriBeCa townhouse currently valued at just under $14 million


Previous Care2 Coverage

DSK Case: DNA Evidence, Unions, the IMF & Workers’ Rights

Sex and the Abuse of Power: DSK’s Supporters Blame the Victim

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Arrest Throws France, European Debt Talks Into Crisis

More Allegations of Sexual Assault by Dominique Strauss-Kahn Reported


Photo by philosophygeek.

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Michael W.
Michael W.2 years ago

Morris, why is it you don't post any info about yourself - are you one of those cowards who shoots from behind closed curtains??? Or maybe you are perusing the singles site.... Sounds like you belong to the old male guard whose time to exit stage left has come ....

Ana Passos
Ana Passos2 years ago


David K.
Dave K.2 years ago

I fail to see how changing dress codes is going to affect the safety of hotel employees. How about enrolling them in a martial arts course instead? Also, encourage staff to work together in teams, because there is always better safety in numbers... plus it adds to the eye witness factor. More security staff would be an asset, too.

Although with today's economic trends, most businesses would rather risk a few employees through deliberate understaffing than pay a few extra expenses toward their safety.

But there's a solution to that, too. Transfer all safety expenses to the convicted predators themselves, without whom we wouldn't have any need to protect ourselves in the first place. It would also deter future violent offenders from doing more of the same...

Janet H.
Janet Hudgins4 years ago

There is no safe place for women, and by extension, children, anywhere in the world from an element of the male population, (women and children are not afraid of women and children), and that must be changed.
The women employed by Sofitel shouldn't have to worry about what they are wearing in the first place. Skirt or pants, won't matter to disgusting, screwed up, violent old men, wealthy and otherwise. They must not have the right to attack women, deprive them of their livelihood and their right to be wherever they choose to be.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

Morris W.: Exactly what rock did you climbed up from? Just asking so I can petition the Government to declare it a rock from the Stoneages and therefore needing protection!

Maarja L.
Maarja L.4 years ago

I understand the need for a uniform and if it is not a strikingly 'sexy' one, I understand why a hotel that is proud of its traditions may require skirts, but I think trousers should be allowed also.

Ola C.
Ola C.4 years ago

I as a woman find Morris W.s statements very offensive. Is he a throwback to the days when the lord of the manor could take what he wanted from estate including the wives and daughters of his servants for his pleasure? Rich old men for years have taken advantage and raped the women of the "lower classes" for years and now that somebody wants justice "they are looking for money" and this is going to be the "biggest transfer of wealth in history"! What rock did you crawl under from? This "man" has a history of rape and getting away with it! What I want to know is what about the rights of the victim in this case? Why is she being the one investigated? Why is the defense trying to blame her for what happened? I find all of this "defense" for the perpatrator distasteful and blaming the victim in the 21st century ignorant and hypocritical.

Sam Seuss
Sam Seuss4 years ago

@hattie wallace lol for sure!

Sam Seuss
Sam Seuss4 years ago

@morris w is that your M.O.? ... rubbing old semen on you? you & your friends do such with old semen? what else do you do with old semen lol?

Morris W.
Morris W.4 years ago

Hotel trash cans are often filled with condoms left with traces of last evenings sex affair. It would be easy for a maid to rub some of the left over semen on her shirt.