The Real Deal New York

NY congressional hopeful’s hotels have years of labor complaints

Suraj Patel’s Sun Development has faced several property violations: report
May 24, 2018 11:30AM

US Department of Labor and Suraj Patel (Credit: Wikipedia Commons and Twitter)

Hotels owned by New York congressional candidate Suraj Patel have racked up labor complaints in the past few years.

The U.S. Labor Department has issued dozens of unpaid wage and overtime violations against hotels that Patel and his family partly own or operate, the New York Daily News reported. Patel is challenging Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the Democratic primary.

Patel is president of hospitality company Sun Development & Management Corp., which his father founded in 1989. It manages 32 hotels around the country.

“Suraj had no involvement with the matters in question,” the spokeswoman, Lis Smith, told the NYDN. “As the president of Sun Cos., his responsibilities were development, acquisitions, and dispositions of whole hotel portfolios.”

Some hotels have faced lawsuits from former employees saying they were let go for taking time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. For example, Kendra Martino, a former housekeeper at a Holiday Inn in Titusville, Florida, sued Sun Development in 2016. She said she lost her job at the hotel when out on sick leave after a car accident.

Patel’s spokeswoman said he has a stake of two percent or less in the hotels. [NYDN] — Meenal Vamburkar