Raleigh hotel has black mold problem, employee says


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh hotel employee said the business has a black mold problem that is affecting the health of employees.

In a video obtained by CBS North Carolina, a man who identifies himself as a maintenance employee shows black mold behind wallpaper at the Courtyard Marriott by Crabtree Valley Mall.

“Instead of getting rid of the black mold, which would be the correct thing to do, we’re going to be painting over the black mold,” the man says in the video.

The maintenance employee claims management isn’t addressing the mold issue.

“My main concern is not just for myself but for my coworkers is our health,” he said. “Mold is kind of the four-letter word other than bed bugs. And they just try not to speak of it. They don’t acknowledge it. And obviously if it’s affecting people’s health – it needs to be addressed and acknowledged.”

He and other employees say they’ve experienced headaches and sinus issues related to the mold problem.

The maintenance employee said they have spoken to supervisors and meetings have been held but the hotel is doing nothing to combat the mold problem.

“I went to my highest person in the hotel, my general manager, and told her about it,” he said. “When it became apparent they were not going to properly address the issue I felt like someone needed to speak up about it and I contacted OSHA.”

Mashanda Truesdale, a former employee of the hotel said painting over the mold is the only thing you can do.

“The money that they bring in with the returning guests each week and then the only thing you can do is paint over it. It’s kind of really sad to me,” Truesdale said.

Truesdale left the hotel a couple months ago, in part because of the mold, she said.

She claims other employees have left for the same reasons.

CBS North Carolina stopped by the Courtyard Marriott by Crabtree Valley Mall for a response. An email was sent to the hotel’s general manager, as well.

A call was also placed to Summit Hospitality Group, who owns the hotel. That call has not been returned.

“Right now you’re just covering it up and its pretty bad, you might want to do something about it really quickly,” Truesdale said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed it has received a complaint and investigating.

CBS North Carolina checked with Wake County and the hotel has passed all of its most recent inspections.

There’s no mention of mold except for in a fourth-floor ice machine in March 2012.

Wake County Health Inspector Jo hill said officials can only perform a visual inspection.

“We can’t do things like peel the wallpaper back that would be the defacing a hotel room and we certainly can’t turn over ceiling tiles like that,” Hill said.

Hill said even if she smells mildew, she can’t put that on her inspection report.

She said she is only allowed to report on what she sees because smell is subjective.

Hill said she sometimes feels hamstrung by rules.

“There’s nothing in the rules that we enforce it specifically about mold,” Hill said. “If we see black mold we can document it.”

CBS North Carolina attempted to contact the hotel’s owners again Friday but could not get a comment on the situation.

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