Muslim employees of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington said they felt discriminated against after being barred over the weekend from floors where an Israeli delegation was staying, a Muslim advocacy group said.

One hotel worker whose duties involve going to all the hotel's floors said he was preparing for his shift Friday when his supervisor told him to steer clear of the eighth and ninth floors, where Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his delegation had booked rooms.

"I said, 'Why?' said the worker, who is Muslim and wanted to remain unidentified to protect his job. He said his supervisor told him, "They're Israelis there, and they don't want no face-to-face with Muslims."

The hotel's general manager, Amanda Hyndman, said the hotel rearranged some shifts and told some workers not to come in after a routine State Department background check found "irregularities" in the checks of 12 employees.

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