Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino Sued for Alleged Employment Discrimination

Posted on: May 3, 2023, 09:35h. 

Last updated on: May 4, 2023, 03:52h.

Las Vegas’ Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino was recently sued by a government agency for alleged employment discrimination against workers with disabilities or disorders.

Las Vegas’s Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas’ Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, pictured above. The property was sued for alleged discrimination. (Image: TripAdvisor)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the court action in Nevada District Court last month after the gaming property, for at least five years, failed to provide the employees with what regulations call “reasonable accommodations.”

In one instance, the casino allegedly fired a host diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. He wore a medically required colostomy bag.  The casino claimed the bag threatened other employees’ health, according to a report from the legal reporting site,

The casino also refused to let a dealer with back pain and sciatica work at a craps table instead of a blackjack table, added.

Besides the fired employee, the federal lawsuit claims casino management acted in a way that led to “over-scrutiny [and] threats of discipline.”

Casino managers also allegedly retaliated against workers who exercised their employment rights, according to the EEOC.

Workers Chose to Quit

Some workers believed they had no option but to quit their jobs because of actions by the gaming property. The employees suffered from disorders such as levoscoliosis (which leads to a curved spine) and sciatica (a condition that leads to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg.)

The EEOC says businesses must provide “reasonable accommodation” for disabled workers unless it causes the employer “an undue hardship.” Safeguards for disabled workers are included in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The EEOC is seeking monetary damages for the victims, including compensatory and punitive damages. The EEOC is also requesting an injunction be issued against the company.

The EEOC filed the court case in Las Vegas federal court only after it failed to reach a pre-litigation settlement.

Actions are ‘Shocking’

Robert Jarvis, a law professor at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard College of Law, told that it’s “shocking employers are still not following disability laws 33 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed.”

There simply is no excuse for any employer to violate the ADA. Given this fact, ADA violations today almost always are intentional. It certainly sounds like Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino’s alleged violations were intentional,” Jarvis said.

He called it “even more shocking” given that America’s population is aging rapidly, meaning that more workers have disabilities and therefore are covered by the ADA. It’s estimated that one in four American adults, or 61 million people, have a disability, according to Jarvis, citing information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Casinos, their human resources departments, and their lawyers should be familiar with ADA requirements, Jarvis said, adding that despite this, many employers remain biased against the disabled. contacted Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino for a response to the lawsuit. No statement was immediately provided.