EEOC: Caesars Palace Subjected Class of Kitchen Workers to Sexual Harassment

April 19, 2005

A class of kitchen workers was severely sexually harassed by supervisors for years at famed Las Vegas hotel/casino Caesars Palace, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in an employment discrimination lawsuit. The EEOC also said Caesars management illegally retaliated against employees for complaining about the abuse.

The EEOC’s suit, EEOC v. Caesars Entertainment, Inc., et al., CV-S-05-0427-LRH-PAL., was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against hotel and casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. / Park Place Entertainment Corporation.

The EEOC alleges that since 2000, kitchen workers at Caesars Palace were victimized by egregious harassment, including:

* A supervisor trying to have forced sex with a worker when she was four months pregnant;
* Another supervisor exposing himself to the same employee three to four times, making lewd suggestions and forcing her hand to his private parts;
* A third supervisor showing another worker nude pictures, forcibly grabbing her breasts, buttocks and kissing her as he exposed himself and performed lewd acts on her;
* Yet another supervisor grabbing an employee by her hair and forcing her face to his private parts and forcing oral sex on her;
* Other instances of fondling the charging parties and demanding oral sex;
* Supervisors offering favorable treatment in exchange for sex.

The suit also charges that employees who complained about the harassment by supervisors were subjected to retaliation in the form of demotion, loss of wages, further harassment, discipline or discharge.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation. The EEOC filed suit after reportedly exhausting its conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement.

The Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, Anna Park, added, “All sexual harassment is wrong and illegal. The EEOC is absolutely determined to stop this misconduct.”

Olophius Perry, District director of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, said, “Employees need to be encouraged to report harassment of all kinds. Disciplining or discharging an employee for trying to do what is required under the law is simply wrong, and the EEOC will be steadfast in protecting employees against acts of retaliation.”

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