Former Encore Boston Harbor Employee Files Lawsuit
A former employee of the Encore Boston Harbor has filed a new lawsuit claiming she was fired from the casino because she was pregnant.
There are many reasons to fire someone. If a person does not do their job correctly, is always late, or causes problems in the office. However, there are also reasons one should not be fired, a big one being discrimination. One former employee of the Encore Boston Harbor is claiming that she was fired after she became pregnant. After asking for certain changes to her position, the employee was fired instead of worked with by Wynn.
Ana Garcia-Risk first became employed by the Encore in May 2019. She was hired to work at the front-desk. She claims that after she became pregnant, her job became uncomfortable and was terminated because of the issue.
Garcia-Risk filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court where she claims Wynn Resorts did not approve requests, she made to be able to continue working comfortably. She was not allowed to wear comfortable shoes and had to wear heels in her position. She was also suffering from morning sickness, so she asked the company to allow her to work a different shift to avoid morning sickness.
The plaintiff stated further that she was given negative points for absences and being late due to morning sickness. By February 2020, she was fired by the company. The Encore has not commented on the lawsuit at this time, stating that they will not discuss ongoing legal matters.
In the claim, Garcia-Risk is seeing compensation from the company for firing her. She would like to be paid her lost wages as well as damages for emotional distress, plus attorney’s fees and costs. This amount would be over $50,000.
The suit names Wynn Resorts, the casino parent company, and the assistant front officer manager for the casino, Brady Murray, as defendants. In the claim, it states that Garcia-Risk was suffering from extreme fatigue, morning sickness, vomiting, and other health conditions. She was discriminated against by her employer due to being pregnant and/or her gender.
It states further that the company did not conduct in good faith nor interact with Garcia-Risk as they should have. The defendants face seven actions including gender discrimination and pregnancy discrimination. Each count is listed in the filing and will be considered as the case moves forward.
Massachusetts Stance on Pregnancy Discrimination
While many people have not heard about pregnancy discrimination, it does exist. Women are often treated differently for just being women. In Massachusetts, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act bans employers from discriminating against individuals due to pregnancy or conditions related to pregnancy.
Employers must not treat job applicants or employees less favorably than others if they are pregnant or suffering from a condition related to pregnancy. They are obligated to accommodate the individual. All reasonable requests must be approved. An example of reasonable accommodation would be to allow longer or frequent breaks, time off, seating or equipment when needed as well as a modified work schedule.
It seems that the Wynn Resorts staff at the Encore did no such thing when it came to Garcia-Risk’s needs during the pregnancy. In general, a request to wear comfortable shoes does not seem overboard, nor asking to switch shifts to avoid morning sickness on the job.
Did her male manager not care or understand the need for such requests, or was he just ‘doing his job’? It will be interesting to see the outcome of this case. Right now, all signs point to Wynn Resorts having to pay up. Will it change the way the company does business in the future? Will more consideration be given to women in similar positions within the workplace at Wynn or other casino operators?