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Unusual retaliation claim filed against Pittsburgh area casino

Employees should never have to fear that they will be retaliated against for complaining about unsafe or illegal working conditions. When people are being subjected to discrimination, harassment or safety hazards in the workplace, it is important that they are able to speak up to protect their rights without the fear of being fired or blacklisted in their industry.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported that a woman has claimed that she was fired by Rivers Casino after complaining about harassment, and she later lost out on a job offer at another casino when it learned about the allegations she had made against Rivers.

While this type of claim might be somewhat unusual, it is not unheard of. The Fayette County woman has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, stating that the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort retaliated against her because she sued Rivers Casino after she was fired for complaining of harassment.

According to the complaint, the woman was working as a security manager at Rivers Casino in 2011 when she reportedly was subjected to harassment from her male subordinates. When she complained to her supervisors, she was assigned a plan of action that was impossible to complete. When she failed to complete it, she was fired.

She went on to receive a job offer from Nemacolin Woodlands Resort at about the same time that she filed a lawsuit against Rivers. Shortly thereafter, Nemacolin rescinded the offer, telling her that she provided misleading information about her employment at Rivers.

Under federal employment law, employers cannot retaliate against a person based on his or her efforts to blow the whistle on an employer--current or former.

Pennsylvania workers who have been fired, demoted or refused employment for reporting illegal actions may be able to pursue a retaliation claim.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "New Pittsburgh-region casino retaliation claim filed," Rich Lord, June 27, 2013

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