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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. GNLV Corp.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

December 18, 2014

U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
GNLV CORP., d/b/a GOLDEN NUGGET HOTEL AND CASINO, and DOES 1-10, Inclusive, Defendants

For U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Plaintiff: Anna Park, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Los Angeles, CA; Blaine T Welsh, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Las Vegas, NV; Connie Liem, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Legal Unit, San Diego, CA; Devika Seth, Toby W. Costas, LEAD ATTORNEYS, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Dallas, TX; Elizabeth A Naccarato, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Las Vegas, NV; Amrita Mallik U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Honolulu, HI; Lorena Garcia, EEOC/Los Angeles District Office, Los Angeles, CA; Sue J. Noh, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Legal Unit, Los Angeles, CA.

For GNLV Corporation, doing business as, Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, Defendant: Richard A. Sheehy, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sheehy Ware & Pappas PC, Houston, Te Robert Edward Perkins, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sheehy, Ware & Pappas, P.C., Houston, TX; Thomas F. Kummer, LEAD ATTORNEY, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Las Vegas, NV.

ORDER

ROBERT C. JONES, United States District Judge.

This employment discrimination case is on remand from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Previously, this Court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims that Defendant harbored a pattern or practice of racial and sexual discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII"). (ECF No. 110). Because it granted summary judgment in Defendant's favor as to the pattern-or-practice allegations, the Court found that the claims of the six individual employees were moot. (Id. at 4). On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the pattern-or-practice ruling but held that the ruling regarding the merits of the individual employees' claims was in error, reasoning that " [a] judgment in favor of an employer on a class-wide pattern-or-practice claim does not preclude class members from bringing individual discrimination claims." (Ninth Circuit Op. 2, ECF No. 137, at 2).

The Court now rules on Defendant's individual motions for summary judgment related to the merits of each separate employee's claims of racial or sexual discrimination. (ECF Nos. 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 70). Also before the Court are the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (" EEOC") responses to Defendant's motions on behalf of each employee, (ECF Nos. 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 85), and Defendant's replies to each of the EEOC's responses, (ECF Nos. 97, 98, 99, 102, 104, 105).

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND FACTS

The procedural history of this case applies equally to each of the six individual employee claimants. In September 2006, the EEOC sued Golden Nugget Las Vegas (" GNLV") on behalf of Robert Royal and a class of similarly situated individuals employed by GNLV on the basis of racial and sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII. The charging party, Royal, and several other individuals allege that GNLV engaged in a pattern or practice of condoning and tolerating racial and sexual harassment and retaliation directed at its employees. The EEOC's theory is that GNLV created and maintained a sexually and racially hostile work environment because it tolerated individual acts of sexual and racial harassment both by its employees and by customers. The EEOC also alleges that GNLV refused to take notice of, investigate, or discipline workers or customers who subjected its employees to sexual or racial harassment. GNLV moved for summary judgment on the pattern-or-practice allegations in December 2008, (ECF No. 61), and Judge Brian E. Sandoval granted the motion. Judge Sandoval concluded that the EEOC provided insufficient evidence that Royal and the other GNLV employees were subjected to a general pattern or practice of harassment or discrimination, rendering the individual employees' claims moot. (ECF No. 110). The Ninth Circuit agreed with the pattern-or-practice ruling but disagreed that the individual employees' claims were moot and remanded the case so that this Court could determine whether to grant summary judgment as to the individual employees' claims. The individual employees allege various instances of employment discrimination that the Court will now summarize.

A. Robert Royal

Royal, an African-American, was hired to work at the Golden Nugget as a games dealer in September of 1998. (Royal Dep. 66:22-25, May 7, 2008, ECF No. 76-2) (" VI Royal Dep."). He remained employed there until February 2008 when he voluntarily left to attend barber school in Arizona. (Royal Dep. 99:22-100:12, May 8, 2008, ECF No. 76-21) (" VII Royal Dep."). Royal alleges that during his employment he was subjected to a hostile work environment arising from racial discrimination and retaliation. Royal identifies certain incidents with customers, co-workers, and supervisors that the EEOC argues are supportive of his allegations. In 1999, a customer used the word " nigger" in Royal's presence, although Royal is unsure whether it was directed at him. (VI Royal Dep. 166:4-167:6). Royal reported the customer and the floor manager on duty forced the customer to leave. (Id. at 169:3-10). Between 1999 and 2002, a customer used the term " blackie" as he was leaving the table where Royal was dealing. (Id. at 171:12-172:14). However, Royal did not report this incident to any supervisor. (Id. at 172:15-18). Royal also alleges that a customer once told him, " I'll kick your black ass." (Id. at 171:1, 182:10-18). The statement was made by a customer who was losing money in the game and was leaving Royal's table, and Royal did not report the incident to anyone. (Id. at 182:22-183:22).

Royal allegedly heard other egregious comments directed towards him by customers. In 2002, two white men were playing a three-card poker game at Royal's table when one of the men began talking about " playing craps with these two niggers . . . and them black son of bitches sure could shoot some dice." (Id. at 219:6-13). The man refused to apologize for his language and Royal called his floor supervisor. (Id. at 219:21-25). While Royal was explaining what happened to the floor supervisor, the men left the table and they did not play at Royal's table again. (Id. at 221:1-22). Another incident stands out to Royal in which he was called vulgar names by customers, including " cocksucker" and " nigger." (Id. at 184:11-16). Royal estimates that he heard the word " nigger" directed at him or others five to ten times during his employment at GNLV. (Id. at 232:15-233:1).

Royal also alleges that his co-workers and supervisors used racially demeaning language. In 2006, a co-worker told customers at Royal's table on two different occasions that " once you give it to a black, you'll never get it back." (Id. at 293:15-294:9). The co-worker would then grab Royal's buttocks. (Id. at 294:14-25). This incident was investigated by GNLV and the co-worker was eventually terminated, though not solely for his actions against Royal. (Id. at 298:21-299:5). Royal claims that on two separate occasions, two different supervisors made the comment to others that " all blacks look alike." (Id. at 305:8-20). After the first occurrence, Royal immediately reported the incident and Royal's superiors addressed the issue by speaking to the supervisor about his racial remarks. (Id. at 306:25-308:3). The second time a supervisor made this remark Royal did not report the incident to anyone at GNLV. (Id. at 309:21-310:12). Royal alleges that another supervisor made racial jokes on two different occasions, but that the jokes were not about " blacks." (Id. at 311:4-21). Royal did not report this incident either; he believed it would not change the supervisor's behavior. (Id. at 314:9-14).

Royal further alleges that the Golden Nugget retaliated against him. Royal submitted a letter dated July 12, 2002 to GNLV's Human Resources Manager regarding an incident during which customers directed racial epithets at him. (Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s First Set of Req. for Admis. ¶ 16, ECF No. 63-2). Thereafter, the EEOC claims that Royal was subjected to a pattern of disciplining that he felt was retaliatory, including Royal's suspicions that GNLV was encouraging customers to submit complaints about him. (VII Royal Dep. 47:17). The EEOC also identifies a situation in which Royal was suspended for a day after calling a customer a vulgar name. (Id. at 82:9-16). Royal alleges that the suspension was an extreme measure, though he does not remember any other dealer directing that particular type of vulgarity towards a customer. (Id. at 82:13-25). Despite these allegations, Royal never experienced a pay decrease or the denial of benefits, requests for time off, or requests for a leave of absence during his employment at the Golden Nugget. (Id. at 91:8-92:15).

B. Susie Fein

GNLV hired Susie Fein in November 1999 as a blackjack dealer. (Fein Dep. 37:18-20, 38:18-20, May 12, 2008, ECF No. 76-34). Fein's employment was terminated in September 2002. (Id. at 39:2-7). Fein complains that she suffered sexual harassment at GNLV and alleges she was retaliated against for reporting the harassment.

Fein claims she suffered sexual harassment from Ray Allen, an employee at GNLV with whom she previously had a personal relationship. (Id. at 48:22-49:14). Fein alleged that Allen " stalked" her, " star[ed] her down" at work, left a note in her pocket, left flowers on her car and " followed [her] around after work." (Id.). When Fein initially reported Allen's behavior to supervisor Jimmy Threet, Threet confronted Allen. (Id. at 50:18-51:4). While Allen's conduct outside of work stopped, his staring at Fein during work continued. (Id. at 51:8-13, 54:7-17). Fein alleges she complained again to Threet about Allen's staring, but nothing was done. (Id. at 53:11-54:6). Fein was dissatisfied with the way Threet handled her complaint. (Id. at 48:21-24).

Fein alleges she was sexually harassed by supervisor Dave Tuttle through his actions of touching her hair 20-30 times, inviting her to a cabin in Big Bear about five times, telling her " how nice [she] looked, " and his " generally, just coming on to [her]." (Id. at 55:18-58:21). Fein did not report Tuttle's behavior to anyone. (Id. at 59:10-19).

Fein also claims that one customer, " Mr. Martini, " committed particularly bad acts of sexual harassment. She alleges that he kissed her on the lips about 20 times. (Id. at 74:15-22, 76:8-13). She is not sure any supervisors witnessed these incidents. (Id. at 76:18-22). Mr. Martini also called Fein a " fucking cunt" about five times. (Id. at 77:1-7). Fein alleges that supervisors Jimmy Threet overheard this comment at least once due to his close proximity to Fein's table. (Id. at 78:5-16). Fein also alleges that a supervisor named " Del" heard these comments. (Id. at 79:15-24). Mr. Martini also called Fein a " fucking bitch" about 100-200 times. (Id. at 80:22-25). Fein alleges that supervisors Jimmy Threet, Allan Joseph, Bobby Plutte, Robert Williamson, and Dave Tuttle heard these comments due to their proximity to Fein's table. (Id. at 81:9-82:16). Fein also claims that Robert Williamson addressed Mr. Martini's comments by instructing Fein to bring a tape recorder to work. (Id. at 85:7-15). Mr. Martini also, in a " hostile" manner, slapped Fein's hands from across the table. Fein further alleges that the same supervisors witnessed this behavior (Id. at 87:18-88:10). Last, Fein alleges that Mr. Martini threw cards at her on numerous occasions and believed her supervisors witnessed this conduct because of their proximity to Fein's workspace. (Id. at 94:1-13, 95:1-7).

Fein claims a customer named " Joe" called her a " fucking bitch" about 100 times. (Id. at 96:6-20, 97:11-13). Fein believes a supervisor named " Maurice" overheard these comments at least more than once and " did nothing" about it. (Id. at 97:8-10). Fein also alleges Joe threw cards at her about 25 times and believes her supervisors saw this conduct because of their proximity to her workspace. (Id. at 98:2-4, 98:10-12, 98:25-99:3). Fein also alleges that Joe would ask for dealers of certain ethnicities and gender, and that the supervisors would accommodate these requests. (Id. at 99:12-16, 99:23-100:1).

A third customer, " Mr. Hello" allegedly called Fein a " fucking bitch" about 10 times. (Id. at 101:14-16). Fein never sought assistance from her supervisors to address Mr. Hello's comments. (Id. at 101:17-20). Fein is not sure there were witnesses to Mr. Hello's comments but believes that her supervisors witnessed the conduct due to their proximity to her workspace. (Id. at 101:21-102:10). Mr. Hello also threw cards at her about 10 times. (Id. at 105:19-106:4). Fein never reported these customers' behavior to Human Resources or Employee Relations. (Id. at 105:19-106:4).

Prior to Fein's termination in September 2002, she was reprimanded for attendance issues. Fein received a verbal warning in July 2002, a written warning in August 2002, and a one-day suspension in September 2002. (Id. at 108:21-109:11, 110:9-12, 111:14-23). At a due process hearing on her attendance issues, Fein submitted a document that she drafted that said " I love working at the Golden Nugget." (Id. at 134:15-136:8). Fein also mentioned anxiety and panic attacks she experienced at work at this hearing. (Id. at 136:12-15, 172:8-20). Fein was thereafter terminated from employment at GNLV in September 2002. (Id. at 39:2-7).

Fein encountered Supervisor David Tuttle in 2007 and claims he encouraged her to reapply for a position at GNLV. (Id. at 145:15-20). Fein claims she initiated the reapplication process, yet was never contacted for employment at GNLV. (Id. at 146:7-148:4, 148:22-149:21). Fein believes the reason she was not rehired was because of her participation in this lawsuit. (Id. at 148:5-10).

C. Ervin Nixon, Jr.

GNLV hired Ervin Nixon, Jr. as a part-time table games dealer in November 2002. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Three, ECF No. 65-3, at 3). Nixon is African-American. (Nixon Decl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 76-22). Nixon alleges he suffered racial discrimination and retaliation while employed at GNLV.

Nixon first claims GNLV discriminated against him in the manner that work was assigned and shifts were scheduled. Nixon claims GNLV's casino department was segregated by race, precluding Nixon from working in the Dice Pit. (Nixon Decl. ¶ 8). Nixon further claims that other African-American dealers were not scheduled to work in the Dice Pit, a shift Nixon considered to be the " most sought after." (Id.). Instead, Nixon worked at Table 25 for most of his time employed by GNLV, an assignment Nixon considered undesirable. (Id. ¶ 9). In the spring of 2003, Nixon complained to the Casino Manager Tommy Newman that he believed he was being discriminated against because he was black. (Id. ¶ 11). Nixon claims " nothing was done" in response to his complaint. (Id.). In January 2004, Nixon made a verbal complaint to supervisors Jack Brooks and Leonard Sina that only white dealers were assigned to work in the Dice Pit. (Id. ¶ 26). Brooks only observed minorities working at Table 25. (Nixon Dep. 126:2-4, ECF No. 65-2, at 22).

Nixon also complained to supervisors Leonard Sina and Art Fahey that other part-time dealers with less seniority than Nixon received more shifts than him. (Nixon Decl. ¶ 12). According to Nixon, " nothing was done" in response to his complaint. (Id.). In March 2003, Nixon complained to Tommy Newman about Sina not scheduling Nixon for more hours. (Id. ¶ 13). Nixon alleges that after he complained to Newman, Sina approached Nixon at Nixon's table and made physical contact with Nixon to nudge him out of the way. (Id. ¶). This contact was accompanied by Sina telling Nixon that " because [Nixon] had complained about [Sina] to Newman, [Sina] would make sure [Nixon] did not get any work days." (Id.). Nixon alleges that Sina continued to threaten Nixon for the rest of the year and assign him to Table 25 for " running to Newman reporting Sina's behavior." (Id. ¶ 18). In December 2003, Nixon complained to Tommy Newman and Human Resources regarding Sina's threats, including a written complaint to Human Resources in late December 2003. (Id. ¶ ¶ 19, 21).

Nixon also complained that Russell Leach, a white dealer, called Nixon " kid" two to three times in March 2004. (Id. ¶ 32). Nixon found this comment demeaning because he was about ten years older than Leach and believed that " kid" is a modern equivalent of " boy" which is a racially derogatory name towards African-Americans. (Id. ¶ ¶ 32, 38). When Nixon complained to Fahy about Leach's comments, Fahy said he did not " have time to bay-sit" and nothing further was done. (Id. ¶ 33). Other than Leach's " kid" remarks, there were no other racial remarks directed at Nixon during his employment at GNLV, including from customers. (Nixon Dep. 46:8-11).

Nixon also claims that he was wrongfully reprimanded for two guest complaints. First, a customer complained in August 2003 about Nixon's purportedly " rude" behavior, resulting in Nixon receiving a written warning. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Three, at 4-5). In February 2004, Nixon received another written warning for the stated reason that a guest had complained about his behavior. (Id. at 7). Nixon believed that these customer complaints were " camouflage" for disliking him because he is black. (Nixon Dep. 43:5-44:22).

Nixon additionally complained of difficulty switching shifts with co-workers. Nixon learned that a co-worker who wanted to switch shifts with Nixon was unable to because she was told by either Fahy or Sina that " only certain people can switch" shifts. (Nixon Decl. ¶ ¶ 28-29).

Nixon alleges he was retaliated against for reporting these various instances of discrimination. In December 2003, GNLV suspended Nixon for the stated reason of violating GNLV's " Zero Tolerance Policy." (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Three, at 7). In April 2004, Nixon received a three-day suspension for GNLV's stated reason of unauthorized use of a cell phone in a public area. (Id. at 9). On April 21, 2004 Nixon resigned from GNLV, allegedly because he " could no longer tolerate the cumulative effect of the racial harassment and unwarranted discipline and suspensions." (Id.; Nixon Decl. ¶ 39).

D. Eddie Mae Hunter

GNLV hired Eddie Mae Hunter as a casino dealer effective February 23, 2000. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Four, ECF No. 98-3, at 3). Hunter is an African-American female. (Hunter Dep. 127:4-9, May 9, 2008, ECF No. 76-42). Hunter complains of racial discrimination and retaliation while employed at GNLV.

On her first day of work, one of the shift managers, Kathy Garrison, called Hunter into an office and informed her she could not wear her hair in braids. (Hunter Dep. 101:1-18). When Hunter informed Garrison that the prohibition was discriminatory, Garrison promised to " find out" and " get back with [Hunter]" on the issue. (Id. at 101:20-102:2). Hunter ultimately was never required to remove her braids while employed at GNLV. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Four, at 21).

In another incident, a female customer was speaking to her husband at Hunter's blackjack table and twice referred to a black man sitting at the table as " monkey." (Hunter Dep. 94:13-95:13). Hunter believes the comment was directed at her, too, because the female said " I need that other monkey back over here." (Id.). Hunter informed her supervisor, " Paul, " of the incident at her next break. (Id. at 96:3-16). Hunter also informed Leonard Sina. (Id.). In response, Sina told Hunter that the wife and husband " were just ignorant, " while Paul said he would " give them a bad rating." (Id. at 97:2-4).

On one occasion, Hunter accidentally bumped into a female co-worker when both were turning a corner in the dealers' room. (Id. at 97:11-14). The co-worker physically pushed Hunter off, rolled her eyes, and walked off. (Id. at 97:15-17). The co-worker was Asian. (Id. at 97:12). When Hunter informed Supervisor Jack Brooks of the incident, he told Hunter that " it's [Asian] culture to be rude." (Id. at 97:18-24). Hunter believed this comment to be racial and it offended her. (Id. at 110:20-24, 111:7-8). Hunter is not sure whether Brooks said anything to the co-worker about the incident and Brooks did not discuss the incident further with Hunter. (Id. at 111:18-21).

In another experience, a co-worker " Phil" made negative comments about Al Sharpton to Hunter in the break room, offending Hunter. (Id. at 114:1-115:6). While Hunter does not remember the content of the exact comments, she does not think they were racial slurs. (Id. at 115:1-4). Hunter did not make a complaint to anyone regarding Phil's comments. (Id. at 115:20-21).

Hunter also complains that a supervisor named " Yolanda" once spoke with a customer from Mexico in Spanish while looking at Hunter and making hand gestures, which Hunter understood to mean that the two were talking about her. (Id. at 111:22-112:7). Hunter was uncomfortable with Yolanda speaking about her in another language. (Id. at 112:7-12). Hunter believes Yolanda's conduct was racial because Yolanda was Mexican, Hunter was African-American, and Yolanda knew that Hunter did not speak Spanish. (Id. at 131:24-132:5). Hunter informed supervisor " Art" of this incident, and Hunter believes Art addressed the situation with Yolanda. (Id. at 112:18-113:3).

Last, Hunter complains of an incident involving supervisor David Tuttle where Tuttle called Hunter into his office and told her she had to quit her part-time job at Fitzgerald's casino or quit her job at GNLV. (Id. at 121:21-122:11). Hunter felt Tuttle's instruction singled her out because most other employees at GNLV had other jobs at other casinos. (Id. at 122:24-123:2). While Hunter considers Tuttle's conduct harassing, she is not sure whether it was because of her race. (Id. at 126:17-127:19). Hunter continued to work at both jobs after confirming with GNLV's Human Resources that she was permitted to have another outside job. (Id. at 123:14-21).

Hunter admits to never making a complaint of harassment by customers or co-workers to Human Resources or Employment Relations at GNLV. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Four, at 19-20). Hunter submitted a letter of voluntary resignation on or around March 15, 2005. (Id. at 8). In the letter, she stated, " I truly enjoyed working at the Golden Nugget and being a proud member of the team." (Id.).

E. Dorothy Blake

GNLV hired Dorothy Blake effective September 23, 1998 as a blackjack dealer. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Five, ECF No. 68-2, at 4). GNLV terminated Blake on or around November 15, 2004, with Blake's last day working at GNLV in May 2004. (Id. at 5; Blake Dep. 32:3-5, May 13, 2008, ECF No. 76-32). Blake claims she was sexually harassed and discriminated against because she is African-American. (Blake Dep. 117:11-22).

Blake complains that a supervisor, " Gisela" would call over male pit managers to see women's artificial breasts and then the pit managers would " gawk" at these women and talk about their breasts. (Blake Dep. 75:13-23, 85:6-17). On about ten occasions, another female supervisor, Carol Andreason, would make sexual gestures and converse with Blake about sex, embarrassing Blake. (Id. at 75:24-76:7, 164:8-10). Blake told Andreason she was embarrassed and asked her to stop and Andreason would thereafter call Blake a " prude." (Id. at 75:24-76:7, 163:20-24).

On about ten occasions, supervisors Gisela and James Gelfo would hug, kiss, and pat each other's rear ends in the pit. (Id. at 76:7-13, 84:22-85:3). While this conduct made Blake uncomfortable, Blake did not report it because they were supervisors and Blake liked Gisela and did not want to get her in trouble. (Id. at 86:2-7).

One time in mid-2002 during 15 minutes of downtime in the pit, a supervisor " Lisa" drew a man on a rating slip with a large penis and laughed and joked with the floor supervisor about how she wanted a man with a penis that size. (Id. at 76:14-25, 82:14-19, 102:13-17). Blake found the incident offensive but did not report it because it was a supervisor and Blake did not want to lose her job. (Id. at 103:5-15). Richard Freeman had told Blake to " be careful" about what she complained about " because she might end up in the mail room." (Id. at 103:16-24).

Sometime in 2001 or 2002, a male customer told Blake that he would like to take Blake out and " eat [her] pussy." (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Five, ECF No. 68-2, at 23). The male customer made comments to this effect about three times while playing at Blake's table. (Blake Dep. 90:3-8, ECF No. 68-3). Blake called out to supervisor Carol Andreason across the pit to get her attention and told her she needed to " come over here and get this man, because he's talking out of line." (Id. at 91:7-9). Andreason said, " You can handle it. You're a big girl." (Id. at 91:13-15). Blake did not tell Andreason the particular comments that the customer had said to her at this time. (Id. at 91:21-24). Blake continued to deal to the customer for 20 more minutes. (Id. at 92:16-19). When Blake went on break, she told Andreason the exact words the customer told her. (Id. at 92:20-24). When Blake returned from the break, the customer was still at her table and played for another 30 minutes. (Id. at 94:10-12). Andreason and Leonard Sina both came to stand by Blake's table for a few minutes and the customer's vulgar comments ceased. (Id. at 94:10-16, 96:7-9, 96:10-20). Blake believes Andreason and Sina handled the situation improperly and thought they should have removed the customer from Blake's table. (Id. at 97:16-21). Blake did not report this incident to Human Resources. (Id.).

Blake also witnessed several supervisors, including Jack Brooks, James Gelfo, and Leonard Sina, comment on " how hot women were" and talk about " want[ing] to take them home." (Id. at 158:9-25). On about 15 occasions, Gelfo used graphic words to describe how he would satisfy women in bed but Blake could not recall the exact words. (Id. at 159:1-25, 162:6). Supervisor " Todd" also made comments about women's anatomy and talked about what " he [was] going to do to them" on about five to ten occasions. (Id. at 165:7-25, 166:13-15, 167:16-23). When Blake told Todd his comments made her uncomfortable, Todd laughed. (Id. at 166:16-21).

Blake believes she was also racially discriminated against at GNLV. (Id. at 125:6-126:4). She believes she was discriminated against on the basis of her race by being assigned to work the " Big Six" game for more than six months after she was hired, because there were other dealers that could have been assigned to the game but were not. (Id.). Blake also observed several white dealers that were hired after Blake and were immediately given a schedule with Saturdays and Sundays off, while Blake had a standing request for that schedule and was denied the request for over six months. (Id. at 126:24-127:8, 128:20-129:4). Additionally, people hired after Blake received priority over Blake in the hours they worked. (Id. at 123:13-124:5). Blake specifically identifies a Caucasian woman who was given Blake's preferred schedule of 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. before Blake, even though she was hired after Blake. (Id. at 130:9-23). Blake also believes she was discriminated against by being assigned to the " Super Fun" game because she was the only African-American on that particular shift and was " always assigned to Super Fun." (Id. at 197:14-21). The Super Fun game was less desirable because it was difficult to deal the cards. (Id. at 198:6-13).

In 1998, Blake overheard Sina telling another African-American dealer that they only got their jobs because they are black or on welfare. (Id. at 116:21-117:10). Blake believes this comment was directed at her, too, because there was a large group of African-Americans, including Blake, hired at the same time. (Id. at 117:11-22).

One supervisor, " Kimberly, " asked Blake about ten to twenty times if the black customers at Blake's table were her friends, when the customers were in fact not Blake's friends. (Id. at 124:6-19, 133:12-19). Kimberly did not ask whether a white customer at Blake's table was her friend when in fact the customer was Blake's friend. (Id.).

In another instance, Blake asked " Pamela, " the acting pit manager, to go home early because she was ill. (Id. at 134:10-25). Pamela instructed Blake she may leave early with the implication that Blake would not receive any attendance " points." (Id.). Subsequently, GNLV assessed the points to Blake and did not remove the points from Blake's record until Pamela verified that no points should be assessed. (Id. at 135:1-136:5). Blake learned that another white employee, Valerie Funk, " [went] home all the time without a point." (Id. at 136:5-14).

Starting in March 2001, Blake received a series of attendance points, verbal counselings, and warnings as a result of absences from work. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Five, at 5-7). From May 2003 to October 2004, GNLV granted a series of Blake's requests for leave and intermittent leave due to a medical condition associated with back issues. (Id. at 8-10). On or around November 1, 2004, after Blake failed to return to work from a medical leave of absence, GNLV placed Blake on a suspension pending investigation. (Id. at 10). Blake had a due process meeting with GNLV on November 5, 2004 where she expressed that she hoped to be able to reapply for her job because she enjoyed working at GNLV. (Id. at 11). Blake made no complaints of employment discrimination or harassment at this meeting. (Id.).

Blake admits to never complaining of harassment by customers, co-workers, or supervisors to Human Resources or Employee Relations during her employment at GNLV. (Pl.'s Resp. Req. Admis., Set Five, at 21-22). As of the date of Blake's deposition in May 2008, Blake had still not returned to work due to her medical condition. (Blake Dep. 32:9-11).

F. Tequella Candice Smith

GNLV hired Tequella Candice Smith as a kitchen steward on August 1, 2002. (Smith Dep. 15:15-24, ECF No. 76-42). As a kitchen steward, Smith worked in multiple kitchens and locations at the GNLV property. (Id. at 26:17-20). Smith ...


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