Sands Casino Sued for Making Pregnant Maid Work in Smoking Section

Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was sued in Federal court by a custodial worker who says she was assigned to work in smoking sections while pregnant. The woman had a high-risk pregnancy due to a medical complications, yet no accommodations were made.

Katherine Ramirez began working at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in 2015 as a cleaning specialist. According to the complaint filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, she discovered she was pregnant in January of 2017.

Ramirez says she was told she had a high-risk pregnancy as well as pregnancy-induced gestational diabetes. As such, she received a note from her doctor requesting she be assigned to work in non-smoking areas.

Instead of accommodating her request, Ramirez said she was told, “I can’t have you working here with any accommodations. If you want, when you deliver your baby you can come back, but for now you are terminated,” the complaint states. She says she was then asked to sign a document which stated that she was refusing to work and therefore resigning.

Ramirez says that the casino routinely accommodated other employees by assigning them to non-smoking areas. She also says that there are several non-smoking areas in the casino, including the food court, the lobby and others.

“[Sands] discriminated against [Ramirez] due to her pregnancy and pregnancy-related disability, failed to engaged in the interactive process, failed to offer a reasonable accommodation, and terminated [her] employment in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act … and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act,” the complaint states.

Ramirez now sues on nine counts of discrimination and retaliation, and is represented by David Koller and Sarah Lavelle.