U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Company Discriminated Against Female and Older Applicants by Refusing to Hire Them for Various Positions, Federal Agency Charged
DENVER - RCH Colorado, owner and operator of the Reserve Casino Hotel, a prominent hotel and casino in Central City, Colo., violated federal law by not hiring older candidates and females with equal or greater qualifications over males and younger applicants, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit.
EEOC says RCH Colorado, formerly known as Luna Gaming Central City, bought the casino, formerly known as the Fortune Valley Hotel and Casino, in January 2011 and after the sale, hired approximately 240 employees. RCH Colorado failed to hire female and/or older applicants in a variety of different positions choosing instead to hire males and younger, less qualified applicants.
EEOC alleges that prior to the sale of Fortune Valley, comments were made by employees of RCH Colorado about the need to get rid of the "gray hairs" and that there were "too many old, fat, ugly and gray-haired employees," working at Fortune Valley. EEOC's investigation found a significant disparity in the hiring of female applicants and/or applicants age 40 and older.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employment discrimination based on sex. EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (EEOC v. RCH Colorado, Case No. 1:15-cv-02170-NYW) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC's suit seeks monetary damages for four older female applicants and other victims, and injunctive relief intended to prevent RCH Colorado from further discriminating on the basis of age and/or sex.
"Eliminating barriers in hiring is a high priority for EEOC," said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neil of the Phoenix District Office. "This is particularly true with respect to older female workers, who continue to face discrimination based on incorrect assumptions about their skills and capabilities. As an agency, we are committed to the elimination of age and sex discrimination in the workplace."
EEOC Denver District Director John Lowrie said, "The ADEA and Title VII are clear that discrimination on the basis of a person's age and/or sex is a violation of federal law. Instead, employers should focus on the qualifications of an individual when making hiring decisions."
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.