DARLENE JESPERSEN'S official Harrah's personal best photograph.
Jespersen v. Harrah's
Text of the federal civil rights filing
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
DARLENE JESPERSEN, an individual, Plaintiff,
HARRAH'S OPERATING COMPANY, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant.
Plaintiff for her Complaint against Defendant complains and avers as follows:
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the federal claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 § 1343 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3). The Court has jurisdiction over the state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Plaintiff exhausted administrative remedies, obtained a right to sue notification from the EEOC, and brings this action within 90 days of receipt thereof.
Defendant engages in interstate commerce.
Defendant employs 15 or more persons.
Defendant employed Plaintiff.
In February of 2000, Defendant, in its Beverage Department, initiated its "Personal Best" program and forced it upon employees of the Beverage Department, including Plaintiff. Later, Defendant forced an additional requirement that women wear makeup. Plaintiff refused. Plaintiff opposed the policy as discriminatory. Males were not required to wear makeup. Males were forbidden to wear makeup. Makeup did not enhance performance. Men accomplished the same tasks without makeup. Makeup was not a bona fide qualification for Plaintiff's occupation.
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF (DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF)
Defendant intended to discriminate against Plaintiff with its policy. Defendant's policy is discriminatory per se, because it discriminates against women by (1) subjecting them to terms and conditions of employment to which men are not similarly subjected, and (2) by requiring that women conform to the sex-based stereotypes as a term and condition of employment.
The policy resulted in disparate impact upon women employees. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201, this Court should enter a declaratory judgment in Plaintiff's favor and against Defendant striking the policy as violating federal law, and enjoining Defendant from enforcing that policy.
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Plaintiff is female in gender. Plaintiff performed her job satisfactorily. Plaintiff was put on leave by Defendant involuntarily. Plaintiff was ordered by Defendant to transfer. Any available positions were lesser paying. Any available positions were at odds with Plaintiff's experience level. Defendant terminated Plaintiff. Plaintiff was replaced by a male as qualified or less qualified than Plaintiff. Males similarly situated were not required to comply with the same policy, and thus did not suffer the same adverse employment actions.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, Defendant has engaged in intentional discrimination based upon gender, rendering it liable to Plaintiff for compensatory and punitive damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1981a and for attorney's fees under § 1988. Defendant is separately liable in equity for back pay with interest. Defendant is separately liable in equity for front pay.
THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Plaintiff is female in gender. Defendant enforced said policy against Plaintiff in the foregoing manner, and engaged in the adverse employment actions, because of Plaintiff's gender and because of its stereotypical views concerning Plaintiff's gender. Defendant acted intentionally. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, Defendant has engaged in intentional discrimination based upon gender, rendering it liable to Plaintiff for the same compensatory and punitive damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1981a, for the same equitable relief and for attorney's fees under § 1988.
FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Plaintiff opposed conduct she reasonably perceived to violate Title VII and to be discriminatory on the basis of gender, both in her refusals to comply with the makeup policy and refusals to transfer. Plaintiff's opposition caused or was a substantial or motivating factor in Defendant's adverse employment actions. Plaintiff participated in filing a charge of discrimination with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, and participated in confidential talks with Defendant in that process. Defendant retaliated against Plaintiff based upon said participation by disclosing the content of the confidential talks to the public for the purpose of demeaning her charge of discrimination publicly. Defendant is liable to Plaintiff for damages and attorneys fees under 42 U.S.C. Sections 2000e-3, 1981a and 1988, and in equity for back pay and front pay.
FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Defendant's conduct was outrageous. Defendant's conduct was done intentionally or recklessly. Defendant's conduct proximately caused severe emotional distress to Plaintiff, and she is entitled to an award of damages exceeding $10,000.00 in amount, including punitive damages.
SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in its supervision and training and management such as to avoid foreseeable harm to Plaintiff, including unnecessary emotional distress and lost wages. Such negligence included the promulgation of the subject makeup policy or requirement and the manner in which Plaintiff's refusal to comply was handled. As a direct and proximate result, Plaintiff has suffered and is entitled to past and future general damages, including emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, harm to reputation, grief, harm to career, loss of enjoyment of life, and special damages, including lost wages, all in sums exceeding $10,000.00 in amount.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment in her favor and against Defendant as follows:
For damages and equitable compensation as aforeplead; For reasonable attorney's fees; For declaratory and injunctive relief as aforeplead; and
For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
DATED this 6th day of July, 2001.
LAW OFFICE OF JEFFREY A. DICKERSON
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