Paul Ross worked for MGM Grand Detroit in Michigan, one of MGM Resorts International’s properties, for almost 20 years. He started as a slot supervisor, working his way up the ladder to become assistant shift manager. The 49-year-old had done well, able to be relatively comfortable and secure with his substantial tenure at the casino, even if he hadn’t reached the rung he aspired to attain. However, this past February he was suddenly let go and everything came to a grinding halt; his world turned upside down in the blink of an eye. Ross, an African-American, now asserts that his dismissal was unlawful and is suing the venue, and MGM Resorts, for discrimination.
Ross has filed suit against his former employer in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. He is seeking damages and injunctive relief over his dismissal, which, he asserts, should have been prohibited according to federal and state laws. He believes that his age or color—or both—played a role in his dismissal. He additionally asserts that it could have also been in retaliation for complaints he lodged against the casino.
The former employer had complained about ten years ago that he wasn’t given the right to take time off to care for his daughter when she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. At the time, he argued that female employees had been given the opportunity to miss work, in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but that the same courtesy was not extended to him. He asserted that this was a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits “employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”
In further attempting to substantiate his claims of discrimination, Ross highlights an incident that occurred in 2015. He was forced to escort a gambler out of the casino for his behavior, at the request of security personnel, and was subsequently punched in the face by the individual. He required eight stitches and was out of work for eight days. Although the incident was work-related, he wasn’t able to successfully contact workers’ compensation personnel for three months after returning to duty.
When he finally made contact, he was told that he would be fired unless he applied for leave of absence for the missed days. MGM’s legal team told him that he wasn’t entitled to workers’ compensation because he went to a hospital instead of a company-chosen urgent care facility. He lost paid time off and initially had to pay a $250 hospital bill. MGM would ultimately agree to cover that bill.
There are other examples Ross uses to support his lawsuit, including being passed over for promotion three times as others with less experience were selected. The amount of compensation being claimed in the lawsuit wasn’t mentioned.