CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha County man is suing Mardi Gras Casino & Resort for wrongful termination of employment.
Andrew T. O'Meara began his employment as a dealer with the defendant in April 2010, according to a complaint filed June 2 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
O'Meara claims prior to securing employment with the defendant, he invested significant time and money in educational programs that allowed him to secure a specialized certificate as a Blackjack dealer.
During his employment, O'Meara performed his duties in a satisfactory and exemplary manner, according to the suit.
O'Meara claims he suffers from limited endurance and mobility due to a life-long weight control problem and related health issues, which the West Virginia Human Rights Act considers a disability.
Because of O'Meara's disability he is unable to stand for long periods of time cannot walk quickly and cannot walk for substantial periods without resting, according to the suit, as well as suffers from severe anxiety regarding his physical appearance at times when he perceives his appearance is being ridiculed.
O'Meara claims the defendant required dealers to wear specific uniforms, but the uniform he was given was not a properly-fitting uniform. He claims because it did not fit properly, it was impossible for him to comply with the defendant's uniform rules.
Upon informing the defendant that the uniform did not fit properly, O'Meara was subjected to "adverse actions" because he was unable to comply with the uniform rules, according to the suit.
O'Meara claims on June 12, 2010, he was reprimanded for taking his breaks in the outside area that was previously approved by the Casino supervisors, so later that day he asked the Casino supervisor to designate an acceptable location ofr him to take his mandatory break.
The Casino supervisor "sarcastically instructed plaintiff to follow him and proceeded to lead plaintiff through aisles of closely-arranged slot machines, crowded with customers, where there was obviously not enough room for the plaintiff to pass through. Plaintiff had to apologize to numerous customers as he attempted to squeeze past them," the complaint states.
O'Meara claims the experience of being marched through the crowded rows was extremely humiliating and that the supervisor was attempting to deliberately humiliate him and create a hostile work environment.
On June 22, 2010, O'Meara was informed he was being fired for performance issues, according to the suit.
O'Meara is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Cameron S. McKinney, David L. Grubb and Kristina Thomas Whiteaker.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-907