Former Parx cocktail waitresses sue casino over job loss during pregnancy
Two former cocktail waitresses are suing Parx Casino, claiming they were forced out of their jobs when they became pregnant.
The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on July 5, alleges job discrimination and says the women, Alycia Campiglia, 27, of Clementon, N.J., and Christina Aicher, 31, of Bensalem, were told by Parx officials they could continue working as “Parkettes” until their uniforms no longer fit.
After that, they would have to work at the concession stand, according to the suit. Their lawyer, Sidney Gold, claimed working at the concession stand was a “significant demotion” for them.
Parx Casino officials declined comment for this story. But they told the Philadelphia Daily News that they now supply maternity uniforms for cocktail waitresses who become pregnant. That wasn’t the case when Aicher and Campiglia worked for the casino, according to the lawsuit.
Aicher worked at Parx from November 2007 until January 2009. The suit says she notified casino management of her pregnancy in November 2008 and requested a maternity uniform.
The suit states that human resources manager Susan Eckert told her, “You can only continue to work as a cocktail server up until there is no costume left to fit you” and that “you are not allowed to alter the uniform.”
Campiglia worked at Parx from January 2007 until February 2009. When she notified the casino of her pregnancy in December 2008, management reportedly told her that the “only option” to continue working after the Parkette uniform no longer fit was to transfer to the concession stand.
The suit claims that Darlene Monzo, the director of marketing, told Campiglia that she “did it to (herself),” and the “casino did not have to offer (Campiglia) anything in this economy.”
A weight policy at the casino remains in effect. According to The Associated Press, Parx chief counsel Thomas Bonner said the policy is appropriate because Parkettes are entertainers who take part in photo shoots and other promotional activities.
The Philadelphia Daily News reported that Bonner said the casino changed its policy after the women took their cause to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2009. An EEOC spokesman wouldn’t confirm or deny if any complaints had been filed against Parx.
The federal suit demands a jury trial and seeks financial damages.
The lawsuit claims the two employees were “constructively terminated.”
Legal sources say someone is “constructively terminated” when they aren’t directly fired, but rather treated in such a way that resigning is the only viable alternative.
Efforts to reach Gold for more information were unsuccessful.