OSHA’s General Duty Clause says employers have to furnish places of employment free from hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Does that include a smoke-free workplace? One casino faces a lawsuit.
The mother of a former casino dealer who died of cancer last year has filed a lawsuit against Harrah’s New Orleans, accusing the company of “failing to provide a safe workplace.”
Denise Bevrotte filed the case on behalf of her son, Maceo Bevrotte, Jr., alleging his “cancer is directly linked to the long-term second-hand smoke exposure that he suffered as an employee of Harrah’s.”
The lawsuit could turn into a class action case. A federal judge will rule on that. If approved, more than 1,000 former and current Harrah’s employees could join the lawsuit.
In recent years, Harrah’s has made some poker rooms and gaming tables smoke free. But Maceo’s mother calls that too little, too late.
This isn’t the first such lawsuit. Lawyers have filed two class-action lawsuits against Las Vegas casinos, alleging that the health of employees is being affected by second-hand smoke. One is against the Wynn Las Vegas with another against Caesars Palace. Last fall, a federal judge refused Wynn’s request to throw out the lawsuit.
Do casino or other business owners owe a duty to their employees to provide a smoke-free environment? Let us know what you think in the Comments Box below.