Sports stars and celebrities frequent casinos across the country on a regular basis. Some like to gamble while others work as promoters or hosts for special events. Michael L. Merriweather is a former sports star who recently worked with a casino, but has now served the casino with a lawsuit claiming he was treated unfairly because of his race.
Merriweather played as linebacker for the Steelers in the 80s and was hired by The Meadows two years ago as the Director of Sports Marketing. Merriweather was supposed to promote sports type events from Steelers themed events in Black and Gold to bowling and other gambling tournaments. The former football star was supposed to be paid a certain salary as well as commissions for the position.
It was not long after he was hired that Merriweather, according to court documents, began to be treated poorly by the other managers on staff. He would be subject to stereotypical comments such as: “I don’t want him to get mad” or “I don’t want him to beat me up”. Merriweather is black and felt as though the comments and actions taken by certain people at the casino were uncalled for.
The court documents also show that one person positioned above Merriweather, who is white, did not properly code clients game play, which in turn lost Merriweather his commissions. This happened several times and Merriweather spoke with the general manager. After some time, the white managers took their actions to the next level, by not answering any emails from Merriweather, keeping him from attending meetings and even not speaking when passing.
Eventually Merriweather’s office was taken away and he was told to work in the common area. By January of last year, he was fired. Merriweather is now suing the casino owners, the Cannery Casino Resorts and The Washington Trotting Association. Merriweather claims the casino subjected him to disparate treatment due to his race and was in violation of state human relation laws. The company also broke the wage laws in the state as he was not paid the promised commissions. Merriweather would like to have his lost wages paid as well as be paid for punitive damages along with attorney’s fees.
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