A Pittsburgh Rivers Casino cocktail waitress was awarded more than $1 million by a federal jury when it found the casino liable for violating its own zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy.
After Wednesday’s verdict, cocktail waitress Allyson Pelesky was awarded $150,000, and after deliberating further an additional $999,000 was awarded in punitive damages on Thursday.
According to Pelesky, after a player at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania casino sexually harassed her in April by putting a $1 chip in her bra and touching her breast while she was working, all she wanted was the casino to ban the high-roller from the establishment.
Pelesky said, “From the very beginning, all I asked was that this man did not come back to the casino. I didn’t want to have to see him every day,” and added “Whether you’re a waitress or a manager, it doesn’t matter. We just deserve respect wherever.” According to Pelesky, since the incident she has been ridiculed by co-workers.
The incident was investigated by the state police, but the waitress chose not to press charges after the casino banned the customer accused of assaulting her, but the casino rescinded the lifetime ban 40 days later.
According to Tim Barry, Pelesky’s attorney, evidence presented supported the jury’s ruling. The casino does not agree with the ruling and said “we will be considering our options.”