DFEH Wins Race and Sex Discrimination Court Case

November 5, 2015

For Immediate Release

Proposition Player Corporation at Casino refuses to promote Filipina woman but promotes Chinese males

SACRAMENTO – A San Mateo County jury has returned a $68,954 verdict against the company that staffs a Colma casino in a case brought by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) on behalf of a Filipina-American woman who alleged she was passed over for promotion at a casino because of her race and sex.

Maria Escueta, 32, filed a complaint with DFEH in 2013 against Fortune Players Group, Inc. (FPG), which employs the people who work at the Lucky Chances Casino in Colma after she had been denied promotions for which she was qualified.

Attorneys for DFEH argued that on at least three different occasions, Ms. Escueta asked to be considered for promotion, and each time was told that there were no openings. However, her supervisors promoted seven other employees during that period who were either male or of Chinese descent.

After Ms. Escueta filed a complaint with the department, FPG retained an investigator to conduct an independent investigation of their hiring and promotion practices. During the trial, the jury heard evidence that the operations manager told the investigator women were not “thick- skinned” enough to handle the players at the card table.

“Whether in a casino, a farm field, or a boardroom, employees in California have a right to be considered for promotions and other workplace opportunities without regard to their sex, race, national origin, or other protected categories,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “This verdict is a reminder that these forms of discrimination are alive in our society, and the DFEH is serious about combatting them.”

After five days of testimony and two days of deliberation the jury found that FPG discriminated against Ms. Escueta because of her race and sex, and failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination. It ordered FPG to compensate Ms. Escueta for lost wages and emotional distress. The case was tried by DFEH attorneys Nelson Chan and Roya Ladan.


The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. CRD’s mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.

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