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Atlantic City Worker: Casinos Failing to Advance Blacks

5 July 2002

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Some 2 1/2 years after a court ordered gaming regulators to stop enforcing affirmative-action rules at casinos, blacks are being denied promotions to upper management, a longtime employee claimed on Wednesday.

"`We're at the point that the glass ceiling is being lowered to a ridiculously low level,' Lennox Warner told members of the Casino Control Commission.

"…Warner, a 53-year-old African American from Atlantic City, said he worked 20 years as a dealer and floorperson at Harrah's Atlantic City. He said he was repeatedly denied promotions to pit boss before accepting a downsizing buyout last year. He said Resorts informed him last week that he had failed to pass the 90-day new-hire probation and wouldn't tell him why.

"…Casino commissioners did not respond to Warner's remarks, which came during the public-comment period of Wednesday's regularly scheduled meeting.

"`One reason I didn't answer is that we don't have any way of knowing,' Chairman James Hurley said afterwards. `It has been taken away by the courts. ...

"`I heard him and have no reason to disbelieve him, but I don't have any proof that he's right.'

"…The commission stopped enforcing the affirmative-action portion of its Equal Employment and Business Opportunity Plan in November 1999, when a U.S. appeals court struck down Resorts' affirmative-action plan as discriminatory.

"…The EEBOP, drafted in 1993, required casinos to set `goals' of having 46 percent of their workforce be female and 25 percent be minority in most job categories. Only one casino, Claridge in 1999, ever came close to achieving those numbers in all categories…"

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