Former Dealer Sues Horseshoe Casino Cleveland for Failing to Protect Her from Sexual Harassment & Creating Hostile Work Environment

A former table games dealer at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland has sued her former employer and three supervisors in federal court, making the claim that she was sexually harassed by casino patrons and that her supervisors did nothing to put a stop to it.

Barbara Holtz, 50, of Walton Hills, was employed at the casino from March 19, 2012, until she was fired on April 26, 2013. Holtz filed the lawsuit on December 16, 2013, in U.S. District Court, which has been assigned to Judge Donald Nugent.

Officials at the casino have denied the allegations contained in the 18-page complaint. Holtz claimed in the lawsuit that shortly after being hired, a high-roller casino patron targeted her for sexual harassment. She accused the foul-mouthed man, who was a regular at her table, of frequently propositioning her for sex and making routine, derogatory comments about Catholics, Jews, and blacks. Holtz says that after complaining to her bosses, she requested to be moved to a different table and filed several written reports.

Holtz claims that the sexual harassment by the high-roller and some of his friends not only continued, but got worse, and says that rather than putting a stop to the harassment and protecting her, the casino retaliated against her and created a hostile work environment.

Holtz was eventually fired from the casino after bosses accused her of being rude to customers and cursing at a manager -- accusations that she denies and says are "a pre-textual fabrication designed to disguise unlawful retaliation."

In the lawsuit, Holtz asks for her job back and more than $25,000 in damages due to sufferig serious emotional distress.

Lawyers and a spokesperson for the casino have declined to comment on the case, citing the pending lawsuit. The casino has, however, filed a 14-page response to the allegations in which they claim that Holtz's own actions contributed to her alleged injuries. Lawyers for the casino also deny Holtz's accusations and claim that her supervisors had no knowledge of the incidents that she described. They are also challenging her claim of suffering serious emotional distress.

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