More than 20 current and former casino workers have filed two class action lawsuits charging that Club One Casino engaged in discrimination by segregating and reducing the hours of Hmong poker dealers, as well as firing its older employees. The Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, in Los Angeles, and the law firm of Minami Tamaki LLP in San Francisco represent the workers in both lawsuits.
Club One Casino, which runs the biggest card room in central California, is one of the largest employers in Fresno, with more than 300 employees. In 2008, Club One was acquired by new management when Kyle Kirkland assumed control of Club One’s operations.
The class action lawsuits were filed Monday in Fresno Superior Court. Chang et al. v. Club One Casino was filed on behalf of 15 Asian workers alleging race and national origin discrimination, and Caglia et al. v. Club One Casino was filed on behalf of six older workers alleging age discrimination. The lawsuits allege that under Kirkland’s management, Club One sought to create a new image, one that excluded its Hmong and older workers even though many had been working at Club One for more than 10 years. Chang et al v. Club One Casino also alleges that the casino, as part of company-wide pattern of employment discrimination, targeted Hmong and other Asian employees with real or perceived accents.