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Former Encore front-desk worker alleges pregnancy discrimination

Her lawsuit claims the casino fired her over absences due to morning sickness and fatigue

The Encore Boston Harbor casino.
The Encore Boston Harbor casino.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

A former front-desk employee at the Encore Boston Harbor casino alleges that management discriminated against her while she was pregnant, including by denying her requests to wear comfortable shoes.

In a lawsuit filed March 23 in Suffolk Superior Court, Ana Garcia-Risk claims she was fired in early 2020 after months of struggling to secure accommodations that would make it easier for her to work. She is seeking unspecified damages.

The Chelsea resident alleges that she made several requests to change her schedule to minimize disruptions caused by morning sickness and fatigue before finally securing a new shift. By then, Garcia-Risk claims, she had already begun to accrue “points” assessed by her employer for absences and had received a written warning for being late.

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The suit says Garcia-Risk moved to a day shift in December 2019, which helped, but she continued to have issues, including suffering from nausea at work. Garcia-Risk says she also asked to wear flats instead of heels to work more comfortably, but she was not allowed to do so, and was denied “appropriate breaks.”

Garcia-Risk was suspended because of poor attendance in mid-December 2019 and terminated in February 2020, according to court documents.

An Encore spokeswoman declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing individual employees or ongoing litigation. The company had not responded to the suit as of Wednesday, according to online court records.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.