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Workers say Queens casino is plagued with violence, harassment

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They say they’re getting a raw deal.

Women working at Resorts World Casino endure harassment and physical assaults from badly behaving bettors, grabby gamblers and violent male co-workers — and it’s all because of their employer’s let-it-ride attitude, court records charge.

Bartender Tuwanna (Trish) Anderson said the violence and harassment is systemic at the popular Queens racino — and she has the injuries to prove it.

She filed a lawsuit against co-worker Toman Davis and the casino’s owner, Genting Group, saying Davis choked her while on the job on July 4. The chilling assault was captured on surveillance video — and even reviewed by security directors — but no one came to the rescue, her lawsuit says.

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“I thought he was going to kill me,” Anderson, 48, told the Daily News. “I kept saying, ‘Don’t worry. (Security) is coming.’ Why didn’t they come?”

Other women on the staff had previously complained about bartender Davis’ violence and unsafe conditions for female servers in general, but nothing changed, the lawsuit says.

In fact, harassment seems to be the norm at the South Ozone Park gambling mecca, according to a Sept. 8, 2016, arbitration decision connected to Jisselle Pellot, who was fired after a woman who was a customer choked her during a dispute over a phone.

Pellot and two other women, both servers, testified during the arbitration proceeding that customers routinely cursed and harassed them. Some have even hurled drinks.

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The unsettling environment, they testified, was the result of the casino reducing the number of servers — forcing cranky customers to wait longer for drinks — and the number of security guards.

Shontay Strobert-Bowman, a cocktail waitress on the overnight shift, testified that crabby customers harassed and screamed profanities at her on a daily basis. When the abuse is too much, she reports them to security — but the house doesn’t bounce them.

Workers say Queens casino is plagued with violence, harassment Tuwanna Anderson says co-worker Toman Davis choked her on the job. She is suing the casino. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

“Typically, the security guard will come over and meet with the patron, but nearly always allows the patron to remain in the casino,” the arbitrator, Elliott Shriftman, wrote in his decision quoting Strobert-Bowman.

Nicole Landano, a server and union delegate, testified that on more than 12 occasions, customers have either touched her, twirled her or grabbed her around the waist. She recalled one boorish bettor urinating behind a service bar.

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In his decision, Shriftman said “it boggles the mind” that the casino doesn’t give servers formal training for handling disorderly customers.

He ordered Pellot reinstated to the job. He also urged the union to bring another grievance about the lack of security and servers at the casino.

“Over and over again, our safety and the respect for us as women was traded off for money,” said Anderson, who has not returned to work since she was choked and said she now needs spinal fusion surgery for her injuries.

The casino — which took in $768 million in revenue between April 2017 and February — said its top priority is providing a safe environment for employees and patrons.

“We take allegations of any form of harassment, by employees or customers, seriously and every complaint is fully investigated,” said Michelle Stoddart, the casino’s director of community relations.

“Our employees undertake mandatory harassment training annually, can report a complaint anonymously to our human resources department and are supported by a large contingent of security and surveillance staff.”

The casino declined to comment on the legal cases but said it beefed up security in 2015 by hiring off-duty NYPD officers.

Workers say Queens casino is plagued with violence, harassment Toman Davis is accused of assaulting Anderson. The alleged attack was caught on surveillance video, yet security staff did nothing to intervene.

The Hotel Trades Council, the union repping the casino employees, said it has zero tolerance for workplace harassment. After the Pellot case, the union successfully pushed the casino to make 10 part-time security workers full-time employees.

It said it also got the casino to install doors on cocktail server beverage rooms. The casino additionally agreed to start providing panic buttons to cocktail waitresses in October 2017.

Davis declined to comment.

Anderson worked at the casino for nearly seven years and was cited for exemplary service by her employer on at least three occasions.

She said Davis — a bodybuilder — showed up for work an hour late and intoxicated on July 4. He flew into a rage and choked her when Anderson suggested he remove his sunglasses, according to the lawsuit.

Anderson said she was too terrified to report the incident when it happened and had to endure other insults from Davis over the next hour.

“I should have kicked you in your p---y,” he said, according to the lawsuit.

Davis allegedly went home halfway through the shift because he was too drunk.

Anderson accused security of dropping the ball. She said its all-encompassing video surveillance system — nicknamed the “eye in the sky” — recorded the assault but security guards never came.

Workers say Queens casino is plagued with violence, harassment Female workers at the casino also say they were routinely harassed by customers. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Even before Davis choked Anderson, he grabbed another female server’s buttocks that day, according to the lawsuit. A surveillance video captured that incident as well, but security did nothing, the lawsuit says.

Anderson reported the choking incident to management about five hours after it happened. She said she declined to file a police report because she wanted to focus on her mental health.

A source with knowledge of the incident said Davis was suspended the next day and then fired. He had no other employee complaints against him, the source said.

With the help of the union, Davis got his job back in December, when an arbitrator ruled the incident did not warrant termination. Davis did not receive back pay for the five months he was out of work.

The union accused Anderson of making the claims against Davis because she was under investigation for a Family and Medical Leave Act violation and wanted to protect her job, according to source.

The union — which also represents Anderson — declined to comment on the case or on backing one worker over the other. It referred to the arbitration decision, which ordered the casino to reinstate Davis.

Bennitta Joseph, Anderson’s lawyer, said her client’s job was never in jeopardy and that she was the victim of an attack.

“No woman should have to work in an environment where she is degraded, demoralized and dehumanized. Period,” said Joseph.

Since the incident, Anderson spends her time focused on starting an anti-gun nonprofit in honor of her son Malik Adam James, who was fatally shot on Feb. 14, 2002.

“This has been terrible, but something good is going to come out of it,” she said.

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