by John on July 14, 2020

More layoffs in store for Las Vegas hotel-casino employees

After a few days of successful operation, a lot of hotel-casino in Las Vegas are facing downsizing yet again. Starting June 4 a lot of establishments have already given notice of layoffs even after 3 months of being shut down due to the ongoing pandemic. These notices have been sent directly to the staff of individual casinos and the said notices comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. This is to make sure that all the workers have enough time to start looking or even find a new workplace. Because according to the U.S. Department of Labor a 60-day notice is required if a company with at least 100 full-time employees wants tp lay off at least 50 workers at a single site. And those companies and employers who don’t comply with these requirements are liable to pay each affected employee an amount equal to benefits and back pay for the violation period, which can also stretch up to 60 days.

Brendan Bussmann who is the director of government affairs for Las Vegas Global Market Advisors has revealed in an interview that: “This is an uncertain time,  how quickly business may resume. No one ever hopes to see layoffs, but we’re in very uncharted and unprecedented territory right now. While you hope people don’t have to act on it, it allows businesses, as well as employees, to know a potential road ahead.”

There have already been letters sent to an undisclosed number of employees stating they might get permanently laid off in the upcoming weeks. For example, the workers of Tropicana, a Penn Nation Gaming establishment already received theirs. This establishment has properties in 19 different states and has let go of 26 000 staff members as of April. The spokesman of the company, Jeff Morris said that a lot of them have returned to work at the company’s 34 reopened locations. But at the same time, he declined to say how many employees received the WARN letter or when the notice was sent.

“We were hopeful that we’d be able to call the employees back within a couple of months. However, while we have been able to reopen most of our properties on a limited basis, the continued social distancing requirements and uncertain business volumes means our properties will not be able to resume normal operations for the foreseeable future,” said Eric Schippers, Penn National’s senior vice president of public affairs and government relations. According to his statement, the shipments were sent to “communicate honestly and openly” with staff regarding that the fact that the properties might not need as many employees now as before due to limitations on occupancy. He also assures the staff members by saying that just because they received letters doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be laid off.

Schippers also said that the company expanded medical and pharmacy benefits for furloughed employees through July 31 and has a COVID-19 emergency relief fund which is worth $1.7 million through private donations available to help the workers in need. Already, there is $600,000 that is ready for distribution after having been approved.

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