Hotel casino employees suing employers over COVID protections issues
It is shocking to find out the Culinary Union which represents 60-thousand workers, bartenders, cocktail waitress, kitchen and housekeeping workers, bellmen and porters have filed a lawsuit against three Las Vegas Strip properties charging them with failing to protect their employees from the coronavirus. The employes promised them it may be just the beginning.
The lawsuit was announced in a remote press conference Monday morning that featured stories from employees describing returning to work after the shutdown to face long hours working short staffed in contact with customers not wearing masks, failure by supervisors to inform them of co-workers who had tested positive and–they said–a general lack of concern for their well-being and that of their families.
“As soon as they found out about the person that tested positive it seemed like a nonchalant act,” said Eric Weininger, a cook at Guy Fieri’s in Harrah’s. “like everybody was blase about it.”
“I want to ask Ceasars ‘Are you going to take care of my kids if something happens to me?’” said food server Jonathan Munoz, ” I’m fighting for my co-workers, my family, for us. I want the company to treat us like humans not machines that only make money for them.”
Irma Fernandez, said her 51 year old father–a porter at Caesars Palace told her he feared getting sick.
“I don’t know why Ceasars would train their managers to be so careless, so heartless. Don’t they realize their workers are at risk every day.” He died last week of the virus.
The lawsuit calls for mandatory daily cleaning of guest rooms, testing of all employees for the virus before returning to work and regular testing thereafter, adequate protective equipment and enforced social distancing.
Most of the union’s members work in Southern Nevada though it does have members in our area.
Earlier this week, casino workers sued Las Vegas casinos after reports that many workers fell ill to COVID-19. The lawsuit complains that the casinos did not require workers to wear face masks.
Unions representing 65,000 Las Vegas casino workers accused some resort operators of putting employees at risk of illness and death during the coronavirus pandemic by disregarding safety measures like requiring mask-wearing, according to an AP ar
“They want to work, but they want to work safe,” said Culinary Union executive Geoconda Arguello-Kline about hotel housekeepers, cooks, bartenders, vehicle valets and others.
The lawsuit points to the experiences of a handful of employees at a few different casinos and hotels. It accuses the properties of operating for nearly three weeks without requiring guests to use masks and facial coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It seeks a court order under federal collective bargaining law to force resorts to tighten safety measures. Currently, casinos only “recommend” masks for guests.
Nevada, like other states, has been seeing an uptick in cases over the last month.
“No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,” the governor of Nevada said. “For Nevada to stay safe and stay open, we must make face coverings a routine part of our daily life.”