Coronavirus shut down casinos for months, and upon reopening, it is far from ‘business as usual’ on the Las Vegas Strip. A large casino workers union is suing various Vegas casinos for not providing adequate COVID-19 protection measures for their workers.
Mask Rules Not Enough
Casinos across Nevada reopened on June 4 after 3 months of coronavirus lockdown. Upon reopening, massive crowds of people swarmed Vegas and casinos were filled with happy gamblers. Unfortunately, most of them were not wearing masks, as casinos required only staff to wear masks.
Guests were only encouraged to wear masks, but Caesars paid visitors $20 each for wearing a mask. Eventually, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak pushed through a measure making masks mandatory for all casino visitors last Friday.
But that wasn’t enough for the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents 60,000 casino and hospitality workers in Nevada. They claim that casinos are not doing their part in providing a safe work environment for staff, and they are threatening to sue casinos.
The lawsuit is based on what the union claims are unacceptable safety enforcement measures to protect casino workers. The union released a statement saying that “the current rules and procedures in place for responding to workers contracting COVID-19 have been wholly and dangerously inadequate.”
Though the statement did not mention any specific casinos in the suit, they made it clear that companies were failing to “properly warn workers, disinfect and quarantine when a worker or their co-worker tests positive for COVID-19.”
In addition to mandatory mask-wearing at all Nevada casinos, the governor and the state gaming authorities required full disclosure of the safety plans prior to reopening casinos. However, several casinos have not yet fully complied with the demands.
According to the Local 226 website, 3 casinos still do not have their safety plans in place. Binion’s, Circus Circus, and Four Queens were the venues in question. The union also claims that only 2 hotels are cleaning guests rooms on a daily basis as required by the State of Nevada.
After a spike in COVID-19 cases in Nevada recently, Gov. Sisolak responded with new mask regulations. However, this pandemic is far from over, and the Nevada government and casino workers unions will continue their efforts to force casinos to adhere to safety measures – for the sake of everyone.
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