The coronavirus has shut down most casinos in the world, but that is not the end of troubles for some. The Wind Creek Bethlehem casino now faces a class action lawsuit over improper payroll adjustments and paycheck withdrawals.
Jacob Bartakovits, an employee of Wind Creek, is suing the casino for improperly withholding ‘gaming license fees’ from his pay. Over the course of a year, these fees add up to hundreds of dollars withheld from the employee. He is looking to the McClelland Law Firm for help gathering other affected employees in a class action lawsuit against the casino.
The lawsuit specifically addresses how Wind Creek deducts fees and how it did not notify employees of these deductions. According to federal law, any employee who receives compensation in tips must be notified in advance if the employer is going to offer a base pay below minimum wage. Bartakovits claims he was not informed of the deductions beforehand.
“We estimate that hundreds of employees will be affected by the claims asserted in this lawsuit,” attorney Ryan McClelland stated. “All hourly, tipped workers employed within the last three years are eligible to join the case.”
Federal law stipulates that deductions which benefit the employer solely (employee tips, uniforms fees, etc.) are forbidden.
“Employers may not take credit for such items in meeting their minimum wage obligations,” McClelland added. “Simply put, Wind Creek Bethlehem cannot pass its cost of doing business onto its employees.”
Companies are allowed to pay their employees lower than minimum wage only if their wages are supplemented by tips. And federal labor law dictates that if the employer does not offer a detailed explanation of deductions in advance, the employee is entitled to full minimum wage as base pay for every hour worked.
This is not the first case of casinos caught in shady payroll scandals. Some Nevada casinos have been caught trying to perpetrate a ‘tip-sharing’ scheme on their employees, forcing them to share tips with other employees and the casino itself.
Courts are currently not in session due to the coronavirus, but when they reopen, expect a lot of casino bosses to be dragged in front of a judge.
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