Culinary Union Announces Mass Action Lawsuit Against Station Casinos

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The Culinary Union in Las Vegas is alleging that Station Casinos has violated numerous conditions imposed under Nevada’s “Right to Return” law. And the powerful trade group plans to take its members’ grievances against the locals-focused casino operator to court.

Culinary Union "Right to Return" law Nevada casino
Culinary Union "Right to Return" law Nevada casino
Members of the Culinary Union lobby in support of Nevada’s “Right to Return” bill in May of 2021. The union says Station Casinos isn’t upholding the law in its fulfilling of open positions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image: Culinary Union)

The Culinary Union announced today a forthcoming mass action lawsuit naming Station Casinos as a defendant on alleged multiple violations of the “Nevada Hospitality and Travel Workers Right to Return Act.” The law — Senate Bill 386 — passed the Nevada Legislature in May of 2021 and was signed by Governor Steve Sisolak (D) the following month.

SB 386 provides rules for the orderly recall of hospitality workers, which includes casino employees.

Culinary attorneys claim Station Casinos has operated in violation of the “Right to Return” law. SB 386 requires that casino workers who were laid off on or after March 12, 2020, be first offered the same or similar job their former employer is seeking to refill.

The Nevada statute requires that casinos first present their former workers with the job opportunity before welcoming in new applicants. Culinary says Station has run afoul of the newly imposed law.

The union will hold a press conference tomorrow, March 29, at its Las Vegas headquarters to expand on the imminent litigation. The conference is to begin at 11 am PST.

Bickering Intensifies

The Culinary Union and Station Casinos perhaps have no greater foe than the other. The hostility between the two has been swelling for years, primarily because of Station managing to keep its properties union-free.

The union has numerous ongoing lawsuits and complaints against the casino company controlled by billionaire brothers Frank III and Lorenzo Fertitta.

The union has recently taken issue with Station’s Red Rock Resorts maintaining an all-white, all-male board of directors, contended in court that Red Rock Casino executives purposely interfered with unionization efforts at the Summerlin resort, and called on the Nevada Gaming Control Board to review Station’s suitability to hold a gaming license.

The union now adds that Station Casinos has allegedly refused to adhere to “Right to Return.”

SB 386 gave hundreds of thousands of union and non-union casino, hospitality, stadium, and travel-related employees, who were laid off, through no fault of their own, the Right to Return to their jobs as business returns. Every Republican member in the 2021 Nevada Legislature voted to not support SB 386,” Culinary said in a statement to Casino.org.

Station Casinos is Nevada’s third-largest private employer. The company owns and operates nine casinos in Southern Nevada.

Pandemic Layoffs

The Culinary Union says the coronavirus resulted in 98% of its 60,000 union members in Las Vegas and Reno being laid off. The union says 80% have since been welcomed back.

SB 386 predominantly benefited non-union casino and hospitality workers who had no such return protections. Union members, Culinary says, largely already had such securities in place through the trade group’s collective bargaining agreement.

SB 386 nonetheless provides a course of action for furloughed employees who believe they’ve been unjustly passed over in the rehiring process. The law allows those who believe they’ve been wronged to file a complaint with the Nevada Labor Commissioner’s Office or bring a lawsuit.

The post Culinary Union Announces Mass Action Lawsuit Against Station Casinos appeared first on Casino.org.

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