Las Vegas Employees Press Charges Over Coronavirus Safety

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Las Vegas casino operators will face a legal battle against unions representing 65,000 casino workers over claims of placing employees’ health at risk by implementing loose mandates on safety measures like mask-wearing. The Union urged companies to protect the lives of its workers.

Casinos in Las Vegas started reopening since the first week of June. The establishments were approved to operate, given that they will follow the health and safety protocols of state regulators. The new measures are necessary because of the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus.

Health regulators reported new cases of infection of the deadly disease every day.  Globally, it has infected more than 13 million people and killed more than half a million.  In the US alone, the confirmed cases reached more than three million and killed nearly 130,000 lives.

Union sues casino operators

Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Culinary Union executive, said that employees wanted to work, but they want to secure their safety. The executive said they would do everything to protect the lives of workers, the Union members, and the community.

The Union filed the lawsuit in the US District Court in Las Vegas on Monday. Last week, Adolfo Fernandez, a Union member and a porter at Caesars Palace, died of coronavirus infection. The porter returned to work when the casino resumed operations after almost three months of closure.

Caesars was among the casinos who resumed operations on June 4 amidst the threat of the novel coronavirus. The deceased’s daughter said his father was aware that he might get infected but continued going back to work.

The lawsuit pointed out employees’ experiences in an indoor diner at Harrah’s Las Vegas, Signature Condominiums towers’ valets and porters, and the workers at a restaurant at the Bellagio casino. The charges were filed because the properties were claimed to operate for nearly three weeks without strict regulations on the use of masks and facial coverings to help reduce the spread of the deadly disease.

Irresponsible acts led to the spread of the virus

The lawsuit claimed that the operators know the importance of wearing the masks. They claimed that they should have required the employees to wear protective equipment at all times. The complainant said that despite the overwhelming evidence on the importance of mandating facial coverings by guests in public areas of casinos and hotels, the operators of casinos in Las Vegas failed to impose the mandate.

The complaint said the irresponsible act of the operators led to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Nevada saw an increase in new cases in recent weeks. The state has nearly 18,000 confirmed cases with 504 deaths.

Sixto Zermeno, an employee at MGM Grand Signature, said the operators should stop treating them as mere numbers since they are human and contributors to the company’s growth.

The employees said he noticed that guests are not following social distancing protocols, and only a few wears mask when he returned to work. He was then diagnosed with Coronavirus on June 11.

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