Judge rules M Resort must reinstate two fired security guards

The M Resort in Henderson must reinstate two fired security workers and pay them wages going back to December, a federal administrative law judge ruled. The termination of four other security guards during the same period, however, did not violate the National Labor Relations Act, the judge said.

The two workers, Bruce Allen and Dean Skibickyj, were terminated Dec. 13 by the resort for “improper job conduct.” The resort fired Allen and Skibickyj for discussing a confidential investigation and unnecessarily causing a disruption in the workforce.

The other four guards were terminated for looking at confidential employee files that were found in an employee break room by other guards.

Lana Park, an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board in San Francisco, found the resort violated the two employee’s rights because Allen and Skibickyj were “engaged in concerted protected activities” and had not engaged in conduct that deserved termination.

“Dean and I are extremely happy because they really tried to throw us under the bus at the trial and the judge saw right through it,” Allen said.

M Resort attorney Mark Ricciardi said resort officials are still reviewing Park’s ruling and have not decided if the resort will appeal.

All the guards that were terminated had complained to management about working conditions at the resort, including lack of shelter during the shift, and management’s failure to provide needed equipment such as jacks and flashlights.

Allen and Skibickyj were “in the forefront” of the complaints by taking grievances directly to management, Park said in her decision.

Allen had “made clear his support for potential discrimination litigation against” the resort by another terminated worker.

The incidents happened while M Resort, which opened March 1, was under construction. In Tuesday’s ruling, Park said M Resort must also stop threatening employees with discharge for engaging in union activities and refrain from interrogating employees about their activities and those of their co-workers.

Ricciardi said 16 of the 18 charges of illegal threats or interrogations made in the National Labor Relations Board complaint were dismissed by the judge.

The parties in the case have until Dec. 1 to appeal the ruling.

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.