Former Station Casinos employees will have to wait until at least April to continue their lawsuit seeking back wages from the company, a bankruptcy court judge ruled today in Reno.
Judge Gregg Zive modified an automatic stay that was preventing the former employees’ lawsuit from proceeding to trial until Station Casinos emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Zive’s ruling extends the stay for another 180 days.
“I do not believe the 180 days causes any prejudice to the plaintiffs other than a short delay in going to trial,” Zive said.
The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status for as many a 20,000 current and former Station Casinos employees, was filed a week before the gaming company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 28.
Attorneys for the three former workers today argued that the gaming company would not suffer any great financial harm if the lawsuit was allowed to proceed to trial in state district court.
Station Casinos’ attorney, however, said federal bankruptcy laws give the company time to focus on restructuring its finances without having to deal with lawsuits. The attorney also argued that if the automatic stay was lifted, other plaintiffs with employee lawsuits already in the court system would seek to go to trial, further distracting the company during its bankruptcy.
In modifying the stay to 180 days, Zive said, “I believe that (the 180 days) provides the debtor entities with more than sufficient time to engage in the reorganization effort and not to be distracted by this case because obviously, the discovery will be aimed, to some degree at the debtor entities.”
Three former workers allege in their lawsuit that Station Casinos does not pay its workers properly because of a rounding system used to pay hourly workers at the company’s 12 properties. The lawsuit claims Station Casinos rounds off employees’ starting and ending times to the detriment of its employees.
Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at email@example.com or 702-477-3893.