Golden Nugget workers report layoffs as casino closes amid virus spread
Workers say managers told staff they would not get paid or receive any benefits while the property was closed and advised them to file for unemployment.
Updated March 20, 2020 - 5:53 am
Golden Nugget staff members are reporting furloughs and layoffs amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The property, owned by Tilman Fertitta, is just one of the state’s 440 licensed casinos to be affected by the 30-day casino shutdown mandated by Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday, bringing Nevada’s dominant industry to a complete halt and leaving tens of thousands of workers in differing degrees of economic uncertainty.
According to the company, employees “were told they were being furloughed” and will be recalled when the property reopens and business returns in stages based on business volume.
A Thursday statement from downtown property Golden Nugget said “all active full-time and part-time team members” — those who were working up until the closure — will receive two weeks of pay.
The company also said it would maintain and pay for benefits for all team members enrolled in its health plan and who have “accepted and remain on furlough now through the end of the furlough period, or until June 30.”
The statement added that “all team members with a loss of hours are encouraged to reach out to the state as soon as possible regarding potential payment of unemployment benefits.”
One former full-time Golden Nugget employee, who was granted anonymity to be able to potentially return to the job, said they were shocked when they found out about the layoffs.
“It’s a tough situation,” the employee said.
Shauna McQueen, a former part-time front desk worker at the property, said she learned Friday that she had no more scheduled shifts.
“There was no formal email; they just posted the schedule and said ‘You’re out of work,’” she said. “We still have bills to pay. People have families.”
A photo of the property’s schedule for the week of March 16 shared by McQueen showed a number of full-time employees had been moved to “layoff” status.
Another image shared by McQueen showed a letter from management that said some Golden Nugget employees were being placed in layoff status and would be called in to work in order of seniority “as business dictates.”
McQueen said she’s working to file for unemployment and negotiate her rent payments.
“It’s just very devastating,” she said. “I’m trying to find work, but you can’t really work right now. Our whole industry is just gone.”
The former full-time employee said they’re getting ready to file for unemployment. The worker worries about finding a job amid the shutdown — especially one that will allow them to work from home.
Caesars Entertainment Corp. said Thursday that the company would continue to pay full time, part time and regularly scheduled team members for up to two weeks following the temporary closure of our properties, and their benefits eligibility will not be interrupted.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. said it would offer payroll coverage to all employees for 30 days. MGM Resorts International said it will offer two weeks of pay and benefits for part-time and full-time furloughed employees, and would pay benefits for all eligible employees enrolled in MGM Resorts health plans through June 30. Las Vegas Sands Corp. said it would pay all employees during the 30-day closure.
Station Casinos said it would continue to offer regular pay and health benefits to all hourly and salaried full-time team members through April 30 and has moved several hundred part-time employees to full-time status so they could receive full benefits. A statement from Boyd Gaming Corp. did not address how the shutdown would affect staffing.
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■ Sahara Las Vegas, which laid off a number of employees Monday, said it will “absorb costs to maintain health benefits for all individuals affected by these changes during this difficult time.” A Tuesday statement did not address how the closure would impact staff’s pay.
■ A Tuesday statement from Phil Ruffin’s Treasure Island said the closure is planned for 30 days, and the state will “reassess the situation after two weeks.” A representative said the same practices apply to Circus Circus, which is also owned by Ruffin. The statement did not address how the closure would impact staffing.
■ The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas said it would continue to offer full pay and benefits to full-time and eligible employees through March 31.
■ Golden Entertainment, which operates The Strat, said it would reopen as soon as permitted. A Monday letter to staff said it plans to “do (its) best to preserve the jobs of the hardworking men and women” who work there. A Tuesday statement did not address how the 30-day closure would impact staff.
■ All full-time employees at South Point will be paid 32 hours per week and receive full benefits until the property reopens.