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Rampart Casino lays off employees with recorded phone message — AUDIO

Updated May 13, 2020 - 10:58 pm

On Tuesday, an unknown number of Rampart Casino employees received a call with a recording from the property’s vice president, telling them they had been permanently laid off.

“We’ve made the very difficult decision to terminate your employment,” said a recording of Michelle Bacigalupi, vice president and general manager of Rampart Casino at the Resort at Summerlin. “We’ve tried to retain our entire team. However, with the continued uncertainties, we are no longer able to do so.”

Layoffs are effective May 15, according to a voicemail recording of the message obtained by the Review-Journal.

One longtime employee, who was granted anonymity in case he is given the opportunity to return to work at Rampart, believes the company should have chosen a different communication method, especially because there is a smaller number of employees at the property compared with other hotel-casinos.

“We don’t have 80,000 employees. … This is a smaller, intimate property,” he said. “(The voicemail) was disappointing but not surprising.”

He said it wasn’t his first recorded message from the company; others were sent when temporary layoffs started and when staff members were required to return uniforms.

Company representatives did not return a request for comment.

According to the voicemail, the decision to permanently lay off employees came after Gov. Steve Sisolak extended the statewide shutdown of casinos, which originally was slated to last 30 days.

It’s still unclear when casinos will be allowed to reopen in the state, but many operators hope to open their doors by the end of the month or June.

“As we look to the immediate future, and the reopening of the company operations, we expect business demand to be significantly decreased for the foreseeable future,” Bacigalupi said in the recording.

None of the terminated employees will have access to “bumping rights,” or the ability to claim another job at the company, Bacigalupi said. Those with remaining paid-time-off balance should receive a letter with a check in the mail this week.

Employees who paid a premium for health insurance in May will continue to receive coverage through May 31, she said.

Bacigalupi also encouraged former employees to file for unemployment if they hadn’t already done so.

“We would have liked to have given you more notice to this action but were unable to do so because of how quickly and unexpectedly our operations were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bacigalupi said. “These decisions are never made lightly, and we deeply regret the hardships it places on you and your family.”

She added that the company would be open to rehiring associates “when economic conditions allow.”

Despite frustrations with the company in recent weeks, the Rampart worker said he would like to return if given the chance.

“It was a great company when it was open,” he said. “We should just be upfront about (layoffs).”

A previous version of this story misspelled Michelle Bacigalupi’s name.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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