Culinary Union to file lawsuit against Station Casinos over COVID-19 'Right to Return' law

Culinary Union to file lawsuit against Station Casinos over COVID-19 ‘Right to Return’ law

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Culinary Union announced Monday that hospitality workers will file a mass lawsuit against Station Casinos, alleging violations of the Nevada Hospitality and Travel Workers Right to Return Act (SB386).

SB386, which was passed by the Nevada Legislature in May 2021 and signed by Governor Sisolak weeks later, ensures that Nevada’s casino, hospitality, stadium, and travel-related employees who were laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic are able to return to their former positions.

The bill created a cause of action against employers who fail to abide by the process outlined for the orderly recall of hospitality workers to positions with their former employers for which they are qualified.

The lawsuit alleges that Station Casinos has operated in violation of this law and has not recalled workers back to work as COVID-19 restrictions have been eased.

The union stated that 98% of its members were laid off at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 80% are currently back to work.

According to the union, while a majority of unionized workers have extended recall protections in their contracts, a majority of workers protected by SB386 are not unionized.

Some requirements mandated by SB386 in Nevada include:

  • Workers laid off after March 12, 2020 for economic reasons due to the pandemic are eligible for Right to Return. Protections in SB386 began July 1, 2021 and expire August 31, 2022.
  • Covered employers that have 30 or more employees must make offers to laid-off employees when they have job openings for the same or similar positions as the employee worked previously.
  • Workers who receive job offers have 24-hours to accept or decline and must be available to work within five days of receiving an offer. 
  • Employers are cleared of obligation to recall a worker if the worker turns down three offers, or if the worker is not reachable by email, mail, phone call, or text message for each of the three offers. 
  • Notices for recall must be available in English, Spanish, or any language that at least 10% or more of the employees speak. 
  • Employers must provide an employee with a written explanation within 30 days if they decline to recall a laid-off employee due to lack of qualifications.

A press conference to go over details of the lawsuit will be held by the Culinary Union on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at 1630 S Commerce St. It will also be livestreamed on Facebook.

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