Nevada bill “win-win” for workers and casinos

The bill was signed in the last of the legislature's emergency sessions this week.
The bill was signed in the last of the legislature's emergency sessions this week.

The state has passed a bill to protect companies from pandemic-related lawsuits while claiming to ensure worker protection.

US.- Nevada’s governor Steve Sisolak has signed a bill to expand workplace safety in hotels and casinos and protect companies from pandemic-related lawsuits.

The law only grants legal immunity to businesses within the state if they follow health directives issued by local, state and federal authorities and do not demonstrate “gross negligence”.

Sisolak supported the bill on the grounds that implementing liability protections to those who follow health directives encourages businesses to reopen, thus protecting the state’s tourism industry without jeopardising safety.

He said: “It’s about acknowledging that Nevada relies heavily on the single industry — the hospitality industry. In order to make it through this historic storm. We must ensure that that industry survives.”

He also said the legislation was intended to prevent “frivolous lawsuits” but not to offer companies an “impregnable shield”.

“This legislation does not provide total immunity to all businesses under all circumstances – far from it,” he said.

“Those inevitable bad actors that have ignored and continue to ignore our state’s directives and public health and safety protocols will not be protected from liability for those failures. Those bad actors will continue to face legal consequences.”

Last month two casinos in Nevada were fined for not complying with pandemic-related regulations.

So far the legislation has been received well by those in the Las Vegas casino industry. MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle described it as a “win-win” for both workers and businesses.