Vegas casino workers sue over dangerous conditions

The Culinary Union alleges that casino staff were made to work in dangerous conditions.
The Culinary Union alleges that casino staff were made to work in dangerous conditions.

Staff have filed a lawsuit accusing three casinos of skimping on Covid-19 safety measures.

US.- Casino workers in Las Vegas have filed a lawsuit accusing three operators of putting employees at risk of Covid-19 infection.

According to the Culinary Union, which represents 60,000 workers in Las Vegas, casinos have been skimping on safety measures such as use of face masks, which was only layer imposed as a requirement.

The lawsuit filed on Monday at the US District Court in Las Vegas signals the experiences of employees at Guy Fieri’s Vegas kitchen at Harrah’s Las Vegas, valets and porters at the Signature Condominiums towers at MGM Grand resort, and restaurant kitchen workers at Bellagio casino.

It accuses the properties of operating for almost three weeks without requiring guests to use masks or facial coverings to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

Harrah’s operator Caesars Entertainment declined to comment on the lawsuit. Representatives of MGM Grand and Bellagio owner MGM Resorts International did not immediately respond.

The accusation does not mention the controversial case of the death last week of Adolfo Fernandez, a 51-year-old Caesars Palace porter and union member from Las Vegas who was diagnosed with Covid-19. He had been working since June 4, when most venues in Vegas resumed operations.

However, Fernandez’s daughter, Irma Fernandez, told the press her father had been worried that he would become sick.

According to AP news agency, a company spokesman acknowledged Fernandez’s death in a statement that didn’t name him but said officials had not determined how he contracted the virus. It noted that some co-workers had been placed on paid leave in self-isolation.

“Defendants recognized the critical importance of mask-wearing … by requiring their own employees to wear masks at all times,” the civil complaint states.

It adds that despite “overwhelming evidence of the importance of mandating facial coverings by guests in public areas of casinos and hotels, defendants, along with other casinos and hotels in southern Nevada only ‘encouraged’ guests to wear face masks.”

It concludes: “This irresponsible act undoubtedly led to spread of Covid-19.”

Nevada has reported increases in the number of people diagnosed with the virus in recent days. Just under 18,000 people have tested positive, state health officials reported Monday, and 504 have died.

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