On Monday, the workers filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas claiming that Caesars Entertainment owned Harrah’s and MGM-owned Bellagio and MGM Grand did not end food and beverage operations at once after learning of COVID-19 positive cases, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The lawsuit, filed by Culinary Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, further alleges that employees were not informed immediately when co-workers tested positive, and contact-tracing of affected employees was not carried out adequately before they were allowed to return to work.
An MGM spokesperson told the Journal that the resort operator had offered free testing to employees before they returned to work. The spokesperson also claimed that managers are trained in response protocols and worked with public-health officials on contact tracing.
Caesars Entertainment revealed that a restaurant employee had tested positive, and an investigation had been conducted which identified co-workers that came in contact with the affected employee.
Why It Matters
The unions involved in the lawsuit represent 60,000 hospitality workers, according to the WSJ.
Nineteen union workers or their dependants have died due to COVID-19, while three valets and bellmen have tested positive at the Signature at MGM Grand.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered compulsory face masks for anyone inside a casino starting June 26.
Last week, Caesars Entertainment introduced a compulsory mask policy at all its resorts, which extends to employees, vendors, contractors, and guests.
Businesses are vying for legal protection against liability arising from exposure to COVID-19, a topic that has led to a rift among Democrats and Republicans.
MGM shares traded 0.71% higher at $16.94 in the after-hours session on Monday. The shares had closed the regular session 7% higher at $16.82.
Caesars Entertainment shares traded 0.58% higher at $12.14 in the after-hours session on Monday. The shares had closed the regular session 2.72% higher at $12.07.
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