Station Casinos Accused of Violating Nevada ‘Right to Return,’ 76 Plaintiffs Seek Damages

Posted on: March 30, 2022, 08:25h. 

Last updated on: March 30, 2022, 10:31h.

Station Casinos is named in a mass action lawsuit brought by 76 plaintiffs who allege that the Nevada gaming operator has repeatedly violated state law.

Culinary Union Station Casinos Right to Return law
Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge announces a mass action lawsuit against Station Casinos on grounds that the company is violating Nevada’s “Right to Return” law. Station adamantly denies such allegations. (Image: Culinary Union)

With the support of the Culinary Union, the mass tort litigation claims Station Casinos has not adhered to the “Nevada Hospitality and Travel Workers Right to Return Act.” Senate Bill 386, signed by Governor Steve Sisolak (D) in June of 2021, provides protections for gaming and hospitality workers, such as those employed by Station Casinos.

The state’s “Right to Return” law requires that casino workers who were furloughed or terminated amid the pandemic be given priority for the same or similar job when such a vacancy is seeking to be filled. SB386 says an employer must extend a former employee three “bona fide offers” not less than three weeks between each offer before the employer can offer the job to a new candidate.

The mass lawsuit includes each of the company’s nine properties in Southern Nevada. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs allege that Station “has operated in flagrant violation of its obligations as a [‘Right to Return’] covered employer.”

The plaintiffs are seeking hiring and reinstatement, future and back pay, civil penalties, compensatory and liquated damages, interest, and attorneys’ fees.

Station Denies Allegations

Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge says the union “supports Station Casinos workers as they pursue justice, fight to get their jobs back, and ensure the company follows the SB386 law.” Station reps say the lawsuit is just the latest publicity stunt devised by the union to try and hurt the company’s reputation.

All of this noise is designed to distract from the fact that the Culinary Union failed its members,” a Station Casinos statement said, citing the fact that 98% of union members were put out of work at some point during the pandemic. “While we are not even sure what a ‘mass action lawsuit’ is in this context, we are certain that it is intended to harass and bully Station Casinos.”

The company went on to say that it has complied with the “Right to Return” law, and any claim otherwise is “misguided, counterproductive, and useless.”

Workers Levy Wrongdoing

The Culinary Union press release announcing the mass action lawsuit included comments from some of the plaintiffs, who say they have not been afforded the protections they’re legally due under SB386. Kenia Cobas says she was a cook at Station’s Green Valley Ranch for 16 years before being let go in 2020.

“I’m a single mom and I have two children who depend on me. The company acted shamefully during the pandemic. They need to think about others — not just about their profits and enriching themselves. Station Casinos needs to follow the law and bring us back to work,” Cobas said without detailing her legal grievances.

Rodrigo Solano, a former cook at Boulder Station for 27 years, claims he was forced into early retirement after not being brought back by Station Casinos.

“I want and deserve my job back,” Solano said. “I canvassed, phone banked, and door hung to win the SB386 law and I want the ‘Right to Return’ to my former job.”