Wynn Resorts Paying US Workers To May 15, Earns Internet Kudos
Posted on: April 2, 2020, 08:53h.
Last updated on: April 2, 2020, 10:02h.
At a time when some commercial and tribal casino operators are laying off staff because of temporary closures forced by the coronavirus outbreak, Wynn Resorts is extending pay to all of its US employees through May 15.
The move, announced Tuesday evening, means the company’s workers in Las Vegas and Everett, Mass. – home of Encore Boston Harbor – will receive 60 days of payroll continuance while the company and its rivals grapple with temporary business suspensions that went into effect in mid-March.
The Company decided to take this action as part of its shared responsibility for the health and safety of its employees, their families, and the Las Vegas and Greater Boston communities during this pandemic,” said the operator in a statement.
Wynn’s announcement on worker compensation arrived on the same day Gov. Steve Sisolak (D-NV) said Silver State casinos will remain shuttered through April 30 while issuing a shelter-in-place directive. Last week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) said the Bay State’s three casinos, including Encore Boston Harbor, will remain idle through April 7. But that timeline could be extended after President Trump said the US should continue practicing social distancing protocols at least through the end of this month.
As state-mandated closures gripped the gaming industry starting in mid-March, many operators agreed to pay employees through the end of the month, with some promising to extend healthcare benefits through June. But as the end of March drew near, some gaming companies swiftly moved to furloughs to save headcount expense in the harsh zero-revenue environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The result is that the gaming industry was likely a significant contributor to last week’s jobless claims total – released earlier today – that saw a record 6.6 million displaced workers file for benefits. Initial claims for unemployment assistance are up 3,000 percent since early March.
Wynn is taking other steps to deal with the coronavirus impact on its business. In late March, the company said CEO Matt Maddox will forego cash salary for the remainder of 2020, moving to a compensation plan comprised entirely of company stock. Other high-level executives and directors followed suit, announcing plans to take 33 percent to 100 percent of their remaining 2020 pay in Wynn equity.
Winning in the Court of Public Opinion
Wynn also revealed an attempt to adequately compensate workers that rely on tips.
“Payroll coverage will include more than 15,000 current Wynn and Encore employees. For tipped employees, it includes the average tip compliance rate or distributed tips/tokes since the beginning of the year,” according to the statement.
The company’s plan to extend employee pay in a rough climate may pay dividends in the future, because some folks took to Twitter to applaud the move.
One user of the social media site said, “On your next trip to #Vegas when all this is over, please remember this one fact. Wynn Resorts is currently paying all of their full time & part time workers full pay with tips through 5/15.”
Another took the opportunity to knock a Wynn rival, saying “Wynn Resorts extends payroll coverage for more than 15,000 employees through May 15 hey @MGMResortsIntl see this?”
Overall, Twitter users were largely enthusiastic about the Encore operator’s decision to extend staff pay through May 15.
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