Caesars Southern Indiana conducted mass layoffs last week, a local media reported based on information provided by 3 former employees as some of them lost their jobs along with many others.
The media spoke to the long-time employees who preferred to remain anonymous Friday and gained information about the layoffs first hand. Two of the employees were part of a group of people, according to their estimates between 150 and 200, who lost their jobs across various departments of the casino resort last week.
No New WARN Notice
The only WARN notice from Caesars on the website of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development was from April 29, where the casino operator filed furloughs for 1,161 employees, stating as the reason for the temporary layoffs the coronavirus impact on the business. Caesars Southern Indiana senior vice president Brad Siegel outlined in the notice, though, that the company intended for the furloughs to be temporary, but they could also turn out to be permanent.
A casino spokesperson confirmed that the operator undertook changes and certain positions had been affected, but did not provide further details. There is speculation that the most affected positions were from to the poker room, servers and bartenders, valets and hosts. One of the employees which the media spoke to revealed that most of the laid off workers learned that their employment contract was terminated in a Zoom call, some on Tuesday and others on Thursday.
There May Be a Chance for Some to Return
There is uncertainty whether the layoffs were permanent as some employees were told there was a chance to return. Moreover, the former employees who spoke to the media reporting the mass layoffs expressed concerns regarding the severance packages, as some employees did not get any, while others were worried about the continuation of their health benefits.
Others expressed their disappointment at the way the bad news had been delivered, expecting to receive thanks for the many years of good service, but instead hearing a cold statement of the obvious, implying that they should be grateful to the company for its efforts to keep them so far.
Some long-time employees received only 8 weeks of pay as a severance, one former employee told the media, branding the whole situation as “wishy-washy” and not hiding that he expected far more. He was furloughed since mid-March, when Caesars Southern Indiana closed to comply with state and federal efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Employees at Caesars Southern Indiana signed a petition in July, urging for changes towards a safer working environment and mandatory masks for visitors. More than 300 signatures also requested smoking at the casino floor to be banned, as smoking was a pretext for guests to remove their masks inside the property.
Caesars opened the new land-based $90 million casino in December 2019 near the place where the former riverboat Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino used to sit on the Ohio River. In May the Horseshoe rebranded itself to Caesars Southern Indiana suggesting about the upcoming change.