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Deyan Dimitrov April 26, 2023 3 min read
Wynn Las Vegas’ Tipping Policy Draws New Legal Trouble
A disgruntled slots attendant filed a lawsuit against the casino giant for pooling tips to share with other employees
According to plaintiff Sheila Little, tip sharing violated labor laws, depriving some employees of their lawfully earned income. The lawsuit marks the second time Wynn Vegas got in hot water over its tipping policies. Given the previous precedent, the operator may need to seek a settlement and adjust its compensation policies.
Little Seeks Over $15,000 in Damages
The new lawsuit alleges that Wynn Las Vegas violated state labor laws by unlawfully taking a percentage of the tips earned by its slots attendants and diverting them to non-tipped employees like their supervisors. Plaintiff Sheila Little argues that her case will become a class action, representing all other workers facing similar issues.
“(Wynn Las Vegas) applied a mandatory tip pooling and… confiscation policy … which deprived tipped employees of lawfully earned tips,”reads Sheila Little’s lawsuit against Wynn Resorts
The plaintiff hopes to receive damages of over $15,000 in addition to all previously withheld tips. Wynn Vegas’ justification has long been that tipped employees often out-earned their supervisors, reducing their incentive to climb up the ranks. However, the resort’s tip pooling solution proved highly controversial, leading to two previous 2013 and 2018 lawsuits.
Wynn Vegas Dealers Won a Similar Dispute
Slots attendants, led by Little, follow the example of Wynn Vegas’ dealers, who successfully defended their case in court and reached a settlement in 2021. A 2018 policy tried to address their concerns, raising their pay by $2 per hour. The solution proved far from perfect. Although dealers earned an additional yearly $4000, they still had to share 12% of their pool tips with team leads.
In the end, the casino agreed to pay $5.6 million to roughly 1000 former and current table game dealers, allowing them to keep all of their future tips. However, the dealers’ victory was bittersweet. The extended legal battle and resulting massive attorney fees meant that each of the 1000 dealers would receive less than $4,170. Despite the small payout, their case set a precedent that can prove relevant in the current lawsuit.
The Case May Set the Tone for the Entire Strip
Wynn Las Vegas has long claimed that its casino service team leads were not supervisors because they didn’t manage work schedules and salaries and had no power over the dealers’ discipline. The distinction would technically make them eligible for tip sharing under federal labor laws. However, the fact that the casino sought a settlement indicates the matter might not be as clear-cut.
Tip-pooling policies remain a contentious matter in the casino industry, so the outcome of this case may have far-reaching implications for all resorts on the Strip, prompting them to reconsider their policies. As the case moves forward, it will be closely watched by both employees and employers alike.
Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.
Legal April 26, 2023
Legal April 26, 2023