Did Reno Casino Cheat Workers?

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that a class-action lawsuit against the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno may proceed. Lawyers acting on behalf of almost 5,000 people say workers were routinely forced to work off the clock.

Refusal to do the work resulted in citations

A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of employees at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno claims the property’s parent company cheated workers out of wages and overtime pay by forcing them to finish tasks off the clock.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks granted class-action status to the lawsuit a filed last year on behalf of up to 4,800 employees who have worked at Grand Sierra in Reno over the past two years.

The suit, which seeks millions of dollars in damages, estimates the workers were denied compensation for an average of one hour a day in violation of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act and the Nevada constitution. Lawyers estimate the total amount of lost wages could amount to $50 million.

“GSR willfully deprived employees of pay for time they spent engaging in work related activities without compensation pre and post shift, such as retrieving keys, radios, cash, completing paperwork, and attending mandatory training sessions and pre-shift meetings,” Reno lawyer Joshua Buck wrote in court documents.

“This was achieved by either rounding hours so that employees who were technically ‘on the clock’ did not receive pay for all their recorded hours worked or by having employees perform work without being logged in to the timekeeping system,” the lawsuit said.

If workers either refused to do the work or subsequently filed for the overtime, they were subject to disciplinary action and even termination, the lawsuit said.

“Employees were told to simply clock out and then return to work to continue working off the clock,” the lawsuit said. “Defendant’s unlawful conduct has been widespread, repeated and willful.”

“What we’re learning with these off-the-clock cases is that employers are trying to nickel and dime employees to get them to do a little extra on the front and back end,” Buck said in August. “In reality, it saves the company a lot of money.”