Resorts World Contract Summary: 7. Job Security
By establishing seniority as the objective standard, workers are protected against management favoritism. Specifically, house seniority (an employee’s total length of service at the property regardless of classification) will determine benefit entitlement (such as amount of vacation and severance). Classification seniority (an employee’s total length of service at the property in a particular classification) will govern layoffs and recalls; scheduling (including shifts, days off, vacation, leaves of absence); steady assignments; and offers of hours and overtime.
Under this contract, seniority (and employment) rights can only lapse if an employee is terminated for just cause, resigns, passes away, or is laid off or is absent due to illness or injury for 2 years or more. In fact, seniority continues to accrue during authorized leaves of absence and layoffs, disability leaves of absence, and worker’s compensation leaves of less than 2 years.
DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE
Under the contract, HTC-represented workers are now protected by the just cause standard. This means management must prove that the alleged misconduct took place and that the proven misconduct is sufficiently serious and warrants the proposed discipline. The just cause standard is the burden of proof that management must meet in order to justify disciplining or discharging an employee. With just cause, the union has the ability to challenge whether the discipline issued was fair and reasonable under the circumstances and make management defend and justify its decision to impose it in the first place. Without a contract, workers are “at-will employees”, meaning a worker can be disciplined or even discharged by management for any reason whatsoever – or for no reason at all. “At-will” employees also have no ability to appeal or challenge management’s decision.
No employee may be disciplined unless a union delegate is present at the meeting.
Under the new contract, any written discipline (e.g., write-ups, written warnings, suspensions, discharges, and the like) must be issued within 10 calendar days of the alleged violation or it is invalid. Nearly all written discipline will expire 1 year from the date on which it is issued.
PROTECTIONS AGAINST CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP OR MANAGEMENT
This provision provides critical job security to HTC-represented employees in the event the casino ever changes operators or management companies by requiring that they keep the existing employees and the union contract.
PROTECTIONS AGAINST SUBCONTRACTING
Subcontracting is a dangerous practice that employers use to save money by firing existing employees and replacing them with those from an outside company. Under the contract, the casino is prohibited from subcontracting bargaining unit work, except that certain work may continue to be subcontracted. This means that under no circumstances can management subcontract out your job.
PROTECTIONS FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS
This provision gives HTC-represented employees protections in matters regarding immigration status and language needs. It also prevents management from misusing immigration laws to threaten or retaliate against workers.
LAYOFFS AND RECALLS
Notice of layoff allows employees to make the necessary preparations for the economic hardship of being laid off. Until now, management has failed to give employees the respect of notice of any layoff or a reduction in hours. This provision prevents management from treating employees as “on call” by requiring that both the affected employee and the Union be provided with written notice of any layoff at least 7 days in advance. Failure to provide 7 days’ notice will result in management paying the affected employee up to 5 days’ pay (based on the number of regularly scheduled hours). Also, when the laid-off employee is recalled, management must give both that employee and the Union no less than 3 days’ written notice of any subsequent layoff. For all purposes, a reduced work week will also be considered a layoff.
PROHIBITION ON OVERTIME AND COMBINATION JOBS DURING A LAYOFF
Management routinely assigns overtime in departments with employees on layoff. Resorts World does this because they save money by keeping people on layoff. Except for unforeseen overtime of fewer than 2 hours that arises during the prior shift, management is now prohibited from assigning overtime and combination jobs in any classification where any employee is on layoff or a reduced work week unless that work has first been offered to that laid off employee.
PROTECTION AGAINST SPOTTERS
Throughout the hospitality and gaming industry, management frequently uses spotters who pose as guests to report employee actions or behavior. Spotters are notoriously unreliable. This provision prohibits management from using spotter reports as a basis for disciplinary action.
BREAKAGES, WALKOUTS, AND SHORTAGES
HTC-represented employees cannot be required to reimburse Resorts World nor be held financially responsible for breakage, shortages, or walkouts.
LIE DETECTORS AND DRUG TESTING
No HTC-represented employee may be asked or required to take or submit to any lie detector or similar test. Except under very limited circumstances, no employee may be required to submit to a drug or similar test.
This provision gives employees severance pay rights in the event of termination or permanent layoff resulting from 1.) the closing of the employer or a restaurant, department or a concession therein; 2.) technological change; or 3.) the conversion of use of the employer’s premises. Management has to pay affected employees severance equal to 4 days of regular wages (or, for tipped employee, the benefit day rate) for every year of service.