Supreme Court rules that tip sharing is permitted . . battle continues

November 1st, 20130 Comments »

Wynn (Photo credit: sarahinvegas)

Tip sharing is permitted, battle is far from over

Back in 2006 when Wynn Resorts introduced a tip sharing program between dealers and floor supervisors, the decision was met with mixed reactions.

  • Casino dealers were not happy because they did not want to share their tips and reduce their income.
  • Floor supervisors were pleased because they would, in essence receive a substantial raise, and they would be earning more money than those that they supervise.
  • Casino operators wanted to see how it all played before deciding if they would follow suit.

Since that time, it has been a raging battle.

Casino dealers were so dissatisfied with having to share their tips that they opted to unionize in 2007,  through the Transport Workers Union Local 721, with over 60% of dealers voting in favor of union representation.

The dealers, at that time, were making approximately $80,000 per year and salaried table games floor personnel were making $60,000 annually.

The salaried personnel were reclassified as hourly personnel and dealers at Wynn claimed that the floormen went from making $60,000 per year to making $90,000 per year and the dealers went from $80,000 per year to $55,000 per year.

Perhaps the dealers thought that if they unionized, the tip sharing provision would magically disappear.

Maybe they even thought that having union representation would cause Steve Wynn to back down.

They were wrong on both counts.

Some of the dealers at Wynn Resorts regretted their decision to unionize and filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to remove the Transportation Union.

Although the dealers unionized in 2007, the Collective bargaining agreement did not go into effect until 2010, and the tip sharing provision was included in the 10-year agreement.

The dealers did receive a few concessions, though,  namely some protection from “at will” terminations.

Since that time, the tip sharing battle has played out in a series of court cases with Wynn mainly coming out ahead.

Wynn’s position has been that all of team members are responsible for the customer experience and that the tip sharing mandate is designed to level a pay disparity between dealers and supervisors.

Dealers in Las Vegas earn the bulk of their income from the tips, whereas other floor personnel within the tables games area are paid salaried wages.

In the latest ruling, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that ruled that the tip sharing plan violated Nevada laws.

That decision overturned a previous decision that ruled that the tip sharing plan did not violate state laws.

Because Wynn Resorts does not keep any of the tips and simply redistributed them, the case now goes back to District Court.

Apparently when the lower court erroneously ruled that the tip sharing program at Wynn Resorts violated Nevada laws, other provisions related to the minimum wage and rebates were not heard and now those issues must be ruled upon.

After the ruling, Wynn released this statement,

We are a professionally managed organization respectful and mindful of the law in all cases. We review our decisions carefully before we implement any change affecting our employees.

Now that  tip sharing is allowed, it remains to be seem if other casinos will follow suit.

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Casino Industry News Casino Table Games Steve Wynn Vegas News Wynn Resorts

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About Chellie Cervone

A Las Vegas "native" by way of New York, I'm a professional blogger who favors all things Las Vegas and offers a unique, witty and sometimes controversial perspective. You can count on me to tell it like it is. Please visit my other sites Las Vegas World News and Celebrity Feast Connect with me on Google+ Chellies World on Google+

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