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Wynn's casino tip policy

By Daniel Michaels, Feb 15th 2007
Cynthia Fields, a former dealer at Wynn Las Vegas, sustained that casino operator Steve Wynn verbally abused and fired her. She believes that the reason she was fired is because she filled up a report with the National Labor Relations Board after a meeting in which Wynn lost his temper and made job threats if they complained about the casino's tips distribution policy. Fields worries the episode will unjustly affect her reputation as a dealer and hopes the NLRB can rehire her at Wynn Las Vegas.

Cynthia sustained that everyone considered her a troublemaker, and this just for the fact that she stand up for her rights and therefore for all employee's rights at Wynn. Wynn attorney Gregory Kamer sustained that employees are allowed to express themselves in any suitable manners and wouldn't discuss Fields's case.

Dealer issues at Wynn began when the casino decided to change its tip policies. Wynn representatives sustained that the change is in fact a reorganization meant to correct the fact that some executives earned less than the people they managed.

Andrew Pascal, Wynn Las Vegas President, said that they realized that their company structure, with its recompense system, wasn't working and had to be improved.

The policy change produced many protests planned by the International Union of Gaming Employees, a small group that provides support and information to Las Vegas dealers. The protests attracted many dealers in front of Wynn Las Vegas, but Wynn dealers didn't participated because, many said, they worried for their employment.

Fields stated that her troubles started approximately on Oct. 30 throughout a meeting that included Wynn, a number of members of the casino management team and employees to talk about the tip policy.

Fields, who dealt roulette and blackjack, worked at Wynn Las Vegas since the $2.7 billion casino opened in April 2005. During the meeting, Fields and other employees sustained that Wynn shouted, slammed his fist on the table and threatened dealers with salary cuts or worse if they complained. The meeting left Cynthia Fields terrified and encouraged her to file a charge at NLRB.

The company's attorney, Gregory Kamer, wasn't at the meeting, but even so, he denied that there were any threats, sustaining that it only was an informational meeting.

The NLRB analyzed the accusation and on Dec. 28 decided that there was sufficient evidence to file a charge against Wynn.

Stephen Wamser, deputy regional attorney for the National Labor Relations board, said that the accusation is programmed to go before an administrative law judge on March 13. The trial had been planned for February, but was suspend to give investigators' time to look into Fields' charge that she had been unjustly fired.

In general, NLRB has the right to ask a judge to order the company to rehire the former employer that was unfairly fired, but this rarely happens.

Cynthia Fields sustained that she had never produced any troubles at her previous workplaces, adding that her job was the only income of support for herself and her 1-year-old son.

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