Casino workers across the State of New York received layoff notices while their places of employment remained shut under COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Around 4,000 employees were affected by these notices.
The federal government’s WARN Act obliges employers to provide their workers with advance notice of layoffs that are set to last longer than six months. As there is no proposed date to reopen New York’s casinos just yet, the employers sent notices to employees at Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, Sullivan County (1,276 workers), Resorts World New York City at the Aqueduct Racetrack (955 workers), Tioga Downs (Bighamton) and Vernon Downs (Utica) (around 900 workers combined), Rivers Casino in Schenectady (1,000 workers) and del Lago Resort and Casino in Tyre, Seneca County (1,100 workers).
Resorts World confirmed that it had sent WARN notices to their employers, who have already been on furlough since March, 2020.A statement issued by Resorts World yesterday read:
“Unfortunately, several weeks after ceasing operations in March, we were forced to make the difficult decision to furlough some of our employees. As part of that process, we are now required by law to issue WARN letters to the furloughed staff.”
In March, the Malaysian-based casino giant, Genting, announced that was closing its two properties in New York temporarily. This was after Rivers Casino in Schenectady had also closed and the state has limited large gathering places. The company said in its statement that it had decided, for the health and safety of its workforce and community, to temporarily close the properties.
The WARN notice to the Resorts workers suggests that they hope to bring many of their employees back as soon as they are able.
“Whenever we are told that we will be allowed to open, we will institute whatever protocols are necessary and work to get our terrific workforce back to their jobs,” the workers were told.