Culinary Union to file a lawsuit against major Las Vegas Strip casino companies in order to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace



Monday, June 29th, 2020 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern


Bethany Khan, (702) 387-7088,

Monday: Culinary Union to file a lawsuit against major Las Vegas Strip casino companies in order to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace

Las Vegas, NV - Culinary Union will file a lawsuit Monday, June 29th, 2020 on behalf of Culinary Union members who work in casinos on the Las Vegas Strip in order to protect workers and their families from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. 

The Culinary Union is suing companies for injunctive relief under the Labor-Management Relations Act based on the hazardous working conditions that workers face. The lawsuit alleges casino hotels have not protected workers, their families, and their community from the spread of COVID-19, and that the current rules and procedures in place for responding to workers contracting COVID-19 have been wholly and dangerously inadequate. 


*Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer, Culinary Union

*Sixto Zermeno, bellman at The Signature at the MGM Grand for 10 years.

*Eric Weininger, cook at Guy Fieri for 6 years.  

*Jonathan Munoz, food server at Guy Fieri’s at Harrahs at the LINQ for 6 years.

*Irma Fernandez, daughter of Culinary Union member Adolfo Fernandez, who was a utility porter at Caesars Palace, and who has sadly passed away recently due to COVID-19.

WHAT: Press conference to go over the details of the lawsuit 

WHEN: Monday, June 29th, 2020 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

WHERE: Zoom; Media RSP to Bethany Khan.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining.

Members of the public can watch the livestream: 


Culinary Union’s lawsuit focuses on the companies’ failure to properly warn workers, disinfect, and quarantine when a worker or their co-worker tests positive for COVID-19. 

The Culinary Union is demanding safety for all hospitality and gaming workers in Nevada and is tracking what casino employers are doing to prevent COVID-19 in the following areas on

  1. Requiring daily cleaning of guest rooms
  2. Mandatory testing of all employees for COVID-19 before returning to work and regular testing thereafter 
  3. Providing adequate COVID-19 PPE for employees
  4. Enforcing social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention measures
  5. Requiring guests to wear face masks in all public areas - The Culinary Union has been calling for all customers to wear masks in public spaces since early May. A mandatory mask policy is a good step towards protecting workers and the hospitality industry in Nevada, but much more has to be done.
  6. Posting a COVID-19 safety plan on public-facing website - After months of advocating for increased transparency, the Culinary Union is pleased that most major gaming companies have posted their COVID-19 safety plans on their public-facing websites.

Culinary Union’s Public Health Guidelines for Gaming Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic:  


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.  

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.  

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership -- approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 85 years. / @Culinary226 


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