Layoffs in progress
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Coronavirus: 3,200 Caesars workers notified of layoffs 4 days before Vegas c-sino closures
Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette JournalPublished 4:08 p.m. PT March 27, 2020 | Updated 1:12 p.m. PT March 28, 2020
LAS VEGAS – Four days before closing nine hotel-c-sinos along the Las Vegas Strip to slow the spread of COVID-19, Caesars Entertainment notified state officials that 3,200 workers would lose their jobs, according to documents obtained by the RGJ.
In a March 14 letter to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, the company announced the cuts would happen the following day.
"Given the unknown certainty surrounding COVID-19," wrote Servando Lara, Caesars' director of labor relations, "we are unable to make a determination as to whether the layoff will be temporary or permanent."
One day after the letter arrived, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered that all non-essential businesses across the state shut down to arrest the spread of COVID-19.
The Caesars reductions included employees at Planet Hollywood, Paris, Caesars Palace, Harrahs, Flamingo, Bally's, The Cromwell Hotel, Linq Hotel and Rio.
Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988, companies must give the state notice at least 60 days in advance, but COVID-19 spread triggered financial fallout too rapidly to comply, according to the letter.
"The layoff is the result of an unforeseeable circumstance," Lara wrote.
The letter to Nevada's employment department shows the inner workings of a company blindsided and battered by the coronavirus travel fallout – one of many businesses now cutting thousands of workers to keep financials afloat.
New weekly claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Nevada surged to 93,036 last week following the closure of the state’s c-sinos and other non-essential businesses. In the middle of the recession, Nevada peaked at about 8,900 weekly unemployment claims.
The latest numbers from the Department of Labor indicate an increase of nearly 1,364% — a more than fourteenfold spike from the previous week’s 6,356 new claims.
The deluge in people applying for unemployment benefits has inundated the state’s system.
At this time in 2019, Clark County had 13,635 weekly unemployment claims. As of Friday, there were 41,549 – an increase of 205 percent.
That’s really sad!
Caesars begins layoffs during coronavirus crisis
Documentation obtained by the Review-Journal shows Caesars Entertainment Corp. has begun laying off employees amid reduced travel demand from the coronavirus pandemic.
A Planet Hollywood employee, who was granted anonymity to protect the worker’s ability to possibly return to the job, said they received a call from a manager Sunday afternoon saying their entire department would be laid off. The worker subsequently received documentation saying their employment status would change from full-time to laid off.
The employee said they were worried about providing for their family; while they could get access to their 401(k), the worker said it just took a huge hit from the stock market volatility.