NEVADA LABOR COMMISSIONER Michael Tanchek has concluded his review of the Wynn Resorts' new tip pooling policy allowing "casino service team leads," including pit bosses and floor supervisors, to share in dealers' tips.
"Based on what we've seen, Wynn Resorts is not violating state law regarding tip pooling," Tanchek said.
In response to public inquiries, Tanchek sent the deputy labor commissioner and the chief investigator to meet with Wynn representatives to ascertain the facts of the new policy and observe the dealers and supervisors on duty. The state officials confirmed that Wynn Resorts had complied with a state law requiring that all employees affected by the new policy receive a 7-day advance notice of a change in pay, prior to instituting the policy.
While no claims for wages owed have been filed against Wynn Resorts with the labor commissioner, Tanchek's Las Vegas office received over 100 General Complaint Forms, since Wynn announced the new policy. Most of the complaints are expressing concern that the new policy violated Nevada Revised Statutes 608.160, a statute that restricts an employer's access to tips and gratuities awarded employees. All of these complaints were filed anonymously.
Tanchek also reviewed case law on the subject prior to reaching his conclusion. In a similar case involving Harold's Club employees, the Supreme Court held that:
"(1) statute prohibiting an employer from taking all or part of any tips or gratuities bestowed on employees did not operate to prohibit employer from unilaterally imposing a tip-pooling agreement on employees as a condition of their employment as long as employer did not retain any part of the tips for its own use or reap any direct benefit from pooling,
In the Wynn Resorts case, Tanchek concluded that there was insufficient probable cause of a violation of Nevada law in order to initiate any action.
"Questions regarding tip pooling have come up in other gaming properties over the years. Due to proper noticing and controls, tip pooling violations have been rare, but the arrangements vary from property to property, so I will have to consider alleged tip-pooling violations on a case-by-case basis," Tanchek said.
For more information, log on to www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-608.html.