Wynn employees handed setback, Adelson bodyguards handed mall cop uniforms

sheldon-adelson-mall-copsA federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by employees working at nightclubs owned by casino mogul Steve Wynn seeking an end to company policy that required the employees to share their tips with club managers. Wynn casino dealers tried (and failed) to end the same policy, which dates back to 2005, during their own contract negotiations last year. Wynn’s attorneys had argued that the nightclub employees’ contract required them to work out any differences with management over tips via arbitration, rather than the court system, and the judge agreed.

Steve Wynn espouses a lot of the same political beliefs as Las Vegas Sands (LVS) chairman Sheldon Adelson, so it’s perhaps fitting that Adelson is also currently embroiled in litigation with his employees. Two months ago, nine current and former members of LVS’ Executive Protection Team – elite bodyguards who keep watch over Adelson’s family 24/7 – sued LVS for unpaid overtime pay they felt they were owed. LVS denied the employees were owed any overtime and subsequently reassigned them all to work as uniformed security guards at the Sands Expo Center convention center.

Viewing their demotion to Mall Cops as (a) punishment for having dared seek what they felt they were owed, and (b) a waste of their elite talents, the bodyguards sued. LVS attorneys countered by claiming the reassignment was necessary because Adelson’s family no longer trusted the bodyguards and there was no other place within the LVS organization chart to slot them. Moreover, in the words of LVS attorney Rick Roskelley, “there is no dishonor in being a security guard.” (No glory, neither.) On Tuesday, US District Judge Philip Pro issued a temporary restraining order on LVS’ plan to place Seal Team Six under Paul Blart’s command. The order will remain in place as long as the overtime lawsuit is a going concern. Interestingly, the bodyguards are using the same attorneys as ex-Sands China CEO Steven Jacobs, who is suing Adelson for wrongful termination.