Las Vegas Sands supremo Sheldon Adelson was ranked #7 on this year’s Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans based on his estimated net worth of $20.5b (and that list was compiled before Adelson paid himself a $1.2b special dividend in November). But Adelson has just been ranked #1 on the ‘America’s Ten Greediest of 2012’ list compiled by TooMuchOnline.org, an offshoot of the left-leaning Washington think-tankers at the Institute for Policy Studies.
According to the list-makers, one of the greedy qualities that earned Adelson top billing was his intense dislike of labor unions. In 2011, 130 security guards making $13/hour at the Sands Bethlehem casino in Pennsylvania voted to establish a union – the first in Sands’ 40k-employee empire – but Sands refused to recognize or negotiate with the new chapter of the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association. In June 2012, the National Labor Relations Board ordered Sands to negotiate with the union, but Sands announced it would appeal the ruling to a federal court. And make no mistake, Sands is serious about its appeals, having spent eight years fighting the right of Nevada’s Culinary Workers Union to hand out leaflets on the public sidewalk outside the Venetian in Las Vegas.
The fight with the Pennsylvania patrolmen isn’t Adelson’s only war against those who protect and serve. In June 2011, nine members of an elite bodyguard squad tasked with ensuring no harm came to people named ‘Adelson’ sued Sands for unpaid overtime. Sands response was to reassign the bodyguards to what amounted to mall-cop duty. The guards claimed this was intended to humiliate them, but two of the nine are now claiming injuries of an infinitely more tangible form, suing Adelson in Nevada’s Clark County Court for negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and strict product liability. The men’s claim, in a nutshell (pardon the pun) is that working for Adelson has made them infertile.
According to Courthousenews.com, Vincent Burlingame and Richard Carty claim that Adelson ordered the pair to X-ray “any and all mail that arrived” at the Adelson family home. The pair further claim that despite the fact that Adelson was fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for not maintaining the X-ray machines and failing to ensure the safety of the men using the machines, Adelson “failed to adhere to safety precautions … or provide safety equipment.” This failure “caused the plaintiffs to suffer injury, including sterilization.” For robbing them of their ability to ever attend a father-son picnic, the plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. And, perhaps, a hug.