Ex Resorts World NYC Staff Continues Legal Challenge

Resort World New York City closed down its Aqueduct Buffet back in 2014, however, employees who worked there are still leading a legal battle against the casino. The staff claims that their contracts have been wrongfully terminated by the employer and that they were not warned about it. Now, a court has ruled for the class action lawsuit to resume.

According to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, large employers are mandated to provide their workers with a 60-day notice when a major change to the company’s workforce is on the cards. Moreover, there is a similar regulation in the Empire State which extends the mini time for warning employees to 90 days before the changes.

Court Says Case Continues

This week a three-judge panel in the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in favour of resuming the class action lawsuit against Genting Americas and the casinos. The two judges in the majority said the 177 workers had a case in accusing the employer of breaching federal and state law when they were laid off. The casino said the buffet was constantly making losses.

Workers from the restaurant claim they were told about the closing of the restaurant the day it suspended work. After that, they teamed up to sue the casino. In March 2021, US District Judge Leo Glasser sided with the employer and state the layoffs did not require a WARN filing due to the restaurant’s closing did not significantly reduce the property’s overall staff members. According to the casino, the buffet layoff represented less than 10% of its total workforce.

But this week, Circuit Judges Denny Chin and Jon Newman concluded that the class action lawsuit has ground that a federal WARN Act notice should have been submitted. The employer responded that the Aqueduct Buffet was not a single unit or separate entity of the property, and pointed out that many of the workers also worked regularly in other casino restaurants.

The two judges believe the employer should have given a federal WARN notice. They concluded that the district court stumbled in granting summary judgment for the private company and in dismissing the Plaintiffs’ claims under the WARN Act. Now, the case has been officially remanded for further proceedings in the future.

Pursuing an Expansion

In the meantime, Resort World New York City is one of the candidates for one of the three commercial gaming licenses in downstate New York. If approved for one, the gaming property will be able to expand and add more gambling options. According to CGS-CIMB Research, the venue is among the favourites for one, as it already operates in the state’s gambling sector.

But in addition to that, the gaming hotspot also has community support behind its back which will be a major factor in deciding who gets a license. In 2021, Queens community groups and organizations voiced their backing for the expansion, claiming its expanded gaming floor would provide more jobs for locals and economic benefits to the area.

Source: O’Connor, Devin “Resorts World New York City Buffet Lawsuit Ongoing Nine Years After Restaurant ClosedCasino.org, May 15, 2023

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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat – turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.