COVID-19: Las Vegas Casino Lays Off Staff Via Voicemail

  • Rampart Casino notified employees via a recording of the general manager and vice president 
  • Company unable to retain the entire workforce due to uncertainty amid COVID-19 pandemic
  • Permanent lay-offs effective May 15, staff with paid time off should receive a check this week
  • Casino operator is open to rehiring associates when economic conditions improve
man holding smartphone and appearing upset
Rampart Casino employees got to know they were being permanently laid off via a voicemail message from their employer. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Unknown number of employees contacted

Rampart Casino employees received a phone call this week detailing their permanent lay-offs. The JW Marriot-owned casino in Las Vegas stated in a voice message that the lay-offs will begin on May 15. The number of employees affected is unknown.

Rampart had tried to retain the entire team but could not continue to do so

The voicemail was recorded by Rampart Casino’s general manager and vice president, Michelle Bacigalupi. She told workers that the company had come to the difficult decision to terminate their employment. She also informed that Rampart had tried to retain the entire team but could not continue to do so in light of continued uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Extended casino shutdown deemed to be the cause

Based on the voicemail contents, the casino’s decision concerning the permanent lay-offs came after Governor Steve Sisolak extended the statewide shutdown of gambling establishments. Originally, the casinos were to stay closed for only 30 days.

A reopening date for Nevada casinos has not been provided by the governor’s office. Many operators are hoping they can resume business by the end of next month.

Bacigalupi’s recording said: “As we look to the immediate future, and the reopening of the company operations, we expect business demand to be significantly decreased for the foreseeable future.” She added that terminated employees will not be able to claim another job at the company, while those with remaining paid time off should receive a check in the mail this week. Workers who paid for health insurance in May will receive coverage through the end of the month.

open to rehiring associates when the economic situation is stable

The casino’s vice president encouraged the laid-off workers to file for unemployment. According to Bacigalupi, the management would have liked to have provided more advanced notice of their action. However, she claimed they were unable to do so because of how quickly operations were affected by COVID-19.

Rampart Casino is open to rehiring associates when the economic situation is stable once again.

Employee reacts to the lay-off recording

In a comment, one anonymous employee stated that Rampart Casino should have used a different method of communication to alert staff about the lay-offs. The worker said the voicemail was disappointing, but not surprising.

This is reportedly not the first time the company has sent employees a recorded message. The anonymous worker also stated it had previously used voicemails to inform staff about temporary lay-offs and the return of uniforms.