MGM Casino Staff in Maryland, New Jersey Praise ‘Outstanding Result’ After Securing $12.5m Wage Settlement

  • MGM has inked a $12.5m wage settlement for casino staff in New Jersey, Maryland
  • The operator paid staff sub-minimum wage by “improperly claiming a tip credit”
  • Table games dealers at MGM National Harbor casino, and the Borgata filed the suits
  • Maryland, New Jersey casino dealers will get respective average payouts of $4,500, $1,000 
MGM Resorts sign
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts has inked a $12.5m wage settlement with about 2,600 staff from two of its casinos in New Jersey and Maryland. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Around 2,600 staff

MGM Resorts International has inked a $12.5m wage deal to settle class claims with around 2,600 of its casino staff in New Jersey and Maryland.

Plaintiffs Maria D. Maldonado and Laura A. Day filed their motion for preliminary approval of the deal in New Jersey federal court on November 12. The two MGM casino workers hailed the outcome as an:

outstanding result for class members.”

According to legal news resource Law360, MGM Resorts is forking out the $12.5m to settle claims it paid casino employees sub-minimum wage “by improperly claiming a tip credit without notice.” The deal will reconcile two connected lawsuits brought by table games dealers at the MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland and The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in New Jersey.

Maldonado and Day, who earned less than minimum wage plus tips while working at the casinos, challenged MGM Resorts’ capacity to claim a tip credit because of a supposed failure to give notice as stipulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Dealers dealt a break

According to Maldonado and Day’s motion for preliminary approval, the $12.5m deal constitutes over 64% of the tip credit damages alleged. As a result, table game dealers at MGM National Harbor and the Borgata will walk away with average payouts of $4,500 and $1,000, respectively.

The two plaintiffs — who will each receive $7,500 service awards — described the payments as “meaningful.” As per the proposed settlement, just under $4.2m from the fund will go to employees’ attorneys.

Maria D. Maldonado v. MGM Resorts International et al came before the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Russell L. Lichtenstein of Cooper Levenson PA represented MGM. Attorneys from Winebrake & Santillo LLC, Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, and McClelland Law Firm PC represented the workers.

Staff from the Borgata and MGM National Harbor won’t need to go through the hassle of claiming their dues either. Unless they requested to be excluded, the workers will “automatically receive a check in the mail for their share of the settlement fund.”

Hard work pays off

According to Law360, the 2,600+ MGM staff members have agreed to an “appropriately narrow release of claims tailored to the facts asserted in the operative complaint.”

The outcome results from suits filed in May 2020 and early 2021 by Maldonado and Day, respectively. For the two table games dealers, the settlement with MGM Resorts is the culmination of “significant” investigation, discovery, litigation, and mediation.

A similar case in spring saw Wynn Resorts agree to pony up a $5.6m settlement to around 1,000 table game dealers. The workers claimed Wynn violated labor laws by forcing them to share their tips with supervisors or managers.