A message from D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE, to union staff, members and everyone working in the hospitality industry about the state of our union amid the COVID-19 crisis. His message?
UNITE HERE’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226 & Bartenders Union Local 165 Public Health Guidelines for Gaming Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
These guidelines reflect direction from various public agencies and hospitality employers. Gaming companies in Nevada should collaborate with the Culinary and Bartenders Unions to establish detailed protocols to ensure implementation.
- Each facility should establish detailed written procedures for implementing these guidelines. Such procedures should be supplied to all personnel in the language they are most comfortable with and to their bargaining representatives.
- Each facility should maintain an adequate stock of personal protective equipment (PPE), and should distribute such equipment at no cost to employees.
- Each facility should maintain detailed records of all actions taken in response to possible instances of COVID-19, including locations, sanitation measures undertaken, and individuals who have been identified as having come into contact with suspected carriers.
- Employers should inform employees who have had contact with individuals who have tested positive for or are suspected to have COVID-19, as well as their bargaining representative, that such contact has occurred and conduct appropriate contact tracing.
- A person with detailed knowledge of sanitation protocols should be designated on each shift. Employees should be informed of that person’s identity and should report to that person all concerns related to the sanitary protocols, including the identity of possibly sick guests. Detailed logs of such reports, and resulting actions taken, should be maintained, and made available to employees and their bargaining representatives upon request.
- City or county governments should finance and mandate workforce development programs to ensure common training standards appropriate to the gaming industry in each market.
- Prior to the introduction of new workplace technologies, such devices should be evaluated for their impacts on public health, safety, and employees.
- Employers and employees with their bargaining representatives should form joint health and safety committees with timely dispute resolution language.
- Trained personnel should perform non-intrusive thermal screening on guests and employees upon entry into the facility. Any employee who exceeds 100.4°F (38°C) should be offered a second test no sooner than ten minutes after the first. Individuals with a temperature exceeding 100.4°F (38°C) should not be admitted to the facility, unless they present medical evidence (e.g. a doctor’s note) that such temperature is likely due to a non-communicable condition.
- Employees denied work due to an abnormal temperature reading should receive on-site, employer-paid testing for COVID-19, and should be placed on fully-paid leave until test results are available.
- Employees should not be required to congregate such that they are unable to maintain a six foot separation from each other. This may require staggering shifts and/or pre-shift meetings.
- Break areas, employee dining rooms, training areas, and locker rooms should be configured so that all workers can maintain a six-foot separation and should be cleaned frequently. Where this is not possible, break times should be staggered as much as practicable.
- Only non-touch timeclocks should be used. Biometric data should be strictly secured and should not be used for any purpose other than to log the employee’s presence in the facility.
- All employees should be offered employer-paid tests to determine their current and past COVID-19 status. Tests should be provided with sufficient time for employees to receive results before they are scheduled to return to work. Employers should contract with third party organizations able to generate baseline statistics of past and present COVID-19 status across the workplace and should provide such statistics to employees and their bargaining representatives to the maximum extent permitted by law. Once an employee has been cleared to return to work by a health professional, the employer shall promptly return that employee to his/her previous position.
- All rooms used since the declaration of a Public Health Emergency should be thoroughly cleaned according to the procedures below.
- All rooms used by persons under quarantine or isolation orders, or otherwise exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 during the preceding seven days should be cleaned and disinfected by a specially-trained group of employees according to the procedures below.
- Plumbing and HVAC systems should be inspected by appropriately qualified maintenance personnel to ensure their healthy operation.
- All employees should receive health and sanitation training in paid re-opening orientations.
- If COVID-19 has been detected at any time during the preceding fourteen days in the state or province where the facility is located, no employee should be compelled to accept work. Any employee electing not to accept work should be considered to be on involuntary layoff. Employers should not challenge applications for unemployment benefits by employees subject to such involuntary layoff. Such employees should be permitted to return to work at any time according to regular scheduling practice.
- No employee should be disciplined or retaliated against for refusing work they believe poses a risk to themselves or others or for reporting work conditions that they believe may be unsafe.
- No employer shall issue attendance “points” or any form of demerits or discipline to any employee who calls out sick due to experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), is subject to quarantine by the local health district or other governmental agency, is directed to self-quarantine by the employer or a healthcare professional, is diagnosed positive for COVID-19, or is absent due to their child’s COVID-19 related school closure.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Provide PPE at no cost to employees prior to each shift, and as equipment is soiled.
- For employees working in areas known to have been occupied by individuals under quarantine or isolation orders, or otherwise exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, PPE should be provided so as to conform with CDC Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings.
- For all other employees, the following PPE should be provided: surgical masks, disposable gloves, goggles or plexiglass barriers, disposable gowns and/or aprons, hair caps, biohazard disposal bags.
- Provide additional PPE necessary to ensure safe usage of all chemicals and equipment.
- Each facility should provide training on proper use of PPE, including procedures for donning and doffing.
Guest arrival and departure
- Guests should be asked to keep six-foot separation from anyone who is not travelling with them.
- Guests should be offered surgical masks and asked to wear them while in public areas.
- Guests should not touch doors entering the facility. Doors should either be propped open, should open automatically, or should be opened by a doorperson.
- Shuttle buses should be thoroughly cleaned after each trip. Guests should not be allowed in the front passenger seat, and plexiglass barriers should be installed to protect drivers wherever practical. If any guest is found to be under quarantine or isolation orders, or to exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19, the vehicle should be immediately cleaned in accordance with the CDC’s “Cleaning and Disinfection for Non-emergency Transport Vehicles” guidance.
- Lobby areas should be reorganized to permit orderly queuing so that guests maintain six foot separation. A service agent trained in security protocols should be appointed at all times to ensure compliance.
- Front desk counters should have plexiglass sneeze/cough guards installed.
- Contactless and cashless tipping systems for guest service providers (e.g. bellperson, valet, doorperson, guest room attendants, room service attendants etc.) should be provided.
- All common areas and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily.
- An inventory of all high-touch surfaces should be created (e.g. doorknobs and handles, telephones, light switches, tables, chairs and work surfaces, desktops, washrooms, point of sale devices and menus). Cleaning and disinfecting of such surfaces should occur at least every hour.
- Elevator surfaces and buttons should be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per hour. An elevator attendant should be assigned to each guest and employee elevator.
- Clean visibly dirty surfaces before disinfecting, unless stated otherwise on the product instructions. Cleaning refers to the removal of visible dirt, grime, and impurities.
- Use disinfectants from the Environmental Protection Agency’s List N. Follow the instructions on the product label.
- Floors and walls should be kept visibly clean and free of spills, dust, and debris.
- Empty and clean garbage cans in public areas regularly.
- Items that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected should be removed (e.g., newspapers, writing pads, tabletop ornaments).
- All cleaning personnel should be given ample time to complete their tasks fully and safely.
- Uniforms should be laundered daily at no cost to employees.
Front-of-House food service
- Tables and barstools should be configured to maximize distance between parties, in conformance with public health guidelines.
- Banquet and convention areas should be setup to maximize distance between parties, in conformance with public health guidelines.
- Public areas in cafeterias should be organized to ensure orderly queuing to maintain physical distancing.
- Line servers and cashiers should have plexiglass barriers installed between them and the guests.
- Self-service trays, plates and utensils should not be made available.
- Extremely high-touch items (menus, salt/pepper shakers, etc.) should be replaced with disposable items.
- Foods that may have been contaminated from coughs or sneezes should always be discarded.
- Buffets and other self-service options (including water, soda, and coffee dispensers) should be suspended, except where meals are made available in sealed containers.
- Make plain soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer available, including at cashier stations.
- Regularly clean and disinfect equipment used for handling payments.
- Regularly clean and disinfect carts used for transporting food and picking up dirty dishes and at least between every shift.
- Implement contactless tipping systems for bartenders, cocktail servers, servers, etc.
- Kitchens should be reconfigured wherever practical to create six foot spacing between stations.
- Where six foot spacing between stations is not possible, staggered shifts should be considered for physically distancing work (e.g. prep work).
- Utensils and kitchen surfaces should be cleaned regularly using standard sanitizing solutions (e.g., QUATs or chlorine). Product label instructions should be followed closely.
- Dishes and cookware should be washed using regular procedures (e.g., sanitizing dishwasher)
- Used dishware from guests under quarantine or isolation orders, or otherwise exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, must be washed and sanitized immediately.
- Food scraps should be scraped off manually from plates prior to beginning dishwashing. Use of sprayers should be minimized.
- Separately labeled “clean” and “dirty” carts and trays should be used for transporting food and for picking up used dishes. Carts and trays should be sanitized regularly, at least between every shift.
- Dish buckets (dirty and clean) should be cleaned and sanitized after each shift.
- Clean and dirty dishes should be kept separate at all times in the dish washing area.
At least daily
- Cleaners should wash hands before entering and after leaving each guest room.
- Disposable paper towels and wipes should be used for cleaning.
- Vacuums should not be used.
- Linens should be changed daily and should be washed at high temperatures.
- Dirty linens and towels should be bagged. Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry and discard after each use. Wash hands immediately after gloves are removed. Do not allow dirty linens to come into contact with clean ones.
- Separate carts should be used to carry clean supplies and to remove used ones. Carts should be clearly labeled “clean” or “dirty”. Carts should be sanitized between every shift. Guests should not be incentivized to forego daily housekeeping services.
- Guest rooms should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after checkout.
- Carpets should be steam cleaned at a minimum temperature of 160°F (71°C).
- An adequate supply of hand soap and hand sanitizer should be available in the guest room. If individual bars of soap are provided, all remnants must be thrown out upon checkout.
- All glassware and dishes should be removed from the room. Alternatively, disposable glassware, dishes and utensils should be provided in rooms.
Guests reporting or showing signs of illness:
- Any guest reporting or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should be presumed infectious.
- Staff should not enter self-isolation rooms until authorized.
- Housekeeping or room service items should be delivered outside guest room doors.
- Daily service should be provided by a specially trained team
- Guest’s trash should be collected from outside the guestroom door in a sturdy, leak resistant bag. It should be placed immediately in the hotel’s main disposal container.
- Once the individual(s) in self-isolation have left a room, the room should be sanitized by a specially-trained team. The teams should complete a thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces with an approved disinfectant, launder all removable towels and linens, and steam clean items that cannot be laundered (plush chairs, drapes).
- Food carts should not be delivered into guest rooms.
- “Clean” and “dirty” room service items should not be carried on the same cart.
- Room service items should not be collected from rooms occupied by isolating or quarantined guests, except by the specially-trained cleaning and sanitation team.
- Disposable gloves should be worn when handling dirty laundry and discarded after each use. Wash hands immediately after gloves are removed.
- If reusable gloves are worn, gloves should be dedicated for handling dirty laundry and should not be used for other purposes. Wash hands immediately after gloves are removed.
- Do not shake dirty laundry.
- Dirty laundry should be placed directly into a linen bag without sorting. Do not overfill bags.
- Clearly mark laundry bins as “clean” or “dirty”. Ensure dirty laundry only contacts dirty laundry bins, and clean laundry only contacts clean laundry bins.
- Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to manufacturer’s guidance. Consider using a liner that can be laundered.
- Clean and sanitize the front-loading area of washing machines frequently.
- Wash and dry items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest possible water settings. Dry all items thoroughly.
Fitness Centers, Spas, & Pools
- These services should remain closed until public health authorities provide direction that they may be operated safely.
- Upon opening, these operations should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized multiple times per day, as appropriate to customer volume.
- Casino supervisors and managers should ensure that guests do not congregate in groups and queue appropriately so that guests maintain six-foot separation from each other and from employees, particularly at cage cashiers and in sports book and simulcast rooms.
- Protective barriers should be installed at all cages and cashier stations.
- Slot machines and table games should be turned off and/or reconfigured with the chairs removed to allow for six-foot separation between guests.
- Slots, tables, and table game equipment (dice, chips, etc.) should be sanitized frequently.
Subcontracted and outsourced services
Subcontracts for guest transportation, food production and delivery, laundry, and other guest services should require the service provider to implement the standards in this document. Subcontractors should have a direct employment relationship with their personnel to ensure conformance with these standards and to facilitate contact tracing.
UNITE HERE proposes comprehensive public health guidelines to protect casino workers & guests as gaming facilities move towards reopening
Important News Related to Your Retirement Plan
CARES Act (COVID-19 Relief Bill)
Recently, the U. S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This document provides an overview of the retirement plan provisions in the CARES Act that could offer you financial relief.
How do you know if you qualify for this relief?
Relief is available to “qualified individuals,” meaning either:
You, your spouse or dependents have been diagnosed with coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19), or
You have experienced adverse financial consequences due to coronavirus, resulting from:
Being quarantined, furloughed or laid off.
Having work hours reduced.
Being unable to work due to lack of childcare.
Closing or reducing hours of a business you own or operate.
To allow qualified individuals to get needed financial help as quickly as possible, our retirement plan now allows the following temporary withdrawal and loan relief permitted by the CARES Act:
Click Here For More Information
“Am I getting a check from the government? If so, when? How much?”
We wanted to share some important information from Congressman Horsford about the rebate checks.After demanding answers from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury, Congressman Steven Horsford secured a timeline of the direct payments to Americans authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Support (CARES) Act. The amount of the rebate that Nevadans receive depends on family size and income:
- $1,200 for each adult individual.
- $2,400 for married couples (or those who file their taxes jointly).
- $500 for each qualifying child.
Direct payments are reduced by $5 for every $100 of income up to $150,000 for a joint filer, $112,500 for a head of household filer, and $75,000 for single filers.
Congressman Horsford received the below information from the IRS and Treasury Department:
Starting the week of April 13th, the IRS will begin sending out direct payments, starting with about the 60 million Americans who have direct deposit information on file with the IRS from their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
During the first week of May, the IRS will begin sending paper checks to individuals. About 5 million paper checks will be sent per week, which could take up to 20 weeks to get all the checks out.
Paper checks will be issued starting with people with the lowest income first. Paper checks will be sent to roughly 100 million Americans who do not have direct deposit information on file with the IRS. Those who want to receive their payment via direct deposit may file a “simple tax return” released by the IRS in the coming weeks.
For Americans receiving Social Security who do not file returns: The Treasury Department and the IRS announced that they will NOT need to file a tax return to receive their rebate. Social Security recipients will receive their rebate, just as they would their Social Security benefits.
For other taxpayers who do not file returns: The IRS expects to release a “simple tax return” that will contain only a few questions, including name, social security number, dependents, and deposit information.
There also will be future IRS guidance on this “simple tax return” when it’s released.The IRS expects to create a portal by the end of April/early May that will allow taxpayers to find out the status of their rebate payment and update direct deposit information. The IRS is also encouraging taxpayers to file their 2019 returns to the maximum extent possible. As taxpayers file their 2019 returns electronically, the IRS will post updated tax information weekly to its files and then send this information to another agency that will issue weekly payments.
Culinary Union, Bartenders Local 165 and UNITE HERE Call for “Bailout of the American Worker, Not Just Industry” As COVID-19/Coronavirus Crisis Mounts.
On a call with reporters from across the nation, Culinary Union and UNITE HERE union leaders acknowledged the stark new world of novel coronavirus and COVID-19, where social distancing is our “new normal”. They then called on Congress to act boldly and swiftly to ensure that workers who are suddenly out of work have the physical and financial security they need to survive this global pandemic.
“The gaming industry is completely shut down. That’s the heart of Las Vegas. […] That provides middle-class jobs. But now, we’re not working.”
Culinary and Bartenders Union members reassured their benefits are safe.
Culinary Union and Bartenders Union members were reassured their benefits are protected in a message posted to the organization’s blog yesterday.
After Gov. Sisolak ordered the closure of casinos in Nevada to reduce the spread of COVID-19, union members were quickly provided information regarding healthcare benefits extensions, protecting their job contracts, and how to file for unemployment. They were also instructed on how to address housing and utility billing issues.