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Over 70 workers are seeking to join a class-action lawsuit filed in US District Court against Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort by three staff members last month. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
The legal floodgates are opening for Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort in Rhode Island. Dozens of the casino’s employees are now seeking to join an existing class-action lawsuit over their pay, as reported by The Providence Journal.
failing to pay them adequate overtime wages”
On Friday, the Rhode Island daily reported that over 70 workers are accusing the firm of “violating federal and state fair labor laws by failing to pay them adequate overtime wages and systematically undercutting their weekly paychecks.”
The 70+ group consists of employees who worked at the Lincoln casino at some point in the past three years, including dealers, servers, and other tip-based staff.
They are seeking to join a class-action lawsuit already filed by three employees last month. The original plaintiffs, Johan Tapia, Rebecca Barton, and Timothy Bartholomew, allege the casino was “willfully and repeatedly miscalculating its pay for hourly, tipped workers.”
Alleged labor law violations
According to The Providence Journal, the employees are requesting the court establish if Twin River incorrectly calculated their overtime wages. They also want clarity on any damages owed for the alleged violations of Rhode Island labor laws.
Chip Muller, one of the four lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said on Friday:
“We think there’s substantial money involved.”
The employees’ beef with the Lincoln casino, according to the suit, revolves around their overtime rate. They claim the casino based this on an hourly rate lower than the state-required minimum wage. Twin River supposedly did not inform staff it was paying a service “wage of $2.13 per hour, while taking a tip credit of $5.12 to bring the company up to the $7.25 federal minimum wage.”
The suit alleges the Lincoln casino paid workers 1.5 times lower than its service rate for overtime hours, and did not account for shift premiums in calculating overtime pay.
The workers also accuse the casino of compliance failures over a legal requirement to factor in tip credits and shift premiums.
Among other allegations, staff have accused the casino of rounding time worked to the nearest 15 minutes, but then deliberately undercounting the hours worked. The suit also alleges this timing system prohibited workers from punching in over seven minutes before their shift started.
Twin River, a state-operated casino privately owned by Bally’s Corporation, has not yet responded to the suit in court, according to ProJo.
The news source cites Twin River spokesperson Patti Doyle as saying her firm has declined to comment because the “matter involves personnel and pending litigation.”