Caesars Palace promotes itself as “world-renowned luxury” to tourists all over the world, but employees tell a different story about buildings so badly infested with cockroaches that they had to shut entire floors down. Another employee talked to us about going into her office and having hundreds of cockroaches all around her desk and being forced to work while they scurried around. It was so bad that even their steakhouse, Old Homestead was shut down after cockroaches seemingly took over the restaurant.
An employee, Amanda Garcia (née Berland), who worked in the “In Room Dining” department (Room Service) described an environment to us so bad that when she worked there, her manager would often give instructions on how to kill cockroaches that they found. She was so disgusted with cockroaches overtaking the kitchens, that she spoke to health inspectors about the issues – and that got her fired.
That illegal, and the feds agreed, and according to her, it was and recently ruled in her favor in a Federal National Labor Relations Board action.
In addition to federal whistleblower protection laws, most states make it unlawful to fire employees for reporting employer violations and other acts of misconduct. These laws vary, however, with respect to who is protected (whether public employees or private employees) and to whom the protection is afforded (such as co-workers and other business entities).
But the issues didn’t end with that: an executive at the company started giving lectures to employees about why they could not speak to health inspectors: a severe violation of the law.
The Feds agreed that this was also problem, and the NLRB also ruled that they must not only allow all employees to speak to Health Inspectors without retaliation but they must post a notice that tells all employees that they can report issues like cockroaches to any authority. Now, we are told, there are cockroach “reporting posters” all over worker’s areas in Caesars. Read the posters on my twitter account.
However, employees say things haven’t changed: the hotel has had infestations for years – and unless they shut down entire buildings for weeks and fumigate floor after floor, it may be impossible to ever get rid of the issues – and Caesars may always be cockroach palace.