Rampart casino in Vegas lays off employees with a recorded VOICEMAIL

Thursday 14th May 2020

Unemployment in the state has soared to a record high of 22% as a result

A Las Vegas casino laid off 'hundreds of employees' through a recorded voicemail on Tuesday, terminating their employment from May 15 after already placing staff on furlough.

An number of employees at Rampart Casino in Summerlin allegedly received a recording from the property's vice president Michelle Bacigalupi in which they were informed they were permanently laid off, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

A separate termination letter dated May 8 and branded with the Rampart and JW Marriot logo was acquired by VitalVegas.com and is said to have been sent to other employees using the same wording as the recorded message.

The Rampart casino is located within the JW Marriott Las Vegas resort.

An unknown number of employees at Rampart Casino in Summerlin (pictured) received a recording from the property's vice president and general manager Michelle Bacigalupi on Tuesday to tell them that they were being permanently laid off

The voicemail recording was made by Michelle Bacigalupi who introduced herself as the vice president and general manager of the Rampart Casino and JW Marriott Las Vegas

The exact number of employees laid off is uncertain, but it is reported by VitalVegas that only 200 of the 1,700 staff at the property will remain.

It is also unclear if the staff involved worked solely at the casino or if they were linked to the JW Marriott. The hotel's website states that while perceived as one entity, it is not associated with the Rampart Casino but the letter holds its branding.

DailyMail.com reached out to both the Rampart Casino and and Marriott International for comment.

'The following is an important message from the JW Marriott Rampart Casino emergency notification system,' the call began before Bacigalupi, who introduced herself as the as the vice president and general manager of the casino and JW Marriott Las Vegas, took over.

She told employees that the continued closure of casinos in Nevada had forced the company to begin laying off staff permanently.

'We've made the very difficult decision to terminate your employment,' she said.

'We've tried to retain our entire team. However, with the continued uncertainties, we are no longer able to do so.'

She added that they would be terminated from this Friday and would not have access to 'bumping rights' which would allow them to claim another job at the company.

Employee health insurance would be continued until the end of the month and former employees were encouraged to file for unemployment.

'We would have liked to have given you more notice to this action but were unable to do so because of how quickly and unexpectedly our operations were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,' Bacigalupi added.

'These decisions are never made lightly, and we deeply regret the hardships it places on you and your family.'

Rampart Casino employees have expressed their disgust at the impersonal manner in which the terminations took place.

One employee told the Las Vegas Review Journal that they believed the news should have been communicated using a different method.

'We don't have 80,000 employees... This is a smaller, intimate property,' he said.

'(The voicemail) was disappointing but not surprising.'

This letter was also sent to the staff to tell them about the terminations. A copy of the letter was acquired by VitalVegas.com. It is dated Friday, four days before the voicemail

The Rampart casino is on the grounds of the JW Marriott, Las Vegas (pictured). It is not certain if the terminations involved were also linked to staff at the hotel

He added that other recorded voicemails had been used when temporary lay offs started and when staff were asked to return uniforms.

'It was a great company when it was open,' he said. 'We should just be upfront about (layoffs).'

Las Vegas casinos continue to struggle with closures despite Nevada Gov Steve Sisolak beginning to lift the statewide shutdowns caused by the coronavirus.

Many are working with authorities to prepare heightened safety measures they hope will lead to a June reopening but the continued widespread lockdown has left unemployment rates high in the tourist and gambling hotspot.

The unemployment rate in the state has reached a record high of 22 percent. The state unemployment rate was less than 4 percent as recently as February.

Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, accounted for more than 82 percent of continued unemployment claims in Nevada as of May 2. It also accounted for more than 79 percent of new claims filed in the state for that week.

The number of unemployed in Clark County has jumped from just over 14,000 before March 14 to 271,774 as of May 2 and continues to rise.

There were 24,710 initial claims made in the first week of May.

The majority of these are in Las Vegas where casinos, bars and restaurants remain closed

The state experienced a 1,300 percent rise in unemployment claims in the week ending March 21, the week that the shutdown began.

In that week, there were 92,298 initial claims made.

In contrast, the whole of 2019 only saw 119,232 initial unemployment claims made in Nevada.

As of the start of May, there have already been 440,761 initial claims so far in 2020.

Initial claims have only reached over 300,000 in one other year since 1990. That was in 2009 when the year's total was 329,375.

Across the United States, further waves of unemployment continue with another 2.98 million laid-off workers applying for benefits last week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

That means that 36.5 million Americans have now been thrown out of work in a US economy still paralyzed by business shutdowns.

Another 2.98 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department announced, adding to the 33 million who sought aid in the previous seven weeks

The waves of layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic continue with nearly 36.5 million Americans now thrown out of work in a US economy still paralyzed by business shutdown

The number of first-time applications, however, has now declined for six straight weeks, suggesting that a dwindling number of companies are reducing their payrolls.

By historical standards, though, the latest tally shows that the number of weekly jobless claims remains enormous, reflecting an economy that is sinking into a severe downturn.

Last week's pace of new applications for aid is still four times the record high that prevailed before the coronavirus struck hard in March.

Jobless workers in some states are still reporting difficulty applying for or receiving benefits. These include freelance, gig and self-employed workers, who became newly eligible for jobless aid this year.

The latest jobless claims follow a devastating jobs report last week when the government said the unemployment rate soared to 14.7 percent in April, the highest rate since the Great Depression, and employers shed a stunning 20.5 million jobs.

A decade's worth of job growth was wiped out in a single month.

But even those figures failed to capture the full scale of the damage with the government saying many workers in April were counted as employed but absent from work when they should have been counted as temporarily unemployed.

Millions of other laid-off workers didn't look for a new job in April, likely discouraged by their prospects in a mostly shuttered economy, and weren't included, either.

If all those people had been counted as unemployed, the jobless rate would have reached nearly 24 percent.

To date, 6,476 people in Nevada have been confirmed with having contracted the virus, with 331 deaths.

Nationwide there have been more than 85,000 deaths and 1,420,000 confirmed cases.

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