Home Class Action Lawsuits Tropicana Evansville facing class action lawsuit

Tropicana Evansville facing class action lawsuit

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – Tropicana Evansville/Aztar Indiana Gaming Company LLC. is facing a class action lawsuit over allegations of violations of Indiana’s wage payment statute.

Alex Ricke, an attorney leading the case, says that they first started talking with Tropicana Evansville employees who tried to opt in on another case against a casino in St. Louis.

“Just through those interviews and conversations with those workers, we were able to figure out pretty quickly what was going on,” he said.

Ricke said that in Indiana, workers who make a certain amount in tips can be paid below minimum wage, so long as the lost wages are made up for by tips.

The law says that kind of arrangement is only legal if you provide a tip credit notice.

“You have to tell people who you’re paying less than minimum wage that you’re paying them less than minimum wage, you’re taking a tip credit against your minimum wage obligations, the amount of that tip credit, that they’re allowed to keep all their tips,” Ricke explained.

The lawsuit alleges that Tropicana Evansville did not provide a credit notice.

Ricke said that can lead to more lost wages in the form of overtime discrepancies.

“If you don’t know the amount of the tip credit that you’re being paid, then you’re not able to calculate your overtime rate correctly,” he said.

The time and a half principle doesn’t just apply to hourly wages, so Ricke said employees need to know exactly how much they’re expected to be making.

The lawsuit also points out that every worker on the floor of a casino in Indiana is required to have a gaming license.

They allege that Tropicana Evansville was deducting the cost of those licenses from their employees’ pay.

“The cost of these gaming licenses primarily benefits the employer,” Ricke said. “You can’t as an employer deduct that from the wages of employees that are already making below minimum wage.”

The final claim they’ve made is that time clock punch-ins and punch-outs were being rounded to the nearest half hour.

With policies that required workers to immediately begin working, they say employees would miss out on wages for the minutes lost in the rounding.

The case is a hybrid case that deals with federal and state claims.

If you wanted to opt in for their federal claims, the window has already closed.

Otherwise, if you worked at Tropicana Evansville after 2018, you’re already part of the state-level class action without having to opt-in, and have until October 31 to opt-out.

Ricke said after that, they’ll begin the second discovery phase and the case will continue.

For more information about the lawsuit or to learn how to opt-out, you can visit their website tropicanaevansvillecase.com.

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