Penn National Workers to Receive Part of $5.5m Settlement After Losing Pay for Smoking Tobacco

A big pay out

A federal judge has approved a $5.5m class settlement for Penn National Gaming workers in their case against the casino operator.

the workers will voluntarily end their benefits claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act

US District Judge Stephen R. Bough granted preliminary approval to the settlement in court on Monday. The ruling means the workers will voluntarily end their benefits claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, in which Penn stands accused of unlawfully cutting the paychecks of staff who smoked tobacco.

A brief disclosed by the workers on Friday detailed that the settlement fund also relates to two other suits – one regarding the Missouri Minimum Wage Law and the other the Fair Labor Standard Act. Employees claim Penn broke these rules by forcing them to pool tips and docking their paychecks to procure and renew gaming licenses for its Argosy Riverside Casino and Hollywood Casino St. Louis.

Details of the deal

According to Law360, the plaintiffs’ brief revealed the $5.5m gross settlement figure, among other elements of the deal. The multimillion-dollar settlement will go to class members, cost of settlement administration, attorney hire, service awards, and a “modest” $5,000 reserve fund.

required workers to sign an affidavit stating if they were smokers or not

The tobacco suit stems from 2015 when Penn started trimming $50 off the paycheck of every employee who smoked tobacco. The casino operator even required workers to sign an affidavit stating if they were smokers or not.

Meanwhile, Gina Lipari-Williams first sued Penn in April 2020 for unlawfully requiring her and other employees to pool their tips with non-tipped workers. At the same time, the operator supposedly docked their pay to fund the renewal of gaming licenses for its Argosy Riverside Casino and Hollywood Casino St. Louis.

Checks in the mail

The brief included average per capita settlement estimates for the Penn National casino workers involved. Those involved in the Argosy and Hollywood tip pooling case will get $2,000 and $1,650, respectively. Meanwhile, those impacted by the gaming license pay dock will receive $55 on average.

Those Penn National tobacco smokers who lost money from their paychecks will receive around $370 on average.

According to Law360 on Monday, Judge Bough said the court settlement “falls within the range of reasonableness and, therefore, meets the requirements for preliminary approval.”

Source: https://www.vegasslotsonline.com/news/2023/02/01/penn-national-workers-to-receive-part-of-5-5m-settlement-after-losing-pay-for-smoking-tobacco/

Source: https://webfulnet.com/

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