In New Jersey, gaming venues were shutdown a short time ago in response to the coronavirus outbreak. As the virus continues to spread throughout the United States, all commercial casinos have shutdown in order to help and decrease the number of people affected. For employees of the casinos in Atlantic City, they are going to be without employment for quite some time. Thankfully for them, the state offers provisions that protect them during this time of crisis.
What Options Are Available?
In New Jersey, there are legal protections in place to assist in times like this, when employees of the gaming industry are severely affected. Included in the mix are paid sick leave, a mandate for employers to provide their workers. Many employees most likely had sick days and can use them as a form of payment during their time off.
Federal guidelines recently changed in the US to give states more flexibility when it comes to unemployment insurance programs. The employer pays in and the funds are put aside for employees. The amount paid to workers depends on how long an employee has worked for the company.
For employees in Atlantic City, they must file a claim with the state’s Division of Unemployment Insurance. The state has already stopped their usual requirements for employees in this area due to the virus. Those who do have sick leave, must use that money up before applying for unemployment.
Unemployment Across the US
Casinos across the United States have stopped offering services, which has contributed to the overall unemployment rate of the nation. So far, over three million people have applied for unemployment benefits and there may be more to come. People are out of work due to their employers shutting down services.
In every state with casinos, the venues are shutdown. This can include casino gaming floors as well as restaurants and hotels. In general, some states have taken a stay at home approach, and only essential businesses are operational. This is the reason for the high unemployment rate across the board.
For employees in Atlantic City, there are support options. Employers are doing what they can to help but it will most likely be some time before casinos are operational again, especially in the Garden State. New York is close by and the most affected by the coronavirus. New Jersey may see an influx in cases over the next few weeks as testing ramps up.
The entire world has also been affected by the virus, of which the outbreak began in China and has spread around the world. Casinos in regions like the UK and Italy have closed their doors in order to stop the spread, along with many other businesses.
We all are in a wait and see approach, social distancing as much as possible in the hopes of not contracting the virus. Already, over 750,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and over 36,000 people have died.