The Culinary Union Local 226 Las Vegas Chapter and the Nevada Resort Association are at loggerheads because of housekeeping. The state's law that was passed during the Coronavirus pandemic needs Washoe and Clark counties' hotel rooms to be well-kept daily. Resorts such as The Venetian have hired attendants who maintain hygiene in their rooms and amenities.
The then Governor Steve Sisolak (D) signed Senate Bill 4 in August 2020 after the Senate Committee of the Whole introduced it. It states that each public lodging, such as a casino hotel, should clean all occupied rooms daily.
The regulation's supporters backed it, claiming that it was an effective method of compelling casinos and hotels, which retrenched some workers during the global health crisis, to rehire them. Some establishments ceased offering essential services such as daily housekeeping to cut their operation costs. The bill's supporters stated that cleaning hotel rooms daily upheld safety and health standards.
Sisolak (D) said when he signed the law that it would be the first one in the nation that will offer workers in the hospitality sector more protection. Nevada's economy heavily relies on tourism and travel workers. Thus, local resorts lose an edge over their competitors in other states when they lack such employees.
Nevada is a renowned tourism destination globally, especially due to its high hygiene standard. Senate Bill 4 only applied to Clark and Washoe since they are the only counties with 100,000 and above residents. Carson City has an upcoming bill that intends to repeal the legislation, almost three years since it was signed.
What Is Making the Workers' Union and Casinos Differ?
Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop (D-District 8) backed SB4 in the August 2020 vote. Yet, she is advocating for the removal of the daily cleaning rule since the pandemic has passed.
The lawmaker is sponsoring Senate Bill 441, which wants to return the 2019 hotel cleaning regulations and repeal SB4. The Nevada Resort Association backs the bill.
It is lobbying for Carson City resorts and gaming venues, claiming that most visitors dislike daily housekeeping. Some of them feel it infringes on their privacy inside hotel rooms.
Virginia Valentine, the Nevada Resort Association's President, informed the Las Vegas Review-Journal that guests need the freedom to select if they will have housekeeping or not. Some of them prefer sleeping in the daytime and performing certain tasks at night.
Valentine urges lawmakers to let guests and hotel management decide when workers will clean occupied rooms. Even so, Culinary Union officials state that SB411 intends to offer casinos the liberty to enact more cost-saving measures, including reducing their staff further.
Ted Pappageorge, Culinary 226 Chapter's secretary-treasurer, said that protecting housekeeping protects clients and Vegas' good reputation.
Moreover, guests aren't receiving exceptional services despite paying hefty prices for first-class hotel rooms. This will eventually taint Nevada's reputation as an ideal hospitality destination.