Nevada Gaming Commission to Consider New Sexual Harassment Rules
Unless you have been living under a rock as of late, then you most likely know something about the sexual harassment allegations faced by Wynn Resorts former CEO Steve Wynn. For months now, all eyes have been on the money and its former leader as allegations emerged stating Wynn had been sexually harassing employees for some time. With the many charges and lawsuits filed against Wynn, the Nevada Gaming Commission is now considering adding new rules regarding sexual harassment.
In mid-October, the Nevada Gaming Control Board filed a five-count complaint against Steve Wynn, accusing him of sexual harassment at the Wynn Resort. They requested that the commission revoke the finding that he is suitable to hold a license. Wynn continues to deny the harassment claims and it is unclear as to whether or not he has responded to the complaint filed by the board.
When it comes to considering regulation regarding penalties for sexual harassment involving gaming license holders in Nevada, Chairman of the Board, Tony Alamo is reluctant to consider options until the complaint against Wynn is resolved.
For more than a year now, the Boar has been working on amendments to Regulation 5 of the gaming rules to strengthen the ability of the Commission to require license holders to monitor sexual harassment in the workplace better than they are now. Earlier this month, the Control Board was approving of an amendment that focuses on sexual harassment and other types of discrimination in the work environment.
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The Commission is expected to cover regulation changes regarding sexual harassment and discrimination in their meeting later on this week. If approved, the regulation changes would be enforced immediately.
However, one section would not be enforced yet. An addition is being considered that would require a gaming establishment that is licensed to maintain policies in written form as well as procedures that prohibit workplace harassment or discrimination. This section would not be enforced until March, if the amendment passes this week.
Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Morgan feels the changes are long overdue. According to Morgan, it is important for the state to maintain their leadership role when it comes to the regulation of the industry.
She stated that Nevada is often looked at as the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to gaming regulation. She thinks that it is essential that regulators remember why and ensure that what they do maintains this standard but raises the bar for other jurisdictions when it comes to gaming regulations. Nevada is the only state to have legalized gaming for 50 years and they should work to maintain high standards.
Ms. Morgan said the changes are well overdue and: “It’s time that we acknowledge specifically in our gaming regulations that our licensees must have and implement policies that ensure that the half a million gaming industry employees will not be subject to workplace discrimination or sexual harassment based on their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability or national origin.”
The allegations against Wynn have created a firestorm in the industry and it seems leaders are finally taking a look and making changes to ensure that female as well as minorities are protected in the work place regarding the gambling industry. We shall see if this next meeting will result in the amendment changes to provide further protections in the region from sexual harassment and discrimination.