A former Wind Creek Bethlehem employee has filed a class-action lawsuit against the casino, claiming that it paid him and other tipped employee below the minimum wage required under state and federal law.
Jacob Bartakovits filed his complaint in the US District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania this past Tuesday. He is represented by Derrek Cummings of the McClelland Law Firm. Mr. Bartakovits’s lawyer asked the case to be handled as a class-action lawsuit.
Mr. Bartakovits worked as a table games dealer at Wind Creek Bethlehem between August 2018 and October 2019. His position was an hourly, non-exempt one, according to the recently filed lawsuit.
During that time, Wind Creek Hospitality purchased Wind Creek Bethlehem (formerly Sands Bethlehem) from Las Vegas casino powerhouse Las Vegas Sands in a $1.4 billion deal. The transaction closed in the summer of 2019.
In his lawsuit, Mr. Bartakovits accused the gambling venue of systematic violation of state and federal minimum wage requirements. The former Wind Creek Bethlehem employee further clarified that the casino failed to inform its staff members about the required tip credit provisions.
According to Mr. Bartakovits, the gambling venue improperly deducted money from his and other workers’ paychecks. Said deductions included gaming license fees, among other things, and brought employees’ wages below the required minimum pay.
The lawsuit also noted that in certain instances the casino reduced the overtime rate under Pennsylvania and federal law.
Similar Cases Filed Across the Country
Mr. Bartakovits seeks to get the unpaid minimum and overtime wages he claims he is owed by the casino and asks the court to order Wind Creek Bethlehem to also pay these wages to the other affected workers.
Mr. Bartakovits’s lawsuit is one of many handled by the McClelland Law Firm on behalf of casino employees around the country. Earlier in March, the firm said that it was reviewing similar claims that Wind Creek Hospitality failed to pay tipped employees in accordance with state and federal laws.
The law firm has also been handling similar lawsuits filed by employees of MGM Resorts International’s MGM Springfield casino resort in Massachusetts and of Lumiere Place Casino and Hotels in St. Louis Missouri, which is owned by Tropicana.
Commenting on their work on such lawsuits, attorney George Hanson has said in a statement that the McClelland Law Firm has over the past five years represented successfully more than 10,000 hourly and tipped employees in the casino gaming industry.
Of Mr. Bartakovits’s case, Mr. Hanson said that they have been investigating it for several months and “look forward to moving it forward as quickly as possible to get unpaid wages back into the hands of employees.”