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Members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 lobby in Carson City to help pass Right to Return legislation.
Culinary Workers Union Local 226/Facebook

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Governor Signs Right to Return Bill Into Law, Giving Unemployed Nevadans Hope to Get Their Old Jobs Back

The news comes as Clark County struggles with 9 percent unemployment, the second highest in the nation

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 386, which gives hospitality and travel industry workers the right to return to their previous jobs.

The law gives workers who were laid off after March 12, 2020, for economic reasons due to the pandemic the ability to return to their jobs starting July 1, 2021, through August 21, 2022. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which lobbied heavily for the bill, says that thousands of union and non-union hospitality, airport, casino, travel, and stadium workers (including third-party operators at hotels and casinos such as retail shops, restaurants, bars, and parking facilities) are protected under the new law.

At the height of the pandemic, the culinary union estimates that 98 percent of its 60,000 members statewide were laid off and currently only 50 percent are back to work. The culinary union estimates that the new law covers 350,000 hospitality and travel employees statewide.

A majority of unionized hospitality workers already have extended recall protections in their contracts, so most hospitality workers protected by the new SB386 Right to Return law are not unionized.

The new law comes as Clark County returned to 100 percent capacity on June 1, yet many restaurants, bars, and casinos struggle to hire new employees to fill open positions. Lotus of Siam, for example, temporarily closed its location at the Commercial Center, citing staffing issues. The Thai restaurant moved all reservations at that location to its Flamingo Road outpost. Greek Chicken in Southwest Las Vegas closed on Sundays while it attempts to hire new staff.

Station Casinos has no timeline for reopening Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho in North Las Vegas and Fiesta Henderson, and sold the off-Strip Palms, the most upmarket asset in the Station Casinos’ portfolio, to The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for $650 million in cash in May. Boyd Gaming has not reopened Main Street Station in Downtown Las Vegas and Eastside Cannery on Boulder Highway.

Inside casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, some of the biggest restaurants — Joël Robuchon and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand, Rivea from Alain Ducasse at Delano, NoMad Restaurant at NoMad, Manzo inside Eataly at the Park MGM, Aureole at Mandalay Bay, Le Cirque at the Bellagio, and Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at the Waldorf-Astoria — remain closed. The Slanted Door, which opened at the Forum Shops at Caesars just before the state closed nonessential businesses in March 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19, has no known reopening date. Other restaurants that have reopened still operate under reduced hours or only on the weekends when tourists flood the city to pre-pandemic numbers.

Out of more than 70 buffets citywide, only five inside casinos reopened — Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, Garden Buffet at South Point, Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Circus Buffet at Circus Circus, and the MGM Grand Buffet.

April unemployment numbers show 9 percent still out of work in Clark County, up from 8.8 percent in March. Unemployment reached 31.7 percent in Nevada in April 2020 as nonessential businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and 33.3 percent for all of Clark County that same month. Clark County’s unemployment rate in April came in second behind Los Angeles at 9.9 percent among large metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Las Vegas does have cause for hope with major conventions — such as World of Concrete starting today — returning with their throngs of visitors. Resorts World opens June 24, expecting to employ more than 6,000. Virgin Hotels holds its grand opening on Thursday with about 1,300 former Hard Rock employees, a majority of the workforce there.

Culinary Union Fights for the Right for Workers to Return to Their Jobs With a New State Senate Bill [ELV]

The Culinary Union Continues to Negotiate the Proposed Right to Return Bill in the State Senate [ELV]

While the Culinary Union Delivers Nevada to Biden, It Still Has Tough Work Ahead on Its Agenda [ELV]

Circus Circus

2880 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 734-0410 Visit Website

MGM Grand

3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (877) 880-0880 Visit Website


3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 730-7646 Visit Website

Mandalay Bay

3950 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89119 (702) 632-7777 Visit Website

Virgin Hotels

4455 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169 Visit Website

Lotus of Siam

620 East Flamingo Road, , NV 89119 (702) 735-3033 Visit Website

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

3752 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89158 (702) 590-8888 Visit Website

Caesars Palace

3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (866) 227-5938 Visit Website

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 698-7000 Visit Website

Le Cirque

3600 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 693-8100 Visit Website

Texas Station

2101 Texas Star Lane, , NV 89032 (702) 631-1000 Visit Website

Bacchanal Buffet

3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 731-7928 Visit Website

Resorts World

3000 Las Vegas Boulevard S. , Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-802-6460 Visit Website

Forum Shops at Caesars

3472 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 893-4800 Visit Website

Eastside Cannery

5255 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, NV 89122 (702) 856-5300 Visit Website

South Point

9777 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89183 (702) 796-7111 Visit Website

Commercial Center

953 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 737-3478

Las Vegas

, , NV

NoMad Library

3772 Las Vegas Blvd. S. , Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-730-6785 Visit Website

Garden Buffet

9777 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89183 (702) 796-7111 Visit Website

Greek Chicken

9536 Winter Gardens Boulevard, , CA 92040 (619) 561-1972 Visit Website

Circus Buffet

2880 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (800) 634-3450 Visit Website

Main Street Station

200 N Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (702) 387-1896 Visit Website


3940 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89119 (702) 632-9500 Visit Website

Joël Robuchon

3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 891-7925 Visit Website


10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, , CA 90067 (213) 310-8000 Visit Website

The Slanted Door

3500 Las Vegas Blvd. S. , Las Vegas, NV 89109 Visit Website

Wicked Spoon

3708 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (877) 893-2001 Visit Website

Fiesta Henderson

777 W Lake Mead Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89015 +1 702-558-7000 Visit Website


3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 632-7427 Visit Website
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