MGM Resorts International is the first major casino operator in the US to require all salaried staff members to be vaccinated against Covid-19 amid a rise in cases in all 50 states as the Delta variant tightens its grip.
In a letter to its employees on Monday, MGM Chief Bill Hornbuckle said that the company is “now requiring Covid-19 vaccination as a condition of employment for all salaried employees and new hires throughout the United States.”
Salaried workers who are not working exclusively from home were told they must get vaccinated by October 15. New hires, both hourly and salary, who do not work exclusively from home are required to provide proof of vaccination before they start work, effective August 30, the letter further said.
The Monday announcement impacts more than 6,000 workers in eight states – Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey – where the Las Vegas-headquartered gaming and hospitality company operates over 20 casino and non-gaming properties.
In a separate statement, MGM said Monday that they also are mulling an extension of the vaccination mandate to also cover hourly workers and other positions with the company. Such an extension would cover more than 57,000 people across the country.
Company spokesman Brian Ahern said Monday that much of their hourly employees work under collective bargaining agreements and discussions on the matter should take place with various labor unions.
MGM is Nevada’s largest private employer. Its workforce in the Silver State comprises more than 42,000 workers across 10 casinos and non-gaming resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.
Getting As Many People Vaccinated As Possible
Mr. Ahern said that with the newly introduced vaccination mandate, their goal is to “get as many people vaccinated as possible” and that they are exploring various ways to achieve that goal, “including expanding vaccination requirements among our workforce.”
As mentioned earlier, MGM is the first gaming company in the state to introduce a vaccination mandate of this kind, but more are expected to follow suit as Covid-19 numbers continue to climb.
In his letter, Mr. Hornbuckle said that they are aware the new requirements are “an unwelcome development” for some of their employees and that this was a consideration they “did not take lightly” when deciding to implement a vaccination mandate.
The company’s CEO went on to note that as one of the “largest and most trusted operators and employers” in the casino industry, they are “determined to do our part to curb the spread of the virus and help counter alarming trends in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.”
Source: MGM Resorts to mandate COVID vaccination for new hires, salaried workers, The Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 16, 2021