Card dealer claims in lawsuit that Isle of Capri casino miscalculated employee wages

A lawsuit filed by a card dealer at the Isle of Capri casino in Kansas City claiming that wages of hourly employees were miscalculated is scheduled for trial next year.

Cynthia Larson, who has been a card dealer since 2013, alleges that Isle of Capri rounded off employee time cards in such a way that hourly workers were not paid for time they were actually on the clock. Larson’s lawsuit also contends that Isle of Capri violated wage laws for employees making tips.

Judge Ortrie Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri scheduled a jury trial for July 2020. In December, he ruled that Larson’s lawsuit can proceed as a collective action case, which is similar to a class action that allows several people with similar allegations to bring claims under one lawsuit.

Isle of Capri’s parent company, Eldorado Resorts Inc., did not respond to a request for comment. In a regulatory filing, the company said broadly that no lawsuits currently pending against the company were considered material to its finances. Eldorado bought Isle of Capri in Kansas City in 2017.

Larson’s lawsuit said that the casino’s time card system could track when employees clocked in and clocked out by the minute, but would round those times off by 15-minute intervals. For example, an employee showing up and clocking in between 7:53 or 8:07 a.m. would be considered as having arrived for their shift at 8 a.m.

The lawsuit says that the casino kept an attendance policy that warned employees against clocking in after their scheduled start time. As a result, Larson’s lawsuit said several employees would show up earlier than their shift, clock in beforehand but not receive pay for the minutes they had worked.

Over time, the lawsuit says, employees accumulated time that they worked but for which they were not paid.

The lawsuit also alleges that Isle of Capri violated rules under the Federal Labor Standards Act concerning employees who are paid under the minimum wage but make up the difference through tips.

The lawsuit seeks unpaid wages, overtime wages and other damages.

Isle of Capri is one of four casinos on the Missouri side of the Kansas City region and one of 13 licensed casinos in Missouri. In February, Isle of Capri attracted 142,200 visitors and made $5.2 million in adjusted gross revenue, the lowest for both metrics among casinos in Kansas City and St. Louis, according to figures from the Missouri Gaming Commission.

Steve Vockrodt is an award-winning investigative journalist who has reported in Kansas City since 2005. Areas of reporting interest include business, politics, justice issues and breaking news investigations. Vockrodt grew up in Denver and studied journalism at the University of Kansas.