An order issued this week by the National Labor Relations Board in one of the cases pitting the Culinary Union against Station Casinos has left both sides pleased.
A three-member panel of the NLRB ordered Station to post a notice at Palace Station advising workers that the casino company was found to have violated a federal labor law. The notice must inform workers that they have the right to either form or join a union or choose not to be involved in union organizing, and Station can't threaten or fire them.
Station officials described the ruling as favorable because the NLRB also upheld an earlier decision by an administrative law judge dismissing all but one of seven charges in a complaint filed by the NLRB staff.
That complaint originated with allegations from the Culinary Union, which has been fighting Station over Station’s refusal to consent to a public card-check organizing procedure, as opposed to a secret election, in which workers could choose union representation.
''Of the seven allegations heard by the NLRB, six allegations of unlawful threats were dismissed,'' Station officials said in a statement.
Station executives also noted that the NLRB, ''in what appears to be an unprecedented move,'' adjusted the proposed penalty in the case by requiring the notice be posted only at Palace Station as opposed to all Station properties.
The administrative law judge found that during an October 2010 incident at Palace Station, a supervisor told a cook supportive of the union ''to be quiet about work conditions and staffing shortages or he might end up being discharged'' like another union supporter previously discharged.
''By threatening an employee that he risked losing his job if he engaged in union or other protected concerted activities concerning work conditions,'' Station violated the law, the administrative law judge found.
The union also called it a win.
''This is a victory for all workers in Las Vegas and across the country," Culinary Workers Union Local 226 President Geoconda Arguello-Kline said. "It shows that no matter how rich and powerful a company may think it is, the law protects workers against abuse.''
Station said the ruling involved a ''technical violation'' rather than monetary damages or an injunction against the company.
''We are very pleased that all but one of allegations presented to the NLRB were found without merit,'' said Valerie Murzl, Station's senior vice president of human resources.
Station hasn't decided yet whether to post the notice at Palace Station or appeal the ruling, a spokeswoman said.
A much larger case involving more than 80 counts against Station is still pending at the NLRB. Those remain after most of the more than 400 charges filed by the Culinary Union were withdrawn or dismissed.