LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Wynn Las Vegas on Thursday announced a new COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy for its employees.
According to the property, the policy allows employees to have the option of either completing a COVID-19 vaccination or obtaining weekly negative COVID-19 tests.
Wynn Las Vegas spokeswoman Deanna Pettit-Irestone said in an email Thursday afternoon that employees who opt for the weekly COVID-19 test can test wherever they would like, noting that the Southern Nevada Health District is free. "There is only a cost associated if they test on property," she said.
The company notes that approximately 60% of Wynn Las Vegas employees have already been vaccinated.
“Our primary goal is to create the safest possible environment at Wynn, for both employees and guests,” Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts, said in the statement. “Vaccination rates are increasing throughout the country, and requiring our employees to either be vaccinated, or tested on a weekly basis will make Wynn one of the safest vacation destinations in the U.S “
A wife of a Wynn employee reached out to FOX5 with concerns over the new policy. She said her husband has severe allergic reaction and chose not to get the vaccine because of that. Now he'll have to spend $60 a month to get tests on site, or spend time outside of work to get a coronavirus test elsewhere.
Legal expert Dayvid Figler said private businesses have wider discretion when it comes to health requirements for employees.
"If this were to become a court battle, at the end of the day there would be some discussion about what happens in the larger community, and [that] is still uncertain. What we know is that the Governor couldn't solely by executive order require everyone to be inoculated, however there are processes like we have with our schools and child care that could be enacted," Figler said.
Figler believes the resort is thoughtfully trying to navigate what could lead to potential litigation.
"If they have to terminate someone for non-compliance, they're obviously trying to offer alternatives to the actual vaccination," Figler said. "Whether or not that is sufficient and that person decides to sue, ultimately the court would figure that out."
In a video sent to all Wynn Las Vegas employees Thursday, Maddox said this new requirement will help lead to a more successful summer comeback.
"We can get our shifts back. We can get our people back. We can get our tips back," Maddox said. "We can get going again, but one of the things are regulators have said is in order for restrictions to continue to be lifted we need to see increases of vaccinations of our staff."
According to Wynn, eligible employees have been vaccinated onsite at the UMC Vaccination Clinic at Encore since Jan. 18. On Thursday, the property says UMC will administer its 50,000th vaccine at Encore.
The company also notes that it has since opened the Lighthouse COVID-19 Testing Lab, which it says is one of the only companies in the United States with its own onsite testing facility.