LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas restaurant chain had its employees sign a liability form before going back to work. Some employees at Nacho Daddy said they didn’t sign it and were fired.
"It felt like I was given an ultimatum of basically have myself fired or compromise my legal rights," said a former employee who requested to keep her identity anonymous.
"I was like I can’t sign this. I can’t live with myself if I sign this contract," said another employee who also asked for anonymity.
The first paragraph of the document said, "I understand by signing this document, I am any/all waiving legal rights I may have against Nacho Daddy in reference to returning to work amidst the coronavirus pandemic. I understand that there is still the possibility of contracting COVID-19 upon returning to work. I will follow any and all policies directed by the Nacho Daddy Corporation that are put in place for my safety and to minimize contraction of the disease."
One of the former employees said she has family members who have autoimmune diseases.
“I just felt that me going back to work for them to avoid bankruptcy and risk my health and my families health wasn’t worth it," she said.
"Obviously COVID hasn’t disappeared, so we need to make sure that they’re fully aware of the situation and they’re coming back to work willingly," said Nacho Daddy president and co-founder Paul Hymas.
Hymas said all employees who returned to work took a COVID-19 training class explaining how to social distance with customers and new cleaning protocols. He said after the class, they were given the liability form to acknowledge they understand the new safety measures.
"I guess I didn’t anticipate that much push-back on it because, you know, again, it’s not going anywhere and I don’t know why they would want the ability to sue us, to be quite honest," said Hymas.
Hymas said employees need to acknowledge that they will wear masks and "provide a safe work environment."
"They were trying to make us sign a contract under duress and cohering us, saying you can’t work unless you sign the contract, you won’t have a job, we’ll take your unemployment," said one of the former employees.
Hymas said the complaints might be about compensation since sales are still relatively low.
"They’re in a difficult situation where they’re making more in unemployment and so we’ll get rid of this friction point but I’ll be curious what the real friction point is," said Hymas.
Hymas did not say how much the restaurant’s employees are compensated. Both employees FOX5 spoke with Monday said they still do not know if they can collect unemployment.
Hymas said he's working on revising the contract and taking out the word "liability." When asked if he would rehire former employees if they felt comfortable signing the new contract, he said he'll look at each employee on a case-by-case basis.
"I hope that as we start reopening and all these restaurants and casinos and hotels start bringing back their service industry employees that are in hospitality industry, just treat their employees a lot better and use us an example of what not to do," said one of the former employees.
All Nacho Daddy locations in Las Vegas are now open.