A dealer at the MGM Springfield casino is accusing it of paying him less than minimum wage, arguing in a federal lawsuit that he is entitled to more than the approximately $5 per hour that his employer has been paying because he also receives tips.
The allegations by Shawn Connors were contained in a complaint filed Monday in US District Court for Massachusetts.
His attorney, Benjamin Knox Steffans, is asking the court to handle the case as a class action, estimating that at least 100 other employees have been paid in the same manner.
Employees who receive tips are often paid lower rates under the law. But Connors claims the casino never notified him that he would earn such a low basic wage, as is required by law.
Connors began working at the casino last summer, shortly before the MGM Springfield opened. Steffans said it is not clear whether Connors would have taken the job if he had known the details of the pay structure.
“Shawn’s expectation, like all employees, is that they’ll be paid consistent with federal wage and hour laws,” Steffans said. “That turned out not to be the case.”
The suit does not say how much Connors earns in tips. He still works at the casino.
The lawsuit also accuses the casino of underpaying tipped employees who work overtime and improperly deducting employee licensing fees from wages.
The complaint did not specify damages, but said they should include the difference between employees’ actual pay and what they are entitled to under the law, plus interest, attorneys fees, and costs.
MGM Springfield has not responded in court.
“Having just received this filing, we will investigate and respond accordingly,” the casino’s management said in a statement.