As of June 1, all Clark County casinos can reopen at full capacity – a big step towards normalcy and economic growth after Covid-19. The reopening at full capacity measures also apply to bars and restaurants in Las Vegas. This return to full capacity goes in place exactly a year after Las Vegas’s casinos reopened at fifty percent capacity after a seventy-eight-day complete shutdown. While casinos can reopen at full capacity, The Nevada Gaming Control Board does require that a large majority of staff be vaccinated fully and the casino or hotel needs approval to full reopen. Wynn, the Cosmopolitan, Station Casinos, MGM Resorts, the Silverton, and Caesars Entertainment, to name a few, were granted permission to reopen at full capacity.
The most recent World Health Organization percentage shows that 39.9% of Nevadans are vaccinated, lower than the forty percent of total Americans vaccinated. As of May 28th, 1,723,469 Clark County residents have received a vaccine. Nevada casinos still require unvaccinated customers to wear a mask and some still require all staff to wear a mask. They also continue to recommend Nevadans to wear masks in very crowded conditions.
Understanding Worker’s Comp in Nevada
With the complete reopening of casinos, workers’ health and safety is more important than ever. Nevada law requires that employers with one or more employees have worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance can pay for medical insurance, permanent disabilities, or any injuries or illness that is a result of injury’s or accident’s incurred at work. The most common injuries at work include overexertion, slips, trips and falls, as well as injury from operating machinery or contact with equipment. Some other common injuries include the following:
- Falls from ladders.
- Injury resulting from machinery misuse.
- Fractures and sprains.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Inhalation of toxic fumes.
If you have any of the injuries listed above and believe it was a result of your work, it is important to notify your employer within seven days of the injury in writing. The employer must provide you with a C-1 form with which you can report the incident and injury. If the injury is severe, seek immediate medical assistance and you may choose whichever hospital to receive medical treatment from. However, for more minor injuries, there are guidelines regarding which doctor or health care provider you choose. Your employer must provide you a list of approved providers, and if your employer does not have one, you must pick one off a Nevada State-issued list known as the Panel of Treating Physicians and Chiropractors. It is important to verify your provider with this list or you may not be awarded workers compensation.
Perhaps the most important part of filing a claim is the paperwork. If the paperwork is not done properly, you once again risk the chance of not receiving any compensation. When visiting the medical provider, make sure to fill out the C-4 Employee Claim. You must fill out the first half of the form, and the medical provider is responsible for the second half of it. If you have been seriously hurt and are incapable of filling out the form, ensure you call an attorney who you can trust to represent you and ensure that all proper steps are taken expeditiously.
Once you file a claim, it takes about 30 days for a notification of whether the claim is accepted to denied. The type of compensation you receive varies based on the severity of the injury as well as the time it may take you to heal. You may be compensated for your wages, medical expenses, etc. If your claim is denied, Nevada allows you to appeal. If you reach the appeal stage, it is best to contact a lawyer, as they can review the case and paperwork and suggest further action. In addition to the above benefits, using a lawyer helps you correctly file a work injury claim and tells insurance companies that you are not willing to settle, increasing your chances of getting the full pay out that you deserve.
COVID-19 and Workers Comp
Since workers are returning and still risk the chance of contracting COVID-19, one may ask is COVID-19 compensable? There is no simple answer to this question. While workers compensation laws provide compensation for “occupational diseases” that arise out of and in the course of employment, many state statutes exclude “ordinary diseases of life” (e.g., the common cold or flu). There are certain occupations that arguably would have a higher probability for exposure such as healthcare workers. This means that workers’ comp regarding COVID lies in the hands of each State’s legislation.  The Nevada Department of Insurance states that Healthcare and other essential workers should have their compensation as well as premium and insurance rates adjusted if they are required to work in an area where there are more at risk of contracting the virus. In addition, if a worker feels that there was not enough precautions taken to protect them, they may be eligible for compensation.