Fontainebleau and Wynn Las Vegas Employee Dispute Continues in Courts

This week, attorneys for Fontainebleau Las Vegas fired a new volley in the ongoing legal battle against Wynn Las Vegas over employee poaching allegations. 

Wynn Resorts recently sought a preliminary injunction to stop what it claims is the $3.7 billion Fontainebleau poaching its executives and violating contracts.

Fontainebleau filed a counter to the requested injunction on Friday in Clark County District Court. It says Wynn’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop any employees switching between the two rivals is illegal.

Lawyers for the newest giant Las Vegas casino resort argued that the court doesn’t have the authority to offer a blanket injunction on employee movements in this case. 

“This court would be hard-pressed to find a more untenable motion for preliminary injunction than that filed by plaintiff Wynn Las Vegas, LLC,” Fontainebleau’s lawyers said in legal filings. 

A full hearing on the matter is scheduled for May 9, to be presided over Clark County Judge Mark Denton. 

Crane’s Move 

Wynn Las Vegas has publicly accused Fontainebleau Las Vegas of poaching several of its high-level employees, starting before Fontainebleau’s December 2023 opening. It has previously alleged that one interview for a position at Fontainebleau was actually held inside Wynn Las Vegas. 

The legal side to this argument began with Wynn filing a lawsuit on February 29.

One particularly high-profile case was that of Wynn’s current nightlife director, Wayne Crane. Fontainebleau started employing Crane’s wife, Merina Crane, on November 28, 2023. However, by January, Fontainebleau was reportedly also eyeing Mr. Crane for a management role.

This proved to be the last straw for Wynn after months of warning Fontainebleau that they were not happy with the situation.

Mr. Crane eventually agreed to stay with Wynn, reportedly on a much-improved contract. But that didn’t stop the operator from opening legal proceedings against Fontainebleau.

The first step was to file a request for an injunction on new employees moving between the two competitors. Fontainebleau has now filed its own counter against that injunction, asking it to be dismissed. 

No Authority 

The main argument from Fontainebleau’s lawyers is that Wynn Las Vegas uses restrictive and unclear contracts. They contend that makes it seem like untoward poaching has been going on when everything was perfectly legal.

“WLV requests a sweeping prophylactic injunction which presupposes that each and every restrictive employment covenant it has ever entered into is valid and protected under Nevada law,” the counter filings state. 

“WLV makes that wild assertion notwithstanding that none of the actual terms of these contracts are before this court, nor are any of the personnel — present or past — who are supposedly bound in WLV’s undefined servitude.”

Obviously, Wynn disagrees. But it will now be up to Judge Denton to decide on May 9 if the injunction is justified.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas has reportedly struggled to hit monthly breakeven targets on its $3.7 billion overall build cost since opening in December 2023. The luxury resort was in development for 15 years. It recently and quietly downgraded its customer rewards program from one of the most generous on the Las Vegas Strip to one in line with competitors like Wynn.

Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts’ flagship, Wynn Las Vegas, won best Las Vegas casino hotel in Travel + Tourism magazine this year for the fifth year in a row.

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