Wynn Resort settles complaint, outlines sexual harassment prevention steps
Wynn Resorts acknowledged and agreed to settle a disciplinary complaint by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) outlining sexual misconduct allegations against founder and former CEO Steve Wynn and the company’s failure to report and investigate these claims. The company will reportedly pay an unspecified fine, and the NCGB will not take action against current executives and Wynn Resort’s state gaming license.
In the wake of this agreement, Wynn Resorts issued a press release stating: “The completion of the NGCB’s investigation of the response of certain employees to allegations against our founder and previous CEO Steve Wynn is an important remedial step. We have fully cooperated and been transparent with the board in this in-depth investigation. We look forward to appearing before the Nevada Gaming Commission to review the settlement and establish the final resolution of the investigation.”
The remedial steps included letting go any employee mentioned in the NGCB report who was aware of allegations of sexual assault against Wynn and did not investigate or report it.
The release also outlined the actions taken by the new leadership at Wynn Resorts to ensure an open and safe work environment for all employees. “We have undergone an extensive self-examination over the last 12 months, intended to reinvigorate and implement meaningful change across all levels of the organization, cultivate a safe, healthy and supportive workplace culture, and build on our core values of respecting our employees, corporate responsibility and citizenship and service to the community,” the press release stated.
Over the past year, these actions have included:
- The appointment of Matt Maddox as CEO of Wynn Resorts;
- The execution of a separation agreement with Steve Wynn that paid him no severance and arranged for liquidation of all his Wynn Resorts shares;
- The commencement of a robust board of directors refreshment process that included the establishment of a median tenure of two years to the company’s eight independent directors;
- The election of three new female directors, resulting in a board that is now nearly 50 percent women.
- The election of Philip G. Satre as vice chairman and Richard Byrne as a director, with Satre eventually replacing D. Boone Wayson as chairman of the board;
- The appointment of Ellen Whittemore, a recognized expert in gaming regulatory matters, as general counsel;
- The appointment of Marilyn Spiegel, an executive with significant hospitality and human resources experience, as president of Wynn Las Vegas; and
- The appointment of Rose Huddleston, a seasoned human resources executive, to the newly created corporate position of senior vice president of human resources-North America.
In addition, under the leadership of Maddox, the company has taken the following steps to further transform its workplace environment:
- Refocused efforts on the company’s workplace culture by making it a priority for the company’s new human resources leadership;
- Launched enhanced workplace compliance and prevention of sexual harassment training for all employees, designed and delivered by a third-party expert;
- Launched a women’s leadership council to promote equality within the workplace;
- Commissioned pay and promotion equity studies to measure pay equality among men and women in the workforce;
- Launched a new paid parental leave program that provides six weeks of paid time off to new parents; and
- Implemented new diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias training for all employees taught by third-party experts.
“In my extensive experience working in the highly-regulated gaming industry I have never seen a company take action that was as swift and comprehensive as the executive team at Wynn Resorts,” Satre said.