Published On: Tue, Jul 5th, 2022

Rebellious casino-dealer gets royal compensation

PHILIPSBURG — A 59-year old casino-dealer with a rather checkered work-history gets more than 100,000 guilders gross from her now former employer as compensation for the termination of her labor contract, the Court in First Instance ruled in June.

The employee, who entered service with the casino in 1991, collected 29 warnings from her employer between 2002 and 2021. The warning were related to theft, swearing, being present in the casino outside of her working hours and sending impolite text messages to her superior: “Look how. That bitch make my schedule.”

In January 2021 the casino sent the employee with unpaid leave because she had refused to accept a different function. The employee said that she had never refused to perform other tasks and in July the court ordered the casino to pay salary-arrears, based on the salary she received as a dealer.

The casino appealed the decision and went to court, asking for a termination of the labor contract without any compensation. The employee asked the court for 262,290 guilders ($146,531) in compensation.

Both parties agreed that the labor contract should be dissolved, but the casino did not want to pay the employee anything. The company referred to the employee’s impossible behavior, her refusal to accept a different function and the loss-making situation of the casino as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This inspired the court to make a remarkable observation: “It is known to the court that casino’s in St. Maarten usually operate at a loss, or are only making a small profit while this hardly ever results in bankruptcy. Apparently there are other impulses that keep the casinos going.”

The court conceded that the employee had received many warning in the course of the years. “However, her dossier consists solely of formal warnings while there are no evaluations of her functioning with an improvement-plan and support. The principles of being a good employer do require this. The employer’s approach comes across as rather repressive and not very supportive.”

The court observed that the employee is not without fault, but that her chances on the local labor market are very limited.

Based on the dissolution of the labor contract per April 1, 2022, and the employee celebrating her 65th birthday on November 30, 2025, the court calculated her compensation over this 30-month period at 102,211.20 guilders ($57,101) and ordered the casino to pay this amount no later than April 15.