Protecting Workers’ Rights at the Super Bowl

From securing the stadium and managing logistics to planning entertainment and coordinating with media, the effort that goes into organizing the Super Bowl is enormous. Yet, amidst the hype and anticipation, it’s the often-overlooked workers who prove indispensable in making the Super Bowl possible.

Stadium staff, hotel and casino personnel, restaurant and bar staff, transportation workers, retail employees, caterers and thousands of temporary workers play crucial roles. Unfortunately, the low-wage workers who make the Super Bowl possible are often at risk of wage theft, labor trafficking, illegal child labor and other labor violations.

The Wage and Hour Division works hard to protect workers in low-wage industries, and we’re staying vigilant in Las Vegas as the Super Bowl approaches. That’s why we’re on alert for any signs of wage theft, labor trafficking or other types of worker exploitation, such as:

  • any withheld wage payments
  • any withheld tips from servers or other tipped employees
  • illegal deductions from wages
  • failure to pay overtime
  • failure to pay for all hours worked, including travel or training time
  • restrictions of movement or communication
  • confiscated identification documents
  • threats of harm to workers or their families
  • threats of arrest or deportation

We’re committed to fostering partnerships with anti-trafficking organizations and law enforcement agencies to uphold worker protections. During the previous two Super Bowls in Phoenix and Los Angeles, we engaged in outreach activities, enforcement and social media to raise awareness of workers’ rights.

Last year, we collaborated with Arizona’s Multi-Agency Coordination Group to ensure the rights of workers associated with the Super Bowl were protected. We also worked with the Small Business Administration to provide compliance assistance to employers through the NFL Legends Business Network. Finally, we collaborated with Chicanos Por La Causa to develop strategies to prevent and identify human trafficking and labor exploitation in Arizona.

In Las Vegas, we’ll continue safeguarding worker protections before, during and after the Super Bowl. We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nevada Office of the Labor Commissioner, which strengthens our cooperation to combat wage theft and educate employees and employers on their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Our Las Vegas office – a member of the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force – is also collaborating with the It’s a Penalty campaign to prevent abuse, exploitation and human trafficking at the Super Bowl.

Fans and workers in the Las Vegas area can help us protect workers’ rights by reporting violations and spreading awareness.

Report violations of minimum wage, overtime and child labor laws confidentially at 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243) or on our website. If you suspect human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733. Tips can be reported anonymously.

This blog originally appeared in the blog section of the U.S. Department of Labor’s website on February 7, 2024.

About the Author: Gene Ramos is the district director in the Wage and Hour Division’s office in Las Vegas, Nevada. Follow the division on LinkedIn and on X at @WHD_DOL.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.