Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: New York Restaurant And Nightclub Sued By Employee For “Significant Hearing Loss”; Music Volume At 96 Decibels

“…(the club) began offering its employees earplugs and hearing tests…it was then that she discovered her hearing loss. Initially, she said, one of the club’s executives said she could probably work at the door, but she Hospitality Industry Injury Lawsuitswas later told that would not happen. She was also charged retroactively, she said, for additional tests and treatment related to her hearing damage…”

Alexis Clemente knew the music was extraordinarily loud at Lavo, the celebrity playpen in Midtown Manhattan where she worked for two years as a hostess. Ms. Clemente had significant hearing loss in her right ear, most likely caused by noise exposure, an audiologist found. She was told to immediately stop working in loud environments to prevent it from getting worse.

After the test, she told her supervisors about the results, she said, and asked to be placed at the door, slightly removed from the din. But her employers refused, she said, failed to offer her another position, fired her and canceled her health insurance.

This week, she sued. The suit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, was reported this week by The New York Post.

She often complained about the noise, she said, but her employers did not take action until last summer, after The Times recorded and reported volumes averaging 96 decibels, akin to a power mower, in Lavo’s restaurant. Legally, workers should not be exposed to that volume for over three and a half hours without ear protection. And Lavo employees said the volumes at the downstairs club were far worse.

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