Monthly Archives: July 2013

Hospitality Industry Crime Risks: Florida Hotel Manager Charged With Stealing Over $42,000; Diverted Company Charges To Personal Account

“…According to court documents, (the defendant) ran a scheme in which she made various charges from the company account into six of her Hotel Employee Theftpersonal accounts…part of her duties included checking guests into the hotel and processing cash and credit card payments…from early 2009 to late 2010, authorities say she diverted $42,954.32 from the company account…”

A former employee of a Tallahassee hotel is facing charges she stole more than $42,000 from the business by diverting money onto personal credit cards. Chyrell Martin, 33, a former front desk clerk and manager at the Collegiate Village Inn was booked into Leon County jail on Monday. Martin, of Georgia, is facing charges of grand theft and fraud to obtain property.

Martin, who worked as a manager at the hotel from 2005 to 2010, resigned suddenly in Oct. 2010 after the investigation into the irregularities on the company account began, according to court documents.

She is currently in Leon County jail.

For more:  http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20130730/NEWS/130730007/

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Filed under Crime, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Theft

Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: New York Hotel Sued By Employee For “Sexual Harassment” And Physical Abuse; Managers Failed To Intervene

“…(the plaintiff) claims she was the target of unwanted  physical contact and verbal abuse by multiple male co-workers…she contends that when Hospitality Industry Harassment Lawsuitsshe complained, her supervisor did nothing, but her  co-workers became vindictive…”

A kitchen worker has slapped the Grand Hyatt New York with a lawsuit,  claiming managers of the luxury hotel looked the other way while frisky male  co-workers made her work life a living hell. She said one co-worker threatened to hire a hit man to kill her and another  vowed to “beat her up” if they lost their jobs because she complained.

Her lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court, filed Monday, also names her union,  the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, as a defendant for failing to  intervene on her behalf.

Her lawsuit names a sous chef who she says walked up behind her and unsnapped  her bra, and another colleague who allegedly walked up behind her and put his  hands in her pants.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/kitchen-worker-sues-grand-hyatt-claiming-sexual-harassment-article-1.1412285#ixzz2aXUxTPs4

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/kitchen-worker-sues-grand-hyatt-claiming-sexual-harassment-article-1.1412285#ixzz2aXUZmaxJ

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Hospitality Industry Pool Safety: “The Model Aquatic Health Code: Making Swimming Healthy And Safe”

Model Aquatic Health Code CDC-page-001

Model Aquatic Health Code CDC-page-002

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Hospitality Industry Safety Risks: Ohio Hotel Sued For “Negligence” By Family Of Security Guard Stabbed To Death By Homeless Man; “Unlocked Outside Stairwell Doors” Posed Safety Threat

“…(the suit claims) the  hotel was obligated to provide a safe place for its employees to work, (but) the outside stairwell doors were left unlocked as Hotel Wrongful Death Lawsuitspart of hotel  policy…the suit claims the  hotel’s employees routinely left exit doors to the stairwells unlocked from the  outside, and the family’s attorney said this allowed the homeless (man) to come inside and sleep…the  safety threat posed by the unlocked doors was foreseeable and should have been  prevented…”

The family of a security guard who was stabbed to death while on duty has sued  the hotel where he worked. Richard Campbell was  stabbed to death on his 58th birthday, Dec. 7, when he confronted a man in the  stairwell of the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati. Joseph Tucker pleaded  guilty last month to one count of murder in the slaying and was sentenced to 15  years to life in prison.

Tucker said he was high on  marijuana and drunk at the time, and he said he’s not sure why he stabbed  Campbell. Police said Tucker was in  the process of stealing something when the security guard confronted  him. Campbell’s brothers and  sisters filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, claiming  the hotel was negligent.

Read more: http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/cincinnati/family-of-slain-security-guard-sues-hotel/-/13549970/21181176/-/qbalbyz/-/index.html#ixzz2aLjd0nBP

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Texas Restaurant Sued For $1 Million By Customer Who “Slipped And Fell On Peanut Shells” On The Floor; Claims “Unreasonably Dangerous Condition”

“…The lawsuit states that (the plaintiff) slipped and fell in the restaurant on March 19, and that the restaurant and employees knew or should Hospitality Industry Injury Lawsuitshave known that the peanut shells on the floor created an unreasonably dangerous condition…(she) is suing for damages for physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and court costs…”

A Harlingen woman is seeking $1 million after she claims she slipped and fell on peanut shells on the floor of a local restaurant. Amelia Tijerina has filed a civil lawsuit arguing that Texas RoadHouse Inc. is responsible for the peanut shells on the restaurant’s floor. RoadHouse has denied Tijerina’s allegations and demands proof.

Tijerina sued the restaurant in state district court, but Texas RoadHouse moved the lawsuit to federal court, according to court records.

She also maintains that the restaurant or employees should have warned her about the peanut shells or should have removed them.

She is presented by Attorney Salvador Garcia and Jorge A. Green with The Green Law Firm of Brownsville.

Attorneys Karl W. Koen, Robert J. Collins, and Rachel R. Vulpitta of Gauntt, Earl, Binney & Koen, LLP of Dallas, who represent Texas RoadHouse, contend that it was Tijerina’s own actions or omissions that caused or contributed to her injury.

For more:  http://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/local_news/article_3296dd56-f669-11e2-a706-0019bb30f31a.html

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Hospitality Industry Theft Risks: Vermont Motel Employee Charged With “Felony Embezzlement” After Stealing $220,000; Cashed Fraudulent Checks In Another Town To Escape Attention

“…(the defendant) is accused of using her position as the part-time bookkeeper for the Shire Riverview motel to divert over $220,000 to her personal use, primarily through a series of checks that were made out to herself and through electronic payments of her own household bills Hotel Employee Theftdirectly from the inn’s bank account…Although the Inn had a computerized QuickBooks system that the DiCarlos said they reviewed periodically, Dorothy DiCarlo wrote that Smith appeared to have defeated it by entering “phony bills” from companies that the inn routinely did business with, paying them, and then at the last moment changing the business name on the payee line of the checks to her name.  DiCarlo said Smith appeared to have cashed all of the fraudulent checks using a night deposit box at a branch of their bank in another town so as not to bring the unusual checks to the attention of the Woodstock branch which she said might have been quicker to catch the discrepancies…”

A Woodstock woman entered an innocent plea to a single felony count of embezzlement Thursday afternoon before being released from the Windsor County Courthouse in downtown White River Junction on personal recognizance conditions.

Shire Riverview owner Dorothy DiCarlo said she never suspected Smith and instead stumbled on the alleged thefts after she returned from vacation in late March and she was surprised by how low the balances were in the Inn’s operational account. DiCarlo wrote in her statement to police that she started flipping through checks to see what was going on and the very first one she happened to look at was made out directly to Smith for $2,400.

DiCarlo said when she asked Smith why she would need to write a check to herself Smith would not answer her directly and instead kept saying, “I will take responsibility for that check.”

Concerned, DiCarlo said she and her husband Vincent began looking through their business records that evening and quickly found over $50,000 in suspect payments to Smith and to her personal creditors for things like her home cable, propane, and phone bills that appeared to have been paid electronically from the Inn’s bank accounts.

For more:  http://www.thevermontstandard.com/2013/07/motels-ex-bookkeeper-pleads-not-guilty-to-embezzlement/

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P3 Hospitality Industry Risk Report: “Globally Harmonized System (GHS)” By Petra Risk Solutions’ Director Of Risk Management Todd Seiders, CLSD

P3Petra Risk Solutions’ Director Of Risk Management, Todd Seiders, CLSD , offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Update – ‘Globally Harmonized System (GHS)’.

P3 (Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit petrarisksolutions.com or call 800.466.8951.

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: North Carolina Hotel Group Settles “Religious Discrimination” Lawsuit With EEOC For $45,000; Refused To Provide “Religious Accomodation” To Employee

“…The EEOC’s suit charged that the hotel group refused to provide Claudia Neal, a Seventh-Day Adventist, with a religious accommodation of not having to work on her Sabbath, which is from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday.  Neal began EEOCworking at the hotel in May 2009.  Initially, Neal’s request not to work on her Sabbath was honored.  However, a change in management occurred in October 2010, and in November of that year, the hotel group refused to provide her with a religious accommodation, and fired her…”

A hotel group which owns and operates the Comfort Inn Oceanfront South in Nags Head, N.C., has agreed to pay $45,000 and provide substantial additional relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on religion.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Eastern Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Landmark Hotel Group, LLC d/b/a Comfort Inn Oceanfront South; Dare Hospitality, LLC d/b/a Comfort Inn Oceanfront South; Jain and Associates, LP d/b/a Comfort Inn Oceanfront South; and JRS Partners, LLC d/b/a Comfort Inn Oceanfront South; Civil Action No. 4:12-cv-158) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to providing monetary relief to Neal, the hotel group will implement policies designed to prevent religious discrimination and conduct training on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws.  The hotel group will also provide reports to the EEOC regarding future requests for religious accommodation.

“Employers need to understand their obligation to balance the conduct of their business with employees’ needs and rights to practice their religion,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “Where there is minimal impact on the business, those religious needs must be accommodated.  No person should ever be forced to choose between her religion and her job.”

For more:  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-23-13.cfm

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Hospitality Industry Safety Issues: Private-Sector Workplace Injuries Fall 30% From 2003-2011; Workers’ Compensation Claims And Premiums Decline As Safety Progams Pay Off

“…For private-sector employers, the number of injuries involving missed work days, job restrictions or transfers to different chores dropped to 1.8 per 100 full-time workers in 2011 from 2.6 in 2003…safety experts say OSHA crackdowns and more corporate focus on OSHA Safety And Health It's The Law-page-001reducing hazards helped cut the injury rate. Also, legislation in many states has made it harder to qualify for workers’ compensation, which has reduced the number of claims…a benefit of the decline is that the average cost of workers’ compensation per $100 of payroll fell to $1.79 last year from $2.67 in 1994…”

About 100 federal and state court cases involving retaliation for workers’ compensation claims were decided last year, roughly double the number a decade before, estimates Lex Larson, president of Employment Law Research Inc. Some lawyers attribute the increase to growing awareness among workers that they can seek redress in court.

While employers say the decline in injuries shows that safety programs are paying off, unions and plaintiffs’ lawyers counter that companies sometimes discourage workers from speaking up.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is taking a tougher line with employers and says too many injuries go unreported. The agency last year reminded employers that federal law bars them from retaliating against employees for reporting injuries. It also warned employers against offering bonuses or prizes for meeting safety goals if those incentives deter workers from reporting injuries.

For more:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323664204578610133657300940.html

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Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Nebraska Restaurant Fire Starts Near Cooler’s Condenser, Spreading Upstairs; Heavy Heat Results In Complete Loss

“…the blaze most likely started near the cooler’s condenser which was under repair and then spread to the NAPA auto store next door, only causing smoke damage while resulting in a complete loss for the restaurant…when the cook went to open the door, flames shot out…the whole Restaurant Fire Risksentire upstairs was probably involved in heavy fire. Made entry and attempted to extinguish that and due to extreme heat (the firefighters) were driven out and changed to a defensive mode…”

An iconic family restaurant in McCook destroyed by fire late Saturday evening must now decide how to move forward. Fullers Restaurant was more than a business, it was a part of the community and something everyone will miss.

“Tried to put it out with a hand extinguisher and then called the fire department and by the time they got set up and everything it was a little later,” said Val Fuller, the owner.

Fuller’s Restaurant employees recount the scene that led to the building’s evacuation late Saturday evening when the McCook Fire Department responded to a call for a structure fire shortly after 8:40 PM. “All of the employees, all of the customers were out and across the alley from the structure,” said Chief Marc Harpham with the McCook Fire Department.

“It was our supper hour, so we had a fairly decent crowd in there and we told them what the situation was and they left,” said Thayer.

Now, owner Fuller must decide how to move forward after losing the restaurant his parents started in 1946.

For more:  http://www.knopnews2.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=8332:more-than-a-restaurant&Itemid=105

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Filed under Claims, Fire, Insurance, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Structural Damage