Category Archives: Labor Issues

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “New Year, New Challenges: What Hospitality Employers Need to Know”

As state and federal budget cuts tend to wane, the Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to step up enforcement against hospitality employers in the coming year. restaurant workerBecause the DOL considers the hospitality industry as a “fissured” industry, owners, franchisors, franchisees and management companies should be prepared to deal with inquiries, particularly in the areas of tipped employees and the misclassification of employees.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality sector added 321,000 additional jobs in 2014. With all those new employees, as well as the continued addition of jobs we expect to see in coming year, here are our top predictions for labor law issues that will play a vital role in the hospitality industry in 2015.

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Filed under Employee Benefits, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Hotel Restaurant, Labor Issues, Management And Ownership, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Mayor Eric Garcetti Announces Minimum Wage Proposal for Los Angeles”

The proposal comes as the Los Angeles City Council is considering raising the wages of non-unionized hotel workers to $15.37 per hour.LA mayor Hotels near LAX that do not provide health care are already required to pay their employees a similar wage. Hotel operators that do offer health insurance must pay workers about $11 per hour. 

Following in the footsteps of cities like Seattle and San Francisco, Mayor Eric Garcetti made a Labor Day pitch for an increase, over the next three years, in the Los Angeles minimum wage to more than $13 per hour.

The mayor made the announcement in a South L.A. park at what’s billed as a “rally to address poverty in Los Angeles.”  His proposal would increase the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017 and then tie the wage to the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners.

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Filed under Employee Benefits, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Labor Issues, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Employee Update: ” L.A. Hotel Workers Could Get $15.37 an Hour — the Highest Minimum Wage in the U.S.”

“…Hotel operators point to a report from the California Hotel & Lodging Association that shows severe job cuts from the higher wage,cash which will hurt the L.A. economy. But proponents say the local economy will benefit, because workers who earn more money will spend more…”

Barack Obama wants $10.10. Seattle got $15.

Now, Los Angeles hotel workers might be outdoing them all with the country’s highest minimum wage: $15.37 an hour, thanks to a new city ordinance that is expected to pass by Labor Day.

It would be a boon for Sandra Diaz, and 10,000 workers like her, who keep the hotel industry running in L.A. by cleaning rooms, doing laundry, and working the kitchens.

Fresh off a decision by Seattle’s city council last month to raise its hourly minimum wage to $15, L.A. lawmakers say the city’s booming tourism should translate to higher wages for hotel workers.

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Filed under Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Labor Issues, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Lawsuits to Recover Unpaid Wages and Damages For 89 Workers at Five Hotels Filed by US Labor Department”

“…Investigators from the division’s Columbus District Office found violations of the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime and record keeping provisions for 61 workers jointly employed by Darpan Management and Fantastic Cleaning. Fantastic Cleaning, which provided housekeepers, attendants and laundry DOL staff for the hotels owned and operated by Darpan Management, misclassified the housekeepers, who were employees, as independent contractors. These employees were paid by the room and frequently did not earn enough to make the federal minimum wage…”

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed two lawsuits in the federal district court in Columbus against Darpan Management Inc.; five hotels the company owns and manages; and its owners, Darshan Shah, Vibhakar Shah and Prakash Patel.

One of the lawsuits addresses violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions for the hotel staff directly working for Darpan Management, and the other addresses similar violations for workers jointly employed by Fantastic Cleaning Ltd., a company that provided hotel staff to Darpan Management. The two lawsuits seek back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for 89 workers.

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Filed under Claims, Employment Practices Liability, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Labor Issues, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Workers’ Compensation Update: Hospitality Workers’ Compensation Insurance Costs and Solutions”

“…Many companies have reduced their management staff in the past several years, which has led to mismanagement of, or no management whatsoever, of employee on-the-job injuries and safety programs.Image Unmanaged employee injuries add more cost to workers’ comp insurance claims, and higher costs translate into higher insurance rates at renewal time…”

“…Reevaluating how a housekeeper or room attendant performs his or her day-to-day routine is also important. Prevention of injuries and training hotel staff in safe work practices will save money on workers’ comp injury claims and reduce overall insurance costs in the long-run….”

The worst kind of pain is self-inflicted pain.

A large majority of the workers’ compensation injuries in the hotel and hospitality business are from the housekeeping department, and more specifically housekeepers/room attendant injuries that could have been prevented.

Workers’ comp insurance rates have skyrocketed in the past 18 months. The higher rates are due to increased medical costs, the unknown factors of Obamacare, and employees making more claims due to the recession and their fear of being laid off or losing hours.

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Filed under Claims, Employee Practices, Health, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Injuries, Insurance, Labor Issues, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “How Do We Monitor Our Hotel Staff?”

“…There is no way to consistently have superior customer service without every employee performing to their fullest. But how do we know if any of our employees are truly performing at that level…” Image

“…There are two basic ways to evaluate and monitor any staff within any department and it is a shame that most managers wait until something goes wrong to focus on either of them…”

You have hired a few new employees; whether they were a waiter, bartender, front desk agent, cook, etc., so what is next? You put them through your usual training program and now they are “on the floor” working on their own. A few weeks go by and your new recruit has been doing a decent job and you know that their speed & efficiency will only get better. You think “great, that position is filled and I can now move on to the next challenge”.

But how do you monitor this new employee over time? Frankly, how do you monitor ANY of your employees over time? What process do you use to evaluate your staff, and not just the newly hired ones?

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Filed under Employee Practices, Hotel Employees, Labor Issues, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Technology, Training

P3 Hospitality Industry Risk Report: “Reasonable Suspicion for Alcohol and Drug Testing for Employees” Presented by Loss Control Manager Matt Karp of Petra Risk Solutions (VIDEO)

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Matt Karp, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Reasonable Suspicion for Alcohol and Drug Testing for Employees’. 

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 or call 800.466.8951.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Employment Practices Liability, Hotel Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Injuries, Labor Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Employee Update: “L.A. May Hike Minimum Wage for Hotel Workers to Highest in U.S.”


“Hotel owners and their representatives say a $15 minimum would trigger higher room rates and worker layoffs, as managements struggle to keep costs under control. The owners argue it’s unfair to take a piecemeal approach to pay rules — singling out a few industries or geographic areas.”

Labor leaders hope a proposal that would dramatically raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles for workers at large hotels to roughly $15 an hour will be a step toward pay hikes for other industries.

Members of the City Council expected to propose that large hotels pay their workers $15.37 an hour — more than double the national minimum of $7.25 an hour and push far above California’s rate of $8.

Union leaders want the increase to apply at hotels with 100 rooms or more, saying such a hike would lift housekeepers, busboys and maintenance workers out of poverty and inject much-needed cash into a  languorous local economy.

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Filed under Employee Benefits, Labor Issues, Management And Ownership, Uncategorized

Hospitality Industry Theft Risks: Maine Restaurant Bookkeeper Charged With Embezzling $80,000 Over 10 Months

“…Starting in January 2013 and continuing through October, (the defendant) began forging checks and taking cash from the Brass Compass and Hospitality Industry Employee TheftArcher’s restaurant. The lawsuit claims that Allen forged Archer’s name on $49,592 in checks and stole about $30,000 in cash from the two restaurants…Also, during those 10 months, Allen failed to pay state sales taxes for the two restaurants, which has resulted in Archer incurring interest and penalties for the failure to pay the taxes…”

The owner of two Rockland restaurants has filed a lawsuit against her former bookkeeper, alleging she embezzled nearly $80,000. Lynn Archer and her company Archer’s LLC filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Knox County Superior Court against Melanie L. Allen of Union.

Allen was arrested Oct. 23 by Rockland police and charged with felony theft and felony forgery. At the time, police said Allen was suspected of embezzling at least $18,000 from the Brass Compass Cafe and Archer’s on the Pier, both Rockland restaurants owned by Lynn Archer.

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

Hospitality Industry Risk Solutions: “2014 Hospitality Insurance & Loss Prevention Summit” On February 10 Presented By Petra Risk Solutions

Hospitality Insurance & Loss Prevention Summit Feb 10 2014 Petra Risk Solutions



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Filed under Conferences, Employment Practices Liability, Guest Issues, Insurance, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training