Category Archives: Liability

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Are You Breaking the Law by Recording Calls?”

“Regardless of the content of the call, hoteliers should be ensuring that they are using automatic disclosures—in order to obtain consumer consenthotel-phone—if using an automatic recording system. If an operator becomes the target of one of these consumer privacy class actions, taking an aggressive approach and attacking these claims as incongruent with the legislative purpose and intent behind the respective statute is a recommended.”

In the past few years, class action plaintiffs have recovered billions of dollars in punitive damages by exploiting strict liability laws that punish businesses for failing to properly notify customers when a phone call is being recorded.

Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and similar state statutes, businesses including hotels are prohibited from using certain tactics when telemarketing or making calls to solicit potential guests or customers. Hotels and other businesses are precluded from making calls or using any kind of prerecorded message, unless the caller has obtained a recipient’s prior express consent in writing or electronically.

Additionally, hoteliers are prohibited from making calls to residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and a future hotel guest calling to confirm a reservation also must be notified if the call is recorded. Hence, under these laws, if a hotel receptionist in Montana receives a call from a California resident to confirm a reservation but never notifies the recipient that the call is being recorded, it could result in damages ranging from $500 to $5,000 per call under federal and state laws.

This seemingly innocuous business practice of recording customer service calls without providing some variation of the oft-heard disclosure, “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes” has the potential to financially cripple a business.

For more: http://bit.ly/1CBRlu6

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “Northern California Hotel & Lodging Conference”

CH&LA and AAHOA have once again partnered to present the annual Northern California Hotel & Lodging Conference.  This year the event is moving back to the DoubleTree San Jose.  Each year this event gathers together over 300 hoteliers who enjoynorcal-button-highres the free educational seminars, updates on industry topics and to attend the trade show.

The show will include the usual abundance of networking opportunities, general session luncheon, and of course the trade show, the largest of its kind in Northern California.  Over 100 vendors will be eager to show off the latest industry products, many who offer special rates and discounts for this conference.  There will also be a reception in the trade show at 4:00 pm, with appetizers, soft drinks, no-host bar and lots of networking.

For more: http://bit.ly/1zkW1gW

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Filed under Conferences, Employee Practices, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology, Training, Workers' Compensation

Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Settlement Deal Reached in Hotel Pool Electrocution”

The investigation showed that the Hilton Westchase did not meet city, state, and national electrical codes and that the pool did not have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on the pool lighting systemHouston Hilton – which are standard safety features in pool construction, or kitchen and bathroom design, where electrical systems might come in contact with water.

A final civil settlement was reached Monday in a hotel swimming pool electrocution death that a devastated family claimed was “gross negligence of epic proportions.”

Raul Hernandez Martinez, 27, died 6 days after the 2013 Labor Day weekend incident.

He and his family had gathered at the Hilton Houston Westchase hotel and several family members were in the hotel swimming pool when the pool lights came on.

Martinez’ little brother David Duran, 11, began to convulse in the deep end of the pool. Their mom, Maria Isabel Duran, tried to reach the boy but was shocked unconscious by the electrical current.

Family members pulled her from the pool where she was revived via CPR. Martinez, meanwhile, reached his little brother and pushed him to the edge where others pulled the boy out.

But Martinez became motionless as the current continued to surge through the pool.

Rescued and revived, he never recovered and was removed from life support 6 days later.

For more: http://bit.ly/1PSDdPN

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Filed under Claims, Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Industry, Injuries, Insurance, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Pool And Spa, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Hotel Industry Takes Action with 911 Direct Dial”

To date, 10 of AH&LA’s largest hotel member chains have activated 911 direct dial access at nearly all of their owned and managed properties, with the remainder expected to complete the process very soon.911 Further, more than half of these chains have updated, or are in the process of updating, brand standards to ensure franchisees upgrade their phone systems as well. Led by AH&LA, all of these chains, as well as the broader hotel industry, also have worked hard to educate franchisees and their properties on the need to make the switch as quickly as possible.

One year ago, tragedy struck an east Texas town. Not only did our community lose a loving mother, daughter, and sister, but the nation also lost trust in a system it relies on in life-threatening circumstances.

Last December, Kari Rene Hunt Dunn was murdered by her estranged husband in a hotel room in Marshall, Texas. Kari’s 9-year-old daughter, while witnessing the unthinkable, did exactly what we train our children to do in an emergency—dial 911. However, in this case, the daughter could not get through to the authorities because she failed to dial 9 to get an outside line.

For more: http://bit.ly/1rvrX3F

 

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: Carbon Monoxide” (VIDEO)

The holiday season is upon us and our P3 team here at Petra knows that, that means more use of fireplaces and heaters. Because of this, we have put together a video on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and the steps your staff can take to help best protect your guests and themselves in these colder months!

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Marco Johnson, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Carbon Monoxide’. 

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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Filed under Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hotel Housekeepers Say ‘Green’ Program Eliminates Jobs”

Chavez said housekeepers have been reprimanded for not cleaning rooms fast enough and some have resorted to working through breaks to avoid warnings. green-hotelsStill, she said, there are days when she looks at the clock at 2 p.m. and realizes she won’t finish on time. By comparison, before the program started, she could clean up to 20 rooms in a day because some rooms just needed a light touch.

A program that encourages hotel guests to decline housekeeping to conserve water and electricity sounds like a noble idea.

But hotel housekeepers say the program is killing their jobs, their legs and their backs as those workers still employed say they have to work harder because the rooms tend to be dirtier.

Fabiola Rivera, 31, said her managers expect her to clean rooms left unkempt for as many as three days at a pace of 16 rooms per day in an eight-hour shift, the same quota as if the rooms were tidied daily. And she also has to run around delivering fresh towels to guests in the program who cheat a bit.

For more: http://trib.in/1waj7sz

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Filed under Employee Practices, Green Lodging, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Training

Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: Carbon Monoxide” (VIDEO)

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Marco Johnson, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Carbon Monoxide’. 

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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Filed under Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Industry, Injuries, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Justices Will Decide Privacy Case on Hotel Records” (VIDEO)

“Los Angeles has said the ordinance makes prostitutes and drug dealers less likely to use hotels if they know that the facilities must collect information about guests and make them available to police on a moment’s noticegavel (1)…In dissent, Judge Richard Clifton said that courts previously have ruled that hotel guests have no expectation of privacy in records of their names and room numbers. “A guest’s information is even less personal to the hotel than it is to the guest,” Clifton said.”

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to referee a dispute over police access to hotels’ guest information without first getting a search warrant.

The justices said they will hear an appeal by the city of Los Angeles of a lower court ruling that struck down an ordinance that requires hotel operators to open their guest registries at the demand of police.

The federal appeals court in San Francisco divided 7-4 in ruling that the ordinance violates the privacy rights of the hotels, but not their guests.

For more: http://bit.ly/1zi8CGd

And for more information on how to best handle police requests for information, check out Petra’s own Director of Risk Management, Todd Seiders, in this P3 Risk Management Update “How to Handle Police and Law Enforcement Request for Hotel Guest Information”.

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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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “W Hotel Chain Friendly to Prostitutes, New Jersey Couple’s Legal Filing Claims”

Anna Burgese says she was attacked early last year in the lobby of a South Beach W Hotel by drunken hookers80629236 who mistakenly believed she was competition. She and her husband say they hired undercover agents to visit W Hotels all over the country, according to Philadelphia Daily News, and found prostitution runs rampant.

The W Hotel chain openly allows prostitution in their facilities, a New Jersey couple claims in a recent legal filing obtained by the Philadelphia Daily News.

Anna Burgese of Medford, N.J., says she was attacked early last year in the lobby of a South Beach W Hotel by drunken hookers who mistakenly believed she was competition. The attack was captured on surveillance video.

As a result, Anna Burgese and husband Joseph say they hired undercover agents to visit W Hotels all over the country, according to the newspaper.

The legal filing claims that they found that prostitution runs rampant in the hotels and even found that a sex worker at one W Hotel “used the concierge desk to charge her cellphones and store her purse.”

For more: http://nydn.us/1w27joR

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Arizona Lawmakers Want Background Checks for Hotel Workers”

“…The attorneys say less than nine months later, in June 2012, the same night clerk raped another woman who was a guest at the hotel, again using the master key to gain access.Arizona They say there is an additional police report from Illinois that claims the man, again working as a night clerk, used the master key to enter her room and attempt to sexually assault her. Neither attorney knew of the man’s current location…”

Hobbs said the existing sex-offender laws — those that dictate where an offender can live and work — are in place to keep the public safe and aware.

“It is unthinkable that this registered offender has exploited loopholes in the law to gain access to sleeping hotel guests and to reoffend,” she said.

Friday’s press conference was the first time the prospect of legislative efforts on the issue had been brought to the attention of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, and officials were unaware of what a proposal would entail, said Kristen Jarnagin, senior vice president of the trade group.

For more: http://bit.ly/1nLAvMG

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management