Tag Archives: Wrongful Termination

Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Kansas Hotel Group Settles “Employee Termination” Lawsuit With Dept. Of Labor For $22,000 In Wages, Damages; “Workplace Safety Concerns Raised”

“…In addition to paying the back wages and compensatory damages to the former employee, True North will expunge all references to disciplinary action and termination from his personnel file and provide a written, neutral job reference, should any prospective Hospitality Industry Termination Lawsuitsemployer seek a reference for the worker…Employers must understand that every employee has the right to raise workplace safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation or termination,” said Marthe Kent, OSHA’s New England regional administrator. “When employees are fearful or reluctant to raise these issues with their employers, hazardous conditions could go undetected until employees are injured or sickened…”

As part of an enterprise wide settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, True North Hotel Group Inc., a hotel management company based in Overland Park, Kan., will pay $22,225 in back wages and compensatory damages to a former employee who was terminated from a Massachusetts location after raising workplace safety concerns. The company will also educate all its managers and notify its employees nationwide about workers’ whistleblower rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act as administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The worker then filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, which investigated and found merit to the complaint. True North has elected to settle the matter by taking corrective action.

Specifically, True North will immediately post the whistleblower fact sheet and OSHA poster, in English and Spanish, in conspicuous locations at all of its work premises nationwide, where they can be seen and read by all employees. It will also provide annual training on whistleblower rights and employer responsibilities to all managers and supervisors and provide training materials to all newly hired or promoted managers.

For more:  http://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/workers-comp-blogwire/17039-employer-faces-heavy-fines-for-terminating-whistleblower-employee.html

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Texas Hotel Sued By Former Conference Meetings Director For “Employment Discrimination”; Woman Claims Termination Due To Cancer Diagnosis

“…(the Texas woman) believes Crowne Plaza Hotel fired her because of insurance, knowing she had more follow-up surgeries required…(she) is now cancer free and has a new job, hopes to collect financial damages for medical bills and mental anguish…”

A Texas grandmother of five says she was wrongfully fired from her job because she got cancer. Now, she’s suing for employment discrimination.

Janet Hustus, 53, was working as the Conference Meetings Director for Crowne Plaza Houston in January 2011 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I was devastated. When you hear those words it is very devastating,” Hustus said. “You have cancer, and you don’t know what to do. You have so many emotions.”

She went to her general manager a few days later to discuss her schedule and surgery dates. Hustus says Mathers assured her the company would work around her schedule and “support her any way possible,” including keeping her job open for her.

For more: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/texas-grandma-fired-cancer/story?id=16304786

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Wisconsin Restaurant Sued By EEOC For “Racial Discrimination” And “Wrongful Termination”

“..(the restaurant management) made a bad situation worse by firing the man who had the guts to stand up to it…the EEOC will stand up for people (like this employee)…”

“…the EEOC is seeking back pay, job reinstatement, compensatory and punitive damages…”

A restaurant in Menomonie, Wis., is being sued by the federal government because its managers posted images of a noose, a Klan hood and other racist depictions that prompted a black employee to complain and then be fired. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit, filed Tuesday against the owners of Sparx Restaurant & Bar, alleges that Dion Miller was fired in retaliation for complaining about the racist atmosphere that the images conveyed.

According to the suit:

Miller arrived for a regular shift and found taped to the cooler a picture of black actor Gary Coleman and a dollar bill that was defaced with a noose around the neck of a black-faced George Washington. Also on the dollar bill were swastikas and the image of a man in a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Sparx’s managers told Miller that they had posted the images the evening before and insisted that it was just “a joke.”

Miller was fired within weeks of complaining for allegedly having “a bad attitude.”

The suit was filed after an attempt at a settlement with the restaurant’s owner, Northern Star Hospitality Inc., failed.

“Sparx bills itself as a ‘family restaurant’ even as its managers posted imagery which evokes shameful memories of racially motivated physical attacks and lynchings,” John Hendrickson, regional attorney for the Chicago district of the EEOC, said in a statement Wednesday announcing the lawsuit.

For more:  http://www.startribune.com/local/144690225.html


Filed under Employment Practices Liability, Insurance, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Employee Risks: Hotel Owners Should Maintain “Employment Practices Liability” Insurance Coverage For Wrongful Termination, Harassment And Discrimination Suits

EPL insurance policies protect businesses from the financial costs incurred from employment-related lawsuits filed for a range of reasons, from wrongful termination to harassment to discrimination and so on. More than half of claims are filed against small businesses…however, less than two percent of businesses with fewer than 50 employees purchase EPL insurance.

  • A recent Chubb survey found that 36 percent of private company executives understand the gravity of their exposure to EPL suits and 21 percent said they had an experience with an EPL suit in the last five years.
  • While every EPL policy is different, a company with $1 million in sales and 50 employees can likely get a policy for about $7,000 per year—$10,000 if they also take out coverage protecting directors and officers in the event of liability lawsuits against them personally.
  • The leading charge filed in discrimination cases is an allegation of racial discrimination, at 36 percent of cases, according to EEOC figures from 2009. Gender-based discrimination was alleged in 30 percent of cases.
  • Age-based claims made up 24 percent
  • Disabled claims tallied 23 percent.

In many cases, multiple allegations are made. One of the growing charges, according to the EEOC, is retaliation against employees for making discrimination claims, which can involve a job switch that the employee views as a demotion related to the initial claim.

“If you go to your supervisor and say you’ve been harassed by Joe, you can bring that claim to EEOC, but then if they decide to fire you or cut back your hours, that is the retaliation component,” says Tom Hams, Aon Risk Solutions’s EPL practice leader. “That retaliation component can survive much more than the allegation itself.” The employer may win on the allegation of whether or not you were discriminated against, but they may lose a case based on the retaliation claim for moving the complainant to a different job or office setting.

For more:  http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/12/how-to-reduce-employment-liability-claims_pagen_2.html#

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Hospitality Industry Employee Issues: California Hotel And General Manager Sued For “Retaliation For Reporting Sexual Harassment, Defamation And Wrongful Termination”

The Four Seasons’ former lead massage therapist alleged in a recent lawsuit that he was demoted after complaining that the hotel’s general manager was romantically involved with a masseuse and had sought favorable treatment for her.

John B. Henning said he was instructed in August 2009 to make sure that certain massage therapists were not paid more than a masseuse who “was engaging in a romantic relationship” with general manager Thomas Gurtner.

Henning said he refused to comply with the instructions and instead told the hotel’s assistant human resources director that Gurtner was favoring the woman. One month later, Henning alleged, he was demoted and “constructively terminated” from his job. Henning said a supervisor explained that the hotel wanted “to move forward with a more positive team.”

A spokeswoman for the 270-room resort hotel declined to comment.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks unspecified general and punitive damages, plus legal fees and other costs. It accuses the hotel of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, defamation and wrongful termination.

For more:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/12/sexual-harassment-four-seasons-hotel-westlake-village-massage-.html

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