Monthly Archives May 2014

Pool Safety: Electrocutions Raise Alarm Before Summer

BY TOM COSTELLO and WAKEUP CALL

The tragic death of a boy electrocuted in a North Miami swimming pool in April has raised alarm among parents — and now water safety experts are warning hotels and families to take extra caution as kids get revved up for summer vacation.

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Calder Sloan, a vivacious and athletic 7-year-old, dies April 13th after being electrocuted in a swimming pool. Police are investigating whether a faulty pool light that may have sent charges coursing through the water is to blame.

“They found the ground cable wasn’t hooked up,” Calder’s father, Chris Sloan, told NBC News. “So, essentially, Calder became the ground. Electricity, instead of traveling to the ground, traveled through his body.”

And just two weeks later, three kids — 5-year-old Danielle Gamez, her 10-year-o...

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Myths and Facts about Bed Bugs

By: Matthew Campbell and WAKEUP CALL

Bed bugs have become an epidemic, infesting homes, hotels, vehicles, restaurants, and other places where people congregate. More and more people are becoming aware of this problem, and more and more people call pest management companies with preconceptions and misinformation about bed bugs. What’s important to know is that that the best way to control and prevent a bed bug infestation is to learn the facts about them. Here are some common myths about bed bugs and the correct information to set them straight.

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Myth: If you place your bed outside over night in the winter, the cold will kill the bed bugs.

Fact: Although they are not cold-tolerant, bed bugs can survive for days – even weeks – in sub-zero temperatures...

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Hiring Minors This Summer? Review Child Labor Laws..

By: BLR and WAKEUP CALL

Most colleges have ended their academic year, and high schools will soon do the same. Many of the young people who are out of school will now be looking for summer jobs or intern opportunities. That raises lots of issues for employers.

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When hiring young people, remember to keep child labor laws in mind. There are federal rules, but your state may have additional, more protective rules.

What is child labor? The child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibit employers from hiring minors (individuals under the age of 18) to work at dangerous occupations, for an excessive number of hours, and at unsuitable times of the day or night. States also have child labor laws and when state and federal laws differ, the stricter law applies.

There are sep...

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New Regulations on Service Animals in the Hotel Industry : The Mini Horse

By Kathleen Pohlid and WAKEUP CALL

A well-trained hotel staff can make the critical difference between fostering or chilling guest relations, as well as, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance or liability. This principle is especially true with respect to the issue of accommodation of the use of service animals by persons with disabilities. Hotel establishments should ensure they develop policies and train their staff on accommodation of service animals.

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The ADA, enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and their companions and applies to facilities of public accommodation including hotels. On July 23, 2010, new amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act were issued which include provisions relating to accommodation of service animals...

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Background Check Lawsuit Claims Hotels Violated FCRA

By Thomas Ahearn and WAKEUP CALL

A class action lawsuit filed against ESA Management LLC, which operates more than 680 Extended Stay America hotels in the United States, alleges the company obtained background check reports on job applicants without their authorization in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

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 When plaintiff, Yahaira Camacho, applied for a job at a California Extended Stay America hotel in July 2013 ESA Management failed to provide her with a written disclosure stating that a background check report may be obtained for employment purposes and did not ask for her authorization to obtain the report...

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California issues first heat advisory of the season: Tips for preventing heat stress

By BLR and WAKEUP CALL

A recent heat wave in California led the state’s OSHA program to issue its first heat advisory of the season. As temperatures rise around the country, take time to review your heat protection program. Keep reading for important tips and reminders.

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Cal/OSHA’s heat regulation requires that all employers with outdoor workers take basic steps to prevent heat stress. These steps provide a good foundation for any business that wants to protect workers from heat illness, which can range from bothersome to potentially fatal.

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
  • Provide plenty of cool, fresh water and encourage employees to drink frequently.
  • Provide a shaded area for employees to take a cool-down recovery break.
  • Prepare an emergency heat il...
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Stanford Court Hotel Now Offers Google Glass to Guest

By Rhiannon Edwards and WAKEUP CALL

While some San Francisco business have banned Google’s polarizing wearable technology, Google Glass, Nob Hill’s Stanford Court Hotel is embracing it with a new package that supplies guests with the Web-enhanced glasses.

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The Google Glass Explorer package includes two nights stay during which time guests will be given a tutorial on how to use the gadget, including tips on avoiding being a so-called “glasshole”- otherwise known as an annoying Google Glass user. Guests can also compete to take the best pictures of San Francisco and upload them to social networks using the device.

The hotel had already offered free drinks to any guest who already owned a Google Glass device in March this year after a Glass wearer was attacked in San Francisco, pr...

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Guest Privacy Goes Viral

By John Hendrie and WAKEUP CALL

Hold the presses. Pause the remote. Finger off the mouse. As I may not have all the facts, I shall liberally sprinkle the word “allegedly” in my reporting. The last bastion for privacy and discretion is being assailed. Hoteliers beware, for your business is under the microscope, and that slide of guest activity is being marketed to that world audience who wants to know everything right away. Welcome to viral news gathering.

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As we know, what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas, most of the time. Well, we are talking about a New York City tale, the city that does not sleep but where sordid stories tend to steep...

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Bars Often Roll Dice on Liquor Liability Coverage

By: Jennifer Larino and WAKEUP CALL

Louisiana beer tavern owners Chuck Brechtel and Eddie Dyer are the first to admit that plenty can go wrong when your main line of work is serving alcohol to thirsty crowds all night. For that reason, they say they err conservatively when buying insurance for their five-bar chain, The Bulldog and Lager. That includes paying roughly $25,000 extra per year on a special line of coverage to protect each location from liquor-related losses and damages.

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Brechtel said owners can’t be there every day to ensure bartenders stop serving visibly intoxicated patrons and call a cab for them, and they have little control if an inebriated patron decides to start a fight on their property and injures bystanders.

Three of the bars in the chain are in New Orleans...

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Top Risks Facing the Hospitality Industry

By Resolver and WAKEUP CALL

The global economy is improving, which means consumers and businesses are growing more confident about their financial situations. For those in the hospitality sector, this is a good sign, as it may translate into more money spent on vacations or business trips. That said, increased activity may lead to an increased chance of risks. The hospitality sector faces a variety of potentially damaging threats that hotels need to contend with, particularly as they deal with an influx of new leisure and business travelers.

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Top Four Risks

1. Data privacy: Cyber security has been a big concern for a number of sectors, ranging from power and utility companies to government organizations...

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