Legal Aspects of Hospitality Industry

Course: Legal Aspects of Hospitality Industry

Executive Summary

In this report the authors will discuss the employment laws also known as labor laws within
the hospitality industry, as well as talk about the importance of these laws in the industry.
Then give example scenarios and break down these scenarios to identify and discuss the laws
and compare to similar cases that have happened in the past. For this purpose, the authors will
pick Urban Rose restaurant. In the first scenario the topic will be about racial discrimination.
The second scenario will be about unsafe work environment where the employee feels unsafe
that the restaurant does not encourage COVID-19 safety protocols. The third scenario will be
about the unfair dismissal of an employee. Fourth scenario will be about the refusal of
maternity leave. Fifth scenario will discuss the unequal payment between the female and
male employees. These scenarios will be discussed and broken down and talked about each
individually.

Introduction

The restaurant is called Urban Rose Restaurant, which is a luxurious and famous restaurant,
located in Jumeirah Beach Road in front of the Miraj Islamic Art Centre. This is the
restaurant that will be considered when discussing about the scenarios/issues of the
employment law in the hospitality industry. Employment Law also known as Labour Law is
what regulates the interconnection between the employee and the employer (Employment
Law | CIPD, 2021).
Issues
In the hospitality industry the employment/labour law is one of the most vital law there is, it
is there to protect the employees and allow them to have rights and not be treated unfairly
while working (Peninsula Ireland, 2020). There are a lot of scenarios that involve the unfair
treatment of the employees, these are just a few scenarios that the authors have come up with
involving the Urban Rose Restaurant.
Discrimination:
A black employee working at the Urban Rose Restaurant filed a lawsuit against the restaurant
claiming that he was being discriminated against due to the colour of his skin and African
ethnicity. He claims that other employees in the restaurant would make racially insensitive
jokes involving “a comparison to a monkey” and that “he should be cleaning instead of
serving.” Moreover, when the pandemic hit there was a large number of layoffs, he was one
of the few people who had remained, but when things started getting back to “normal” there
were many opportunities for him to become promoted, which the employee claimed he was
denied due to his skin colour and ethnicity. The plaintiff, the employee, claims that
defendant, the Urban Rose Restaurant, is breaking Article 1 section (a) of C111 –
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention which claims; “… exclusion or
preference made on the basis of race, colour…” (Ilo.org, 2017), as the U.A.E. is a signatory
to the C111 – Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (U.ae, 2015). The
plaintiff is asking for monetary compensation for the damages along with the company to
face the legal ramification for not following the law.
There were two doctrines that were used in court for this case, the first doctrine that was used
by the plaintiff was:
– Negligence Per Se that defines as, a defendant who violates a law or regulation
without justification is presumed to have violated his/her duty of care and is thus
negligent under the law (LII / Legal Information Institute, 2020).
In this case the way this doctrine applies to Urban Rose Restaurant is that they know that
discrimination is illegal and violates the law thus making them negligent for the monetary
and emotional damages of the affected employee.
The second doctrine used in the court by the plaintiff was:
– Respondeat Superior which defines as, holding the employer or agent legally liable
for the employee or agent’s unlawful activities if they occur within the course of
employment or agency (LII / Legal Information Institute, 2021).
In this case the plaintiff claims that the Urban Rose Restaurant should be liable for the
discriminatory and degrading jokes that were made by the other employees working there.
Some of the issues that were brought up in court were:

– Why did the other employees make the joke about this employee?
– Why did the employee not get his well-deserved promotion after working there for a
period of time?
The response to these issues were:
– Colleagues of the plaintiff did not like that he was of the African ethnicity and due to
that he was the target of the discrimination.
– Evidence was found that the managers of the Urban Rose Restaurant preferred white
Europeans and only hired the plaintiff for the sake of diversity.
Similarly, the Richemont Race Discrimination Case where the plaintiff, Cheryl Spragg, a
black female who faced the same issue as the black employee. The incident in Richemont
Race Discrimination Case meet the exact requirements of discrimination under the Equality
Act 2010. Thus, Cheryl won her claim and was compensated for the terrible and humiliating
experience after the judge had heard her case and had considered the facts
(Gloucestershire.gov.uk, 2020). Likewise, to Cheryl’s case the judge ruled against the Urban
Rose Restaurant and the employee was rewarded compensation for the discrimination against
him.
Unsafe Work Conditions:
An employee at Urban Rose Restaurant filed a lawsuit against the Urban Rose Restaurant,
claiming that they are not following the COVID-19 safety protocol and procedures. She
claims that employees are made to work close to one another, ignoring the 2-metre distance
rule that was in place at the time of the pandemic, she claims that neither her nor the other
employees were given space for social distancing. Moreover, she claims that there is always a
shortage of hand sanitizers, gloves, and face mask. This shortage of COVID-19 prevention
equipment can lead to the spread of the virus thus making the restaurant an unsafe
environment to work in for the employees. The plaintiff claims that this violates the
Provisions for Safety and Health of Workers Law in the U.A.E. (U.ae, 2021).
The doctrine that was loosely used in this court by the defendant, Urban Rose Restaurant,
was:
– Assumption of Risk which defines as, circumstances when the injured plaintiff were
aware of the dangers of the action, yet still chose to participate (The Pendas Law
Firm, 2014).
In this case the defendant claimed that the plaintiff, the employee, knew that the restaurant
was not adhering to the social distancing rule yet still chose to come to work.
Some of the issues that were brought up in court were:
– Why did the plaintiff not bring her own COVID-19 protection equipment, such as
extra face mask, sanitizers, etc.?
– Why did plaintiff not distance herself from the rest of the employees?
The response to both these issues were:
– Plaintiff did not have a proper response for any of the questions.
Massey v. McDonald’s is a similar case that happened in the year 2020 where the plaintiff
claimed the following, “failing to supply gloves, masks gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers to
employees; (2) allowing customers of the restaurant to use the restroom, but taking no
additional measures to ensure the restrooms were sanitized sufficiently; (3) instructing
employees that they do not need to physically distance themselves as long as they keep their
conversations or close physical contact to less than 10 minutes: and (4) failing to disclose to
all employees at one of the branches that a particular co-worker was diagnosed with COVID19.” (Massey et al., n.d.). After investigation it was found that McDonald’s followed the
COVID-19 safety protocol except the fact that McDonald’s was not encouraging social
distancing. plaintiffs’ negligence claim was ultimately dismissed by the court due to, among
other things, plaintiffs’ injuries were not real at the time, as none of the plaintiffs had been
personally exposed to or infected by COVID-19. plaintiffs’ public nuisance claim was used to
support the court’s order demanding state-complaint training and enforcement of McDonald’s
social distance policy. Similar to this case the plaintiff, the employee, did not have enough
evidence to support this case and therefore the case was dropped.
Unfair Dismissal:
A former employee of Urban Rose Restaurant decided to file a lawsuit against Urban Rose
Restaurant due to what he believed was an unfair dismissal. He claims that the manager of
Urban Rose Restaurant had forced him to resign without giving a justifiable reason as to why.
He claims that he was a respectable employee at the restaurant and had not gotten into any
trouble with the managers or any of the staff that were working there at time he was, other
employees also came to his defence to say that he was good employee who always came on
time and always did his job correctly with no mistakes or errors. The employee also claimed
that the manager had made him work late a couple of times and had always picked on him to
do the most work at the restaurant. Later it was found that the manager had done this to the
employee and then proceeded to force him to resign simply because had claimed to not like
him. The plaintiff claims that this is an example of Article 120, 122, 123 of the UAE Labour
Law which overall states, “when an employee is fired for reasons unrelated to their work
performance, that is known as arbitrary termination.” (U.ae, 2021)

The doctrines that were used at court in this case by both parties were:
– The defendant, manager at Urban Rose Restaurant, used “Employment-At-Will”
which states that an employer can fire an employee at any given time even if it is
without a valid reason (Ncsl.org, 2008).
In this case the defendant, manager, claimed that he had no obligation to explain himself as to
why he had forced the employee to resign.
The doctrine that was loosely used by the plaintiff was:
– The Last Straw, which defines as when the employer had worked the employee to the
bone to the point where the employee has no choice but to resign from the job given
(US Legal, Inc, 2021).
Now in this case the plaintiff had used this doctrine to validate his point on why he had
agreed to resign, the fact that the manager at the Urban Rose Restaurant had worked him to
the bone, and that at the end when the employer had come up to him and told him he had to
resign he was given no say in it and reluctantly had to agree.
Some of the issues that were brought up in court were:
– What had the employee done for the manager to have a dislike to him?
– What was the reason of the dismissal?
– Why did the employee agree to resign?
The answers to these issues were:
– The defendant, the manager, could not give a proper answer to this question and
simply stated that he did not have to explain himself.

– The defendant, manager, claimed that the plaintiff, the employee, was not doing the
proper work that he was assigned to and that was the reason for the dismissal, which
later there were no evidence to back up his claim.
– The plaintiff, the employee, claimed that there was no other option and that the
employer kept pressuring him to resign from the job or he would have gotten fired.
Somewhat similar to the case of Anderson v Thiess Pty Ltd that was a case in 2014 which
involved a Mr. Anderson who was dismissed from his job due to an email sent by Mr.
Anderson that involved offensive comments about the people who are of the Islamic
Religion. Thiess had policies in place which stated that this type of conduct was strictly
prohibited by any employee. But the commission had sided with Mr. Anderson due to several
reasons: “Mr. Anderson was at the age of 65 during the dismissal and it would have been
hard for him to have found another job, (2) Thiess had not given Mr. Anderson a written
warning about his actions or any previous actions that were conducted by Mr. Anderson, (3)
Mr. Anderson was denied a chance to fully understand the situation and had not been given a
chance to apologize and redeem his actions.” (LGM Advisors – Commercial Lawyers
Melbourne, 2016)
The similarity in these cases were that both the employees were unfairly dismissed without
given a reason or an explanation beforehand. In this case the former employee of Urban Rose
Restaurant had not been given a warning before that his work was not done right as the
manager claimed he had done the work wrong. Parallel to the case of Anderson v. Thiess Pty
Ltd, the court ruled with the plaintiff, the former employee, and had compensated him with
an amount of cash to keep him going until he could find another job.

Refusal of Maternity Leave:
An employee of Urban Rose Restaurant had asked the manager of Urban Rose Restaurant for
a paid maternity leave due to her not taking any pregnancy leave during her 9 months of
pregnancy and not getting time off days before the delivery. The manager had denied her a
paid maternity leave claiming that “taking care of a baby” is not a proper excuse to skip work
and still get paid and she could easily take care of the infant after work hours. The employee
also claimed that there was no way she could come to work, days after delivering a baby and
she had to be given time to recover from the birth. The employee claimed that is breaking the
U.A.E. Law of Maternity Leave, that claims working women should be abled to have 45 days
of maternity leave, which includes time before and after the delivery. If a woman has worked
for the same employer for one year, she is eligible to full pay while on maternity leave;
otherwise, she is entitled to half pay (U.ae, 2020). In this case the employee had been
working at this restaurant for almost 2 years, and she had the right to a full payment maternity
leave for approximately 45 days.
The doctrine that was used in this case by the plaintiff, the employee, was:
– Negligence which states, the failure to adhere to a code of conduct set to safeguard
society from unreasonably high danger (negligence | Definition, Examples, & Facts |
Britannica, 2021).
In this case the employee claimed that the manager of Urban Rose Restaurant was negligent
due to not giving her the rightful paid maternity leave that she deserved before or after the
pregnancy due date.

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– Why did the employee not pester the manager of Urban Rose Restaurant for the paid
maternity leave?
– Did the employee give a prior notice to the HR manager about her maternity leave?
– Did the employee use her paid sick days and other paid leaves before?
The answer to these issues were:
– The plaintiff, the employee, had informed the manager once about getting a maternity
leave but when the manager had denied her once and she did not want to risk getting
terminated from work.
– The employee claimed that she did give a notice 3 months before her due date to the
HR manager but there was no response from them.
– The employee’s record showed that even during her pregnancy she had not taken a
single day off, paid, or unpaid, and any other sick leaves.
Similar to this case, the case of Dessenberg v. American Metal Forming Co. (Ohio 1973)
which involved a female employee who was denied a paid sick leave due to her pregnancy
but her male co-workers were easily given paid sick leaves due to alcoholism (Larson A.,
1975.). The similarities with these cases are the fact that in this restaurant the manager would
give male employees paid sick leaves whenever they would ask but the female employees
would rarely get a paid leave.
This case eventually had found the defendant, Urban Rose Restaurant, guilty and had made
the restaurant give an amount of money to the plaintiff for the damages.

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Unequal Pay Between Men & Women:

A female employee at the Urban Rose Restaurant who was working as a server got into a
topic of salaries with a male employee who also worked as a server, to which she found out
that he was getting 10% more than what she was getting. The female employee then
proceeded to talk with the manager about this situation which the manager claimed that she
had breached the rule of “no taking about salaries”. The female employee still furious about
this fact went to the head of the restaurant and demanded an explanation, when not given a
proper one she had went opened a lawsuit which claimed that this restaurant was breaking the
U.A.E. Labour Law, The Decree of Federal Law No.6 for 2020, which states that “If they
perform the same or a similar job, female employees must be paid equally to male
employees.” (WAM, 2021).
The doctrine that was used in this case by the plaintiff was:
– “Equal Pay for Equal Work” which state that workers should be given equal pay if the
work is same, regardless of gender, class, etc.
In this case the plaintiff claimed that she had worked the same job as the male and had even
sometimes been verbally awarded by the managers about the “great job” that she was doing.
The employee claimed that she deserved the equal amount of payment that was given to the
male employee.
The issues that were brought up in court were:
– Why did the plaintiff begin to discuss about the salaries when there was rule clearly
stated by the employer to not discuss salaries?
– What was the reason given by the employer about the unequal payment?
The answers of these issues that were discussed in the court were:

– The plaintiff and the male employee in question were close friends and one day the
topic of their salaries had come up.
– The defendant, manager of Urban Rose Restaurant, could not give a proper reasoning
to this question.
Somewhat similar to the case Freyd v. University of Oregon where a university professor of
psychology found out that her female colleagues were paid less than her male colleagues and
decided to file a lawsuit due to this situation, she had won this case and the Ninth Circuit had
been overturned due to this case which was made into an equal pay act (Employment Law
Worldview, 2021). This case is similar to the scenario in a way of the fact that in the Urban
Rose Restaurant the female employee was found out to be paid less than the male employees.
The plaintiff, the employee had won this case and was compensated by the 10% of the
salaries that were given from when the employee had started working there

Conclusion

The authors have looked at five different scenarios in Urban Rose restaurant as well as
discuss the importance of labor laws. The scenarios discussed are about discrimination in the
workplace among employees, unsafe work condition regarding the COVID-19 Safety
Protocol, unfair dismissal by the employer, refusal of the maternity leave, unequal payment
between the male employees and the female employees. There were several doctrines used in
each scenario that are both from the plaintiff and the doctrine.

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