Unformatted text preview: Hospitality Law Definitions Basic Definitions
Hospitality Law - Those laws which
relate to the industry involved with
the provision of food, lodging,
travel and entertainment services
to its guests and clients Basic Definitions
Attorney - Any person trained and legally
authorized to act on behalf of others in matters
of the law.
Litigation - The act of initiating and carrying on a
lawsuit. Often, used to refer to the lawsuit
Law - The rules of conduct and responsibility
established and enforced by a society.
Liable – To be legally responsible or obligated.
Interstate Commerce - Commercial trading or the
transportation of persons or property between or
among states. Basic Definitions
Common Law – Laws derived from
historical customs and usage of a
society, and the decisions by courts
when interpreting those customs and
Civil Law – The body of law (usually in the
form of codes or statues) created by
governmental entities that are
concerned with private rights and
remedies, as opposed to criminal
matters. Basic Definitions
Plaintiff - The person or entity that
initiates litigation against another.
Sometimes also referred to as the
claimant, petitioner, or applicant.
Defendant - The person or entity against
which litigation is initiated. Sometimes
referred to as the respondent. Basic Definitions
Personal Injury - Damage or harm inflicted
upon the body, mind or emotions.
Contingency Fee - A method of paying for a
civil attorney’s services where the attorney
receives a percentage of any money
awarded as a settlement in the case.
Typically, these fees range from 20-40% of
the total amount awarded. Basic Definitions
Interrogatories - Questions which require
written answers, given under oath, asked
during the discovery phase of a lawsuit.
Depositions - Oral answers, given under
oath, to questions asked during the
discovery phase of a lawsuit. Depositions
are recorded by a certified court reporter
and/or by videotape. Basic Definitions
Subpoena – A court-authorized order
to appear in person at a designated
time and place, or to produce
evidence demanded by the court.
Appeal - A written request to a higher
court to modify or reverse the
decision of a lower level court. Basic Definitions
Standard of Care - The industry-recognized,
reasonably accepted level of care used in
fulfilling a Duty of Care.
Reasonable Care - The degree of care that
a reasonably prudent person would use in a
similar situation. Basic Definitions
Compensatory Damages - Are awarded to
restore the injured party to the position
they were in prior to the injury (i.e.
medical expenses, lost wages, etc.).
Punitive Damages - A monetary amount
used as punishment and to deter the same
wrongful act in the future by the defendant
and others. Basis Definitions
Tort - An act or failure to act (not involving a breach of
contract), that results in injury, loss or damage to
another (i.e. negligence is an unintentional tort;
whereas battery, physically touching someone is
usually an intentional tort).
Negligent (Negligence) - The failure to use reasonable
Gross Negligence - The reckless or willful failure to use
even the slightest amount of reasonable care.
Contributory Negligence - Negligent conduct by the
complaining party (plaintiff) that contributes to the
cause of his or her injuries. Ethics
Ethics – Choices of proper conduct
made by an individual in his or her
relationships with others. Ethical Decision-Making
7. Is it legal?
Does it hurt anyone?
Is it fair?
Am I being honest?
Would I care if it happened to me?
Would I publicize my action?
What if everyone did it? Contracts
Contract - An agreement or promise made
between two or more parties, that the
courts will enforce.
Enforceable Contract - A contract
recognized as valid by the courts and
subject to the court’s ability to compel
compliance with its terms. Contracts
Offer – A proposal to perform an act or to
pay an amount that, if accepted,
constitutes a legally valid contract.
Consideration - The payment exchanged for
the promise(s) contained in a contract.
Acceptance - Unconditional agreement to
the precise terms and conditions of an
Breach of Contract - Failure to keep the
promises or agreements of a contract.
Indemnification – To make one whole; to
reimburse for a loss already incurred.
Damages - Losses or costs incurred due to
another’s wrongful act. Contracts
Group rooms contracts
Convention or meeting space
Purchasing agreements Contracts
Confirmed Reservation - A contract to
provide a reservation in which the provider
guarantees the guest’s reservation will be honored
until a mutually agreeable time. A confirmed
reservation may be either guaranteed or nonguaranteed.
Guaranteed Reservation - A contract to provide a
confirmed reservation in which the provider
guarantees the guest’s reservation will be honored
regardless of time of arrival, but the
guest will be
charged if he or she no-shows the reservation.
Prepayment or payment authorization is required Contracts
Non-guaranteed Reservation - A
contract to provide a confirmed
reservation where no prepayment or
authorization is required.
Attrition – Reduction in the number
of projected participants or attendees. Contract Reminders
3. Get it in writing.
Read the contract thoroughly.
Keep copies of all contract
4. Use good faith when negotiating
5. Note and calendar time deadlines
for performance. Contract Reminders (Continued)
6. Ensure the performance of third
7. Share contract information with
those who need to know, and
educate staff on the consequences
of contract breach.
8. Resolve ambiguities as quickly and
fairly as possible. Settling Cases
Arbitration - A process in which an agreed-upon,
independent, neutral third party (the arbitrator),
renders a final and binding resolution to a
dispute. The decision of the arbitrator is known
as the “award.”
Mediation - A process in which an appointed, neutral
third party (the mediator), assists those involved
in a dispute with resolving their own differences.
The result of mediation, when successful, is
known as the “settlement.” Settling Cases
Statute of Limitations - Various
laws that set maximum time periods
in which lawsuits must be initiated. If
the suit is not initiated (or filed) before
the expiration of the maximum period
allowed, then the law prohibits the use
of the courts for recovery. Business Structures
Corporation -A group of individuals
granted a charter, legally recognizing
them as a separate entity with rights and
liabilities distinct from those of its
S Corporation - A type of business entity
that offers liability protection to its owners,
and is exempt from corporate taxation on
its profits. Some restrictions limit the
circumstances under which it
formed. Business Structures
Limited Liability Company (LLC) - A type of
business organization that protects the
owners from liability for debts incurred by
the business, without the need for some of
the formal incorporation requirements.
The federal government does not tax the
profits of LLC’s; however, some states do
while others do not. Ownerships
Agent - A person authorized to act for or to
represent another, usually referred to as
Franchise - A contract between a parent
company (franchisor) and an operating
company (franchisee) to allow the
franchisee to run a business with the
brand name of the parent company, as
long as the terms of the contract
concerning methods of operation are
License - Legal permission to do a
certain thing or operate in a certain
License Agreement - A legal document
that details the specifics of a license.
Disclosure - To reveal fully and
Title - The sum total of all legally
recognized rights to the possession
and ownership of property.
Deed - A written document for the
transfer of land or other real property
from one person to another. Ownerships
Warranty Deed - A deed that provides that
the person granting the deed agrees to
defend the title from claims of others. In
general, the seller is representing that he
or she fully owns the property and will
stand behind this promise.
Title Search - A review of land records to
determine the ownership and description
of a piece of real property. Ownerships
Bill of Sale - A document under which
personal property is transferred from a
seller to a buyer.
Lien - A claim against property that gives the
creditor (lien-holder) the right to repossess
and/or sell that property if the debtor does
not repay his or her debt in a timely
Collateral - Property that is pledged to
secure the repayment of a debt. Ownerships
Capital Improvement - The purchase
or upgrade of real or personal
property that results in an increased
depreciable asset base.
Depreciation - The decrease in value of
a piece of property due to age
and/or wear and tear. Ownership
Trademark - A word, name, symbol, or
combination of these that indicates the
source or producer of an item.
Patent - A grant issued by a governmental
entity ensuring an inventor the right to
exclusive production and sale of his or her
invention for a fixed period of time. Ownership
Copyright - The legal and exclusive
right to copy or reproduce
Public Domain - Property that is owned
by all citizens, not an individual. Liability
Dram Shop Acts - Legislation, passed in a
variety of forms and in many states, that
imposes liability for the acts of others on
those who serve alcohol negligently,
recklessly, or illegally.
Garnishment - A court-ordered method of
debt collection in which a portion of a
person’s salary is paid to a creditor. Employment Law
Job Description - A written, itemized listing of a
specific job’s basic responsibilities
Negligent Hiring - Failure on the part of an
employer to exercise reasonable care in the
selection of employees.
Defamation - False statements that cause
someone to be held in contempt, lowered in the
estimation of the community, or to lose
employment status or earnings or otherwise
suffer a damaged reputation. Employment Law
– Must be legal and valid.
– Must comply with Civil Rights Act of 1964
and the Americans with Disabilities Act of
– Must not be biased against anyone
because of race, color, religion, age, sex,
national origin, or disabilities.(exception:
bona-fide occupation qualification). Employment Law
Affirmative Action - A federally
mandated requirement that
employers who meet certain criteria
must actively seek to fairly employ
recognized classes of workers. (Some
state and local legislatures have also
enacted affirmative action
requirements.) Employment Law
At-Will Employment - An employment
relationship where employers have a right
to hire any employee, whenever they
choose, and to dismiss an employee for or
at any time; the
employee also has the right to work for
the employer or not, or to terminate the
relationship at any time.
Workers’ Compensation - A benefit paid to
an employee who suffers a work-related
injury or illness. Employment Law
Collective Bargaining Agreement
(CBA) - A
formal contract between
an employer and a group of
employees that establishes the rights
and responsibilities of both parties in
their employment relationship. Employment Law
Quid Pro Quo - Latin term for, “giving
one thing in return or exchange for
Wrongful Termination - A violation, by
the employer, of the employment
relationship resulting in the unlawful
firing of the employee. Employment Law
Progressive Discipline - An employee
development process that provides
increasingly severe consequences for
continued violation of workplace rules.
Ombudsperson - A company official,
appointed to investigate and resolve
Duty of Care - A legal obligation to protect
against harm. Employment Posters
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Equal Employment Opportunity
Occupational Safety and Health
Employee Polygraph Protection Act
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Employment Law
Proximate Cause - The event or
activity that directly contributes to
(causes), the injury or harm.
Intentional Act - A willful action
undertaken with or without full
understanding of its consequences. Laws Related to Guests
Segregate - To separate a group or
individual on any basis, but
especially by race, color, religion, or
Invitee - An individual who is on a
property at the expressed or implied
consent of the owner. Laws Related to Guests
Eviction - Removal of a tenant from
rental property by a laws
enforcement officer. An eviction is
the result of a landlord filing and
winning a special lawsuit known as
an “unlawful detainer.” Liability
Bailment - The delivery of an item of
property, for some purpose, with the
expressed or implied understanding
that the person receiving it shall return
it in the same or similar condition in
which it was received, when the purpose
been completed. Examples
include, coat checks, valet parking,
safety deposit boxes, laundry, luggage
storage and delivery. Liability
Third Party Liability - A legal concept that holds
the second party (seller) in an alcohol transaction
liable for the acts of the first party (consumer), as
well as for any harm suffered by a third party as a
result of the first party’s actions.
Social Host - A non-licensed provider of alcohol,
typically in a party or similar gathering.
Dram Shop - A name given to a variety of state
laws establishing a liquor licensee’s third-party
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