Saturday, February 28, 2009

Calamari's Italian Seafood

The name of the new Coconut Grove restaurant that I at first said was Carpaccio In the Grove is now Calamari's Italian Seafood. I have confirmed it is going to open soon, however, I do not have an exact date yet. When I do have one I will list it here.

As I said before, Tommy Bilante is a great restaurateur and if I was still in the restaurant business I would be asking for a management job at this place.

If anyone knows of any other new restaurants opening who need staff or any restaurant for that matter who is hiring, please email me so I can post the information here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Great Restaurant Opening in Coconut Grove!

For all of you job seekers out there and for those of you who think it is time to move out and up to a new better job, there is a new great restaurant opening in Coconut Grove. The prospective name of the new place is Carpaccio Grove.

I have worked for Tommy Bilante in three of his many restaurants and let me tell you, this guy knows what he is doing. Some of his more famous places are Carpaccio at the shops of Bal Harbor, Luna Cafe on Biscayne, and the only restaurant that is doing anything at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Villagio.

Tommy runs a class act and hires only the best of the best. The restaurant staff he hires is always diverse in age, sex, and ethnicity. If the EEOC handed out an award for best hiring practices in South Florida, Tommy would win it every year.

I do not have an opening date for the new place, however, I will contact him and see what I can learn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Florida Restaurant Law Website Debuts

I went ahead and uploaded the Florida Restaurant law website. On the website you will find many answers to many everyday questions. Two large areas of the law that I have covered are the Fair Labor and Standards Act ("FLSA") and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").

I plan on refining the website over the next few weeks. Any suggestions will be gladly appreciated.

Monday, February 23, 2009

No Kissing?

No kissing, please, we're British

5 days ago

WARRINGTON, England (AFP) — A British train station has erected a no kissing sign to stop lovers going full steam ahead with their over-amorous farewells.

Commuters have been told: if you want to get up to that kind of business, do it in the car park.

The sign has gone up at the drop-off point at Warrington Bank Quay station in the town of Warrington, between Liverpool and Manchester in northwest England.

A man in a hat and a woman with a curly-looking hair-do puckering up show people where they must not indulge in full-on lip-locking.

A similar sign, this time permitting kissing, has been erected elsewhere in a zone where smooching is considered tolerable.

"We have not banned kissing in the station," said a spokesman for operators Virgin Rail.

"But we have put the sign up at the drop-off point because it is not a very big area and it often gets busy with lots of traffic.

"The sign is a light-hearted way of getting people to move on quickly.

"If people wish to spend a little more time with their loved ones before they leave, then they should park in the short-stay car park nearby."

The busy station links the town with the major cities London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester.

The 1945 film "Brief Encounter" immortalised forbidden love on the platform in stiff-upper-lip Britain while railway romance has been encapsulated in a statue at London's revamped St Pancras station, opened last year.

However, one station is trying to rescue love from the tracks.

High Wycombe, northwest of London, is having none of it and is actively urging commuters to get frisky.

"Kissing is welcome here! ... we would never dream of banning kissing," says a poster of a cartoon couple embracing, framed by a pink heart.

"Railway stations are romantic places," insisted Kirsteen Robertson from Chiltern Railways.

"They are where fond farewells and emotional reunions take place, where relationships start with a glance and even, in the case of our Marylebone station last November, where one passenger will propose to another over the public address system.

"So our passengers are more than welcome to share a kiss in our stations."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Travel to Greece at Anise Taverna

One of my favorite restaurants was written up (the good kind) in the Miami Herald today!!

Simplicity rules at the third incarnation of Ouzo, a Normandy Isle darling that was done in by road construction after it relocated to South Beach. Now called Anise Waterfront Taverna, the Greek restaurant resembles a Mykonos hangout. Part a curtain of translucent capiz shells and take a seat at a rustic wood table in the simply appointed white dining room or head for the deck seats overlooking the Little River Canal.

Owners Liza and Gennaro ''Gigi'' Meoli met at the 71st Street original and married two years ago. She grew up the restaurant business in Sydney, Australia, before landing in Miami in 1993 as a flamenco dancer. They found their charming new spot (the original home of Renaisa Indian restaurant) for sale on Craigslist and fixed it up, adding a pocket bar.

The menu is inspired by their Greek, French and Italian heritages. (Gigi grew up in France, the son of a French dancer and Italian-American musician.) The Argentine chef, Pablo Cittadnia, contributes dishes like potato gnocchi in rabbit ragu and fettuccini with minced lamb, mint and garlic in yogurt sauce.

The place is named for the anise seeds that give ouzo its licorice flavor. When mixed with water or ice it turns cloudy, as you'll see when a small complimentary glass is served after dinner as a digestive.

About half the menu consists of sharable mezze. Grilled chopped octopus tentacles drizzled with lemon, olive oil and oregano; crispy fried smelts; mussels steamed in ouzo; grilled Portuguese sardines with lemon herb sauce; keftedes (grilled meatballs made from lean ground beef with yogurt dip) and baked eggplant rolls stuffed with feta in homemade plum tomato sauce are among the options.

Fresh whole fish (flown from Italy and Greece by an international distributor) include branzini (sea bass) and dorado (sea bream). The fish are brought to the table for inspection, cooked and fileted at the table by Gigi. Have it roasted with raisins, pine nuts and rosemary in balsamic reduction.

There's also bouillabaisse with mixed fish and shellfish in fennel and white wine broth with grilled herb baguette for soaking up the soup, lamb shank braised in red wine served over rice pilaf, and a light version of moussaka with half the b├ęchamel usually used to make the eggplant and beef casserole.

Liza's mom makes the desserts, including a scrumptious coconut cake soaked in sugar syrup. On busy nights when the mood strikes, Liza dances the Zorba and smashes plates. Kali orexi! (Bon appetit!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Romance At Work

'Love contracts' help employers avoid the pitfalls of romances at work

When love blooms at work, “love contracts” may follow.

Dating often begins with hearts and flowers and Valentine’s Day cards, but it’s been known to end with harassment, retaliation claims and jury trials.

To protect themselves against lawsuits, some employers have begun asking co-workers to sign written confirmations that they have entered into voluntary relationships.

These formal documents typically affirm that “neither party wants their relationship with each other to affect their jobs or the company in any way.” Employees agree to abide by company-conduct policies while dating and after the relationship ends.

“It makes sense, even if your first reaction is, ‘Aw, come on, give me a break,’ ” said Brian Finucane, a lawyer in the Kansas City office of Fisher & Phillips, which has had a few workers in client companies sign such documents.

Finucane and other lawyers said they expect love contracts to proliferate.

Lost-love litigation isn’t common, but when it hits, it can result in six-figure — and sometimes larger — jury awards for actual and punitive damages.

“I have a visceral distaste for the name, but, yes, I’ve had a handful of love contracts signed in the metro area,” said Shelly Freeman, a lawyer with HROI, an employment law practice.

Human resource experts say it makes good business sense to get written acknowledgement that a workplace relationship is consensual. They point to such well-publicized cases as the 2005 ouster of the CEO of Boeing Co., whose board fired him after directors learned of his affair with a woman executive.

Staples Inc., Tyco International and Bendix Corp. also have been rocked by high-profile executive-employee liaisons.

Yet in the lower echelons of the workplace, co-worker dating flourishes.

According to CareerBuilder. com, 40 percent of 8,038 workers surveyed in November said they had dated a co-worker at some point in their work lives.

About three-fourths of the respondents said they dated openly and didn’t feel a need to keep it secret. It is a rare company these days that forbids co-worker relationships, but many do prohibit one romantically connected partner from supervising the other.

Longer hours on the job and fewer single-sex workplaces have increased the likelihood of office romances. That in itself isn’t a bad thing. After all, the CareerBuilder survey found that nearly one-third of the office romances ended up at the altar.

What makes employment law attorneys and human resource officers especially nervous is when they learn an employee is dating his or her boss, as did about four in 10 of the intraoffice daters who were polled.

That is the kind of relationship that, if it fails, has led to charges alleging sex for favors and other violations of workplace policies and laws.

And that is where, if the romance is revealed, a lawyer is most likely to plop a love contract on the conference room table.

The documents usually are signed by both workers, who acknowledge that they understand all the workplace policies against harassment and will keep the relationship at arm’s length — literally and figuratively — in the office.

“As a lawyer, this piece of paper would be a gold mine of evidence for an employer,” Finucane said. “It’s almost a get-out-of-jail-free defense, from a lawyer’s perspective.”

The Kansas City Star

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grouper, Catfish; What Am I Eating Here?

You ordered grouper ...

... but what ends up on your plate might be catfish or another whitefish mislabeled by unscrupulous businesses.

Buy it whole if you can: Billy Cissel, owner of Billy's Boat House Grill, starts by buying an 18-pound Grey grouper for $92 from a seafood distributor in Mayport. Buying a whole fish is the most foolproof way of getting grouper. Grey grouper is the kind fisherman catch off Jacksonville's coast. In the Gulf of Mexico, fisherman catch red grouper.

Carving the fish: Cissel carves out 8 pounds of fillets. That translates to a cost of $11.50 per pound for his purchase price of $92 for the fish. If he had bought the fish already cut into fillets, the price would have been $12.95 a pound for fresh-caught grouper.

How can people be sure it's grouper in fillet form? For starters, it should be a whitefish. Cissel said he also looks for hairline streaks of red in the meat. Grouper is a big fish, so the fillets should likewise be thick. He said if a seafood market is selling grouper for less than $9 per pound, he's skeptical whether it's really grouper.

What's in the sandwich? Cissel fries a half-pound of grouper for a sandwich. The order of grouper sandwich and french fries will sell for $15 to $16. Cissel said a chef could take most kinds of whitefish and prepare a tasty sandwich. The more fish is fried, blackened and covered in sauces, the less its natural flavor stands out. A similar portion of grouper on a dinner plate will cost around $18.
"Everyone wants to be sure that they're getting grouper, and it's going to be harder to get," said Robert Rukab, owner of St. Johns Seafood and Steaks, a restaurant chain based in Jacksonville.

Grouper is a prize catch because diners like its mild flavor and white, flaky meat. Florida is known for grouper because it's caught in the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

However, the fish also comes into the state from all over the world. Seventy different species of grouper are imported into the United States, including Asian grouper that sells at half the cost of the kind caught in Florida.

On top of that trade, unscrupulous businesses sell cheaper fish under the grouper name, said Bob Jones, executive director of the Southeastern Fisheries Association, which represents Florida fisheries, importers and exporters.

"It's going to rattle the consumer's confidence in fish," he said. "It's just not right for someone to pay for one thing and get something else."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Human Resouces at Carnival Cruise Lines Says "NO!"

I have a new client who use to work for Carnival Cruise Lines in Miami. He was was recently let go. In order to evaluate his claim of wrongful termination I needed to see his employment contract with Carnival.

Not a problem right? Just call over to Carnival human resources and get a copy of it from his personal file. Not happening.

I was informed, as was my client, that you get one copy of the contract when you sign it. If you lose it, too bad. Even if you are still an employee you cannot get a copy of it. You can look through your personal file but you may not make any copies.

So, to make a long story short. If I want to get a copy of the contract I need to file suit against Carnival. How stupid is that? My client may not even have a claim. If I could review the contract I could properly advise him. Now I have no choice but to file some kind of lawsuit in order to properly evaluate my clients claims. What a waste of the court's time. You often hear that lawyers just sue everyone and have no scruples. Perhaps so do, but it is businesses like Carnival that force us in trying to ascertain a document our client signed.

Why is it that Carnival will not share their copies of a persons personal file? It no doubt has to do with the corporate "bottom line" and making money for their stockholders. Oh yeah, and paying their executives seven digit salaries each year too.

Hooters Gets Sued Again!

Hate to say I told you so, but they had it coming. When will they learn that discrimination is unlawful?

Man sues Hooters, claims gender discrimination
Suite challenges policy of female-only servers

CORPUS CHRISTI — A Corpus Christi man is suing Hooters, accusing the restaurant chain of gender discrimination for not hiring him as a food server in a filing that attempts to reopen an issue that was settled 11 years ago.

Nikolai Grushevski's suit acknowledges the earlier agreement, which established that the chain's signature Hooters Girls would continue to be the restaurants' only food servers and established gender neutral jobs. But the suit challenges the policy, saying it still is discriminatory, and invites other men to seek a class action suit.

He asserts in the suit that when he applied to be a waiter at the local restaurant in May he was not hired because of his gender. The suit says that even though food servers are referred to exclusively as "Hooters Girls," the job should not be limited only to women.

"Just as Southwest Airlines attempted nearly three decades ago with stewardesses, the waiter's position addressed herein is being limited to females by an employer..." the suit states.

Grushevski says in the suit he isn't trying to prevent the company from employing Hooters Girls but wants to ensure that men also have the opportunity to work as wait staff.

In 1997, Hooters agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a group of men. That class-action settlement allowed the chain to continue to have only Hooters Girls serve food and beverages.

Hooters also agreed to create gender-neutral positions such as bartender, host and kitchen staff.

Grushevski's suit, filed Thursday in federal court, seeks an unspecified amount of money including for emotional and punitive damages. It also asks the court to grant an injunction to stop Hooters from "discriminating against male applicants for the waiters position."

An e-mail seeking comment from Hooters officials was not immediately returned.

Attempts to reach Grushevski were unsuccessful.

Houston-based attorney Martin A. Shellist, who represents Grushevski, said he wanted to make it clear his client didn't sue to become a Hooters Girl.

"My client wants to be a waiter. He does not want to be a Hooters Girl," Shellist said. "He wants to serve food and earn tips, and why can't he?"

By Mary Ann Cavazos (Contact)
Originally published 11:37 a.m., January 13, 2009
Updated 12:07 a.m., January 14, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

NOBU Settles Suit for $2.5 Million

Upscale eatery Nobu to pay workers $2.5M in tips suit

NEW YORK - An international upscale restaurant group partly owned by actor Robert De Niro has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit over the way it handled worker tips.

The New York Post reports that the plaintiffs in a class action suit against the Nobu eateries filed a motion Friday to request final approval of the settlement.

The suit accuses managers and sushi chefs of illegally taking a share of tips given to the wait staff. Waiters also complained about being shortchanged on overtime.

Nobu has denied any wrongdoing.

Court papers say some 200 employees have signed off on the settlement, which would give them about $3,300 each.

Nobu has 11 restaurants in the U.S. and eight abroad.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Florida Withholding of Pay or Paycheck

Withholding of Last Paycheck in Florida

There is no requirement in Florida that an employer must tender a final paycheck immediately upon an employee's termination. Generally, after an employee has been terminated, his final paycheck(s) is due on the next regular payday or days.

The employer may not hold the final paycheck as "ransom" in an attempt to force the employee to sign a release or other document. The employer may make deductions from the final paycheck for monies owed the employer, advances made to the employee, damaged equipment, other set-offs, reimbursements, etc.

If you request your final pay and it is not received within 30 days Florida Law allows you to sue your employer for collection and fees and costs associated with the attempt to collect unpaid wages.

If you are be affected by this type of behavior or want to put policies in place in your business to help prevent these actions please contact the Law Office of Lowell J. Kuvin.