Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pyrotechnic Bartender Gets November Court Date - "No One Got Hurt"

I only lit the drink on fire - not the bar.

"There is no requirement against flaming drinks," insists Albert Trummer, who has been charged with reckless endangerment for his pyrotechnic antics inside a posh Chinatown lounge called Apotheke.
Fire code officials say Trummer poured a liquid on the bar and ignited a five-foot flame back in June as 50 patrons stood nearby in the curtain-draped lounge.

The professionally-trained chef turned bartender faces a year behind bars if convicted.
Trummer flashed a peace sign as he exited Manhattan criminal court after a Tuesday hearing in which a Nov. 9 court date was set.

He insisted he didn't set the bar top ablaze - only the cocktail.
"No one got hurt. I didn't use any gasoline," he told cops, according to court documents. "People have been doing this for 200 years."

FDNY investigators say otherwise - and that they sent undercover investigators after being tipped off by worried patrons.

Trummer, 41, has billed his bar as a showplace.
One online listing says this of Doyers St. hot spot: "The presentation of a cocktail is just as dramatic as the cocktail itself. The bar is no longer a bar -- it's a stage, a chemistry lab, a theater."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sex Discrimination On Craigslist - Illegal Job Postings

It has come to my attention that there have been many “gender specific” employment want ads on Craigslist lately. Generally speaking, “gender specific” or sex discrimination ads are a violation of both Florida’s Civil Rights Act and Federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The only rare exception is the bona fide occupational exception listed at 29 CFR 1604.2 which states in part that: “The commission believes that the bona fide occupational qualification exception as to sex should be interpreted narrowly. Label—‘Men's jobs’ and ‘Women's jobs’—tend to deny employment opportunities unnecessarily to one sex or the other.”

An employer may not discriminate against men or make a woman’s level of attractiveness a requirement for a particular job category. In one case, Southwest Airlines tried to justify its policy that only attractive women could work as flight attendants and ticket agents (Wilson v. Southwest Airlines Co.; N.D.Tex.1981; 517 F.Supp. 292). The airline argued that sex appeal was a “bona fide occupational qualification” under Title VII, saying that Southwest wanted to project a “sexy image and fulfill its public promise to take passengers skyward with love.” However, the federal district court rejected Southwest’s defense.

The Law Office of Lowell J. Kuvin has filed several sex discrimination suits with the EEOC throughout Florida.

• Two very experienced male bartenders over 40 years old were fired shortly after the New Year after management decided that they wanted to go in a different direction with how the bar was staffed. Two under 40 females with significantly less experience were hired to replace the bartenders. This case is in the final stages of investigation by the Palm Beach office of the EEOC. Pellak/ Aprigliano v. Matteo’s Restaurant.

• Several persons who viewed a Craigslist advertisement for employment have filed EEOC complaints against Wowies Sports Grill in Boca Raton. Wowies ad stated “BRING YOUR GAME, we are NOW HIRING: Managers, waitresses (girls only), bartenders (girls only).” The ad is a clear violation of both state and federal laws.

Gender specific ad and sex discrimination hurts everyone in the restaurant business. Male bartenders have trouble finding jobs and many times, female employees are objectified and sometimes fired when the next better looking or more “accommodating” new bartender is hired.

If you would like to discuss your issue(s) with a Florida licensed attorney, please call or email our office. 305.358.6800 or