hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·18 April 2018
A tightening labor market and the ever-encroaching presence of alternative-accommodation platforms, such as Airbnb, are the biggest obstacles the hotel industry faces today, according to a group of hotel asset managers. Attendees at the Hospitality Asset Managers Association’s 2018 Spring Conference shared both what they believed to be the major hurdles the industry must cope with, along with some key cost-cutting measures they believe people can look at in this climate of shrinking profit margins.
CFO Magazine·18 April 2018
Digital technologies may be taking over a broad swath of corporate processes, but the procurement function is lagging far behind in that respect, according to a new Deloitte report. A meager 3% of chief procurement officers (CPOs) said they believe their staffs possess all the skills required to maximize the use of digital capabilities, according to Deloitte’s global survey of 504 CPOs.
CFO Magazine·18 April 2018
More corporate treasurers in small-and-midsize enterprises are replacing their “basic personal accounting system” (read: “spreadsheet“) with a more robust treasury management system (TMS), or at least contemplating it, according to a new report from The Aite Group. What’s pushing them along?
Hotel Management·18 April 2018
In the course of the last few years, the Spanish market has been favorable for many repositioning projects. One of the most important factors has been the strength of demand, even during the financial crisis, thanks to the increase in the arrival of international tourists for holiday and “bleisure.” Thanks to this excellent health and of growth prospects for the future, the Spanish hotel industry is committed to improving its products and offering its increasingly demanding clients what they require.
MarketingProfs·Requires Registration ·18 April 2018
We marketers have an affinity for shiny toys. Yes, we do—just admit it. We love cool technologies that promise us improved leads, higher conversion rates, and better prospects. As the CEO of a technology company, I'm also the first one to tell you that the ROI on many of those shiny new toys hasn't panned out—and won't pan out. In our pursuit of better organizational performance and higher ROI from our marketing budget, we marketers consistently overlook the one area that will give us the highest ROI boost: investment in our marketing team. Before you dismiss this as just another article on team motivation and skill development, know that it's not. Read on to get solid tips to improve the ROI of your marketing investments.
EyeforTravel ·18 April 2018
The German accommodation market is in the midst of a strong period of high demand, with the number of overnights stays in German accommodation establishments with 10 or more beds rising from an estimated 436.4 million in 2015 to 459.6 million in 2017. Despite the recently buoyant market, 2018 will see hotel profits in the country under pressure as demand growth from German travelers slows, room supply increases and costs grow says a new report, an excerpt for which can be downloaded for free here.According to Hotstats data provided for the report, average room rates in Germany have been increasing, rising 2% year-on-year in 2016 and 2.5% in 2017 on the back of stable occupancy rates at around 75% across each of three years. This has allowed profitability to rise gently in those years but further gains will be difficult in 2018.The primary pressure on hotel profits will come from rising wage bills as the German market is experiencing the lowest unemployment it has seen since Reunification with no sign of suddenly increasing supply. Workers are also becoming more vocal about getting a higher wage packet, leading to labour disputes in several German states thus far in 2018.Competition for workers could be exacerbated even further by new hotels opening in Germany in 2018. Germany has Europe's second largest pipeline of hotel rooms and the supply-side expansion will also put competitive pressure on hotel pricing in 2018. Pablo Alonso, CEO for HotStats notes that "Historically Germany has always been an attractive market for hotel investment due to the stability of headline performance levels, which provide a consistent income."However, profit levels at hotels in Germany will be challenged in the short term as payroll costs are on the rise as the jobless rate in Germany is at a record low and a 4% increase in minimum wage was implemented in January 2017. Additionally, inflation rates in Germany are at their highest level since 2013, which is driving up Cost of Sales."On top of growing wage bills and expanding room supply, demand growth from domestic German consumers, who power the market, is likely to be softer as they rediscover their love of international travel and feel confident to book previously shunned destinations. Already in 2017 interest in outbound travel was rising and concerns about safety when abroad were diminishing notes the report."This trend will likely accelerate in 2018," says Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. "Whilst rising wages across the German economy means more costs for businesses, it also marks out a very healthy German consumer. Unfortunately for German accommodation providers more of this demand looks like it will be directed outside Germany in 2018 than in 2016 and 2017. Forward booking indicators appear very strong currently and the return of Turkey to growth in particular should lure away German consumers."You can download an excerpt from the report by clicking here. Use this free excerpt from our German Travel Consumer 2018 Report to understand the trends shaping German destination choices and spending patterns both at home and abroad in 2018.To access the full report and all of EyeforTravel's research become a member of EyeforTravel On Demand now:Detailed analysis of Germany's economy and its ramifications for consumer travel spending.More than 80 charts, figures and tables of data detailing the state of the German travel consumer.Outbound and domestic travel market overviews and outlooks.A breakdown of the German journey to booking, including lead times, key apps and most popular websites.Age and location breakdowns for key online behaviors, destination preferences and spending.Trends in German device ownership and usage.An overview of the state of Germany's travel industry.Forecasts and outlooks for technologies, destinations, and market growth.Data taken from more than 80 different sources.
Tnooz·18 April 2018
According to the 2018 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook from Deloitte, the hotel industry continues its strong performance run and is projected to sustain 5 to 6 percent growth throughout 2018.
PhocusWire·18 April 2018
On the tiny Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba - population just over 100,000 - tourism is the foundation of the economy, contributing about 88% of its gross domestic product and accounting for 90% of its total employment.
eHotelier.com·18 April 2018
For every $1 hotels invested in programmes to reduce kitchen food waste, on average they saved $7 in operating costs. In a first-of-its-kind analysis for the industry, The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Hotels evaluated the financial cost and benefit data for 42 sites – including Sofitel, MGM and more – across 15 countries, finding that nearly every site realized a positive return on its investment to reduce food waste. Within just one year, the hotels had reduced food waste from their kitchens by 21 per cent on average, and over 70 percent had recouped their investment. Within two years, 95 per cent had recouped their investment.
skift.com - Destinations·17 April 2018
Moroccan officials have placed Airbnb and Booking.com in their cross-hairs, looking to level the playing field for traditional hotels as a “new reality” forces Africa’s biggest tourism destination to re-evaluate efforts to drum up business.
Aptech ·17 April 2018
PITTSBURGH -- Aptech Computer Systems announced Miami-based MDM Hotel Group implemented the Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence System to automate data gathering, performance reporting and analysis for its portfolio of hotels. MDM is a respected developer that operates full service Marriott and independent properties and commercial businesses in South Florida. Aptech is the leading provider of business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise accounting hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services.Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president, said, "MDM Group is a dynamic operator that is literally revitalizing much of South Florida. Marriott International awarded MDM its 2016 Partnership Circle Award for being the top owner and franchise company. Aptech congratulates MDM Group's management and property teams for their effort and is grateful to be a MDM technology provider." MDM utilizes Aptech's full suite of financial hotel software solutions. In addition to selecting Aptech's Execuvue Business Intelligence System, MDM Group also employs Aptech's Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and Enterprise Back Office Accounting for its five hotels.MDM Hotel Group owns and operates some of Miami's most renowned hotel properties including the JW Marriott Marquis Miami in the heart of downtown, Hotel Beaux Arts Miami, JW Marriott Miami on Brickell Avenue, the Miami Marriott Dadeland, Courtyard Miami Dadeland as well as the planned Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo Center currently under development.Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner offering Execuvue web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry.About MDM GroupFounded in 1990, MDM Group's vision has been driven by a desire to bring the highest quality amenities and brands to underserved urban markets including what is the neighborhood around Dadeland Mall, Brickell Avenue and most recently, Miami's downtown core. Soon it will embark on another game changing project, the development of the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo Center within the Miami Worldcenter project in the Park West area of downtown Miami. For more information visit www.mdmusa.com.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue, and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
CFO Magazine·17 April 2018
Transparency in financial statements has few, if any, public detractors. For their part, though, investors appear to like some things more than transparency — like difficult-to-read tax footnotes. Investors are, of course, in the game to make money. According to new research, they think they’ll make more of it if companies they invest in practice high levels of tax avoidance — in other words, engage in aggressive tax planning. And opaque tax footnotes are a signal of aggressive tax planning.
Lodging Magazine·17 April 2018
The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) called on state and local government leaders on National Tax Day to start taxing Airbnb and other short-term rental sites with the same oversight and transparency as hotels, especially in light of Airbnb’s recent announcement that it will start including hotels as part of its listings and the continued growth of commercial Airbnb operators.
Hotel Interactive ·17 April 2018
Driven by strong levels of demand, which are at least in part attributable to a robust economy, two leading hospitality research firms recently revealed that 2018 is shaping up to be another solid year for the U.S. lodging industry. Presenting during the recent AAHOA conference in Washington, DC, Mark Woodworth, senior managing director, CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research, and Vail Ross, SVP, global business development & marketing, STR, both painted a positive picture for U.S. hotels for the foreseeable future.
The Revenue Report Card ·17 April 2018
In doing in-depth research of over 25 systems I provide an illustration below of 4 highly trafficked and respected companies in the industry and the questions you may consider asking when seeking a new System for your operation. Vacation Rental Property Management Systems, unlike traditional hotel Property Management Systems, manage rental agreements, send and collect electronically executed contracts, manage roving staff, manage scheduling, manage staff hours, communicate with guests, communicate with roving staff, integrate with smart phone applications and offer a whole array of other unique functions to the industry.While no recommendations or evaluations are made in this article, I provide a chart showing respected and sought companies on the internet (used Alexa.com to identify several of the highly trafficked sites and word of mouth for another). In my book, "the Definitive Study of Vacation Rentals", I provide a list of 25 different Property Management Systems that are presented as the four are below.Disclaimer - website traffic is not always a good indicator of quality and so the companies and the order of those companies presented may be said to have the best website marketing campaigns. Still, numbers do tell a good part of the tale and cannot be discounted. Companies shown below can be said to be amongst the "cream of the crop" with many whistles and bells that are good for some and not needed by others. It's important to know what they are as you expand and grow.There are many other extraordinary systems. Like most sophisticated programs, one thing that is extremely important is its ability to grow and expand with your operation. An opened API system that enables Property Management System connections to independent 3rd party modules, provides the ability to "add-on" applications that include, but are not limited to, smart phone, revenue management, channel management, staff management and staff tracking applications and others. Here is a list of 4 busily trafficked Vacation Rental Property Management System websites and what they offer. I have no affiliation with any of them. For a more expansive description of each of the features/functions shown above, please see the detailed description list I've placed at "Consider asking these PMS Questions"http://bit.ly/2zykw1h (on LinkedIn Pulse). This is an Important Investment; Don't Shop by Price Alone The Property Management System is the backbone of any Vacation Rental operation. The investment is an important one and I can't emphasize enough that no system should be purchased based on price alone. This is a system you will have to live with for many years to come; so find the right features and expansion capability and consider spending a little bit more here if you're able. It will be well worth the cost in the long run. As your company grows, an inadequate or insufficient system will require you to replace it down the road. Conversions from one system to another can be a substantial, costly and time consuming undertaking. Exercise appropriate due diligence before acquiring a Property Management System. There are many great ones that can grow with you into the future! You may not need all the whistles and bells offered, but be aware of them before choosing the system that's the right fit for you. I have reviewed websites, interviewed staff and did email follow ups on the 4 companies presented in the illustrations above. There is always a possibility that I incorrectly understood whether a feature is offered or not. It's always best to double check directly with the company. The book will be available as a COMPLIMENTARY GIFT to all HospitalityNet.Org readers ON April 17, 2018! The Definitive Study of Vacation Rentals on Amazon... http://amzn.to/2AReAjSMore about the book at http://www.tdsovr.com/
Modern Restaurant Management·17 April 2018
For restaurateurs, there are a lot moving parts to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to consider. When the Act was ratified, high-fives were the order of the day. To many it signaled a possible end to sluggish growth, or a golden ticket out of irrelevancy. But savvy restaurateurs are evaluating exactly how the Act impacts their overall tax position. To help you navigate through some of these moving parts and identify how best to maximize potential benefits or minimize potential costs arising from it, continue reading to see some things that have and haven’t changed, and what you should consider when evaluating the impact the Act may have on your restaurant business. So, What Hasn’t Changed? For starters, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This beneficial-but-often-ignored federal credit is for the hiring of certain classes of employees (low income, students, veterans, ex-cons). Previous WOTC provisions remain unchanged under the new tax law.
4hoteliers.com·17 April 2018
The hotel industry, both in North America and worldwide, has been riding a long winning streak, with increasing occupancies, revenues and profits and while the performance has been good for bottom lines, one area of concern has been alarming increases in some cost centers, especially commissions paid to third-party distribution platforms.
Flip.to Blog·16 April 2018
GDPR. It’s a regulation that, in just over a month, will have a huge impact for marketers everywhere. While building compliance into our platform, we’ve gotten a ton of questions as to why it’s important, and how we’re handling the shift. To help, we’re raising awareness industry-wide with a primer on how it affects all of us in travel.
hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·16 April 2018
With large-scale storms causing widespread physical damage and the ever-looming possibility of cyberattacks and data breaches, having a well-thought-out strategy for approaching insurance claims is more vital than ever. Dealing with insurance can often be more difficult than hoteliers are expecting, as insurance companies often require specific information presented in a set format before they’re willing to pay out, and even when they do their goal is often to cut as small of a check as possible, according to an insurance expert. Speaking at the Hospitality Asset Managers Association’s 2018 Spring Conference, Robert Glasser, managing director of insurance claim services and forensic investigations for Berkeley Research Group, said hoteliers need to have well-planned strategies for dealing with claims for their various insurance policies, including business interruption, cyber and fidelity, which covers employee theft.
The Hotel Financial Coach ·16 April 2018
Frank Abagnale is arguably the world's most famous modern-day impostor. Leonardo DiCaprio played his character in the 2002 movie directed by none other than Steven Spielberg, with the same title as this piece. The movie was based on the 1980 book that Frank wrote. I am writing about Frank Abagnale because I had the pleasure of meeting him personally, and experiencing his trickery, just a little. Also, there is a direct link between what his story is all about and your own financial leadership journey.If you have not seen the movie, watch it. Tom Hanks plays the lawman chasing after Frank and it is a wild ride. The book is also a must if you are even mildly interested in a good con man's story.My story of meeting Frank and the parallel to Financial Leadership starts early in the winter of 2003. I was the hotel manager of a popular downtown hotel in Vancouver, Canada. The movie "Catch Me If You Can" had just been released and a local business association had booked Mr. Frank Abagnale to speak at a luncheon in my hotel. I had the pleasure of attending the luncheon, listening to him speak passionately about children and the role of a parent or guardian. We even held a private reception the evening before he spoke, and I got to meet the famous impostor. I was a big fan, having read the book and seen the movie just days before. Frank has a cameo in the movie and I had seen his picture, so I was a little familiar with what he looked like.For those of you who are wondering about my character and you have not heard of him, he successfully pulled off taking on eight different identities from the age of 15-21. He traveled the world as a commercial pilot (jump seat only), physician and lawyer, just to name three. He also was a master at check forgery. He was caught by Hanks, turned legit and has worked with the likes of the FBI using his talents for the good, and he has even testified before the US Senate about his former life as a master counterfeit check man.The funny thing was--he was even an impostor at our reception.Here is how we metI was speaking with a couple of people at the reception and all of a sudden there was another person engaging in the conversation. We were talking about our guest of honor and what a great story he had and his movie. All positive things, thank goodness because he was now part of our discussion and I, like the other couple, thought Frank was someone else. I am not at all sure who I thought he was, but he simply assumed the role of a person who made me believe he knew me. The other couple experienced the same comforting feeling. I do not know what he said to gain our confidence and allow us to drop our guards, but it was pretty cool. We continued our dissertation of our guest of honor until he spoke and introduced himself. We were all quite embarrassed and completely surprised at the same time. He smiled, and you could tell he was a master in action, simply practicing what he does, pretending to be someone he is not.After he left our little group at the reception, the other couple and I marveled at his bravery and the pure entertainment we just experienced. How he made us all think he was someone we knew. Actually, he convinced me he knew the couple and, in turn, the couple thought he knew me. Genius.This is the magic of being an impostor. Knowing enough to fool someone who should know something about how you need to look, sound, smell and feel like. That is the con. It is a confidence game and to be successful you need to show up with that level of confidence in who you are and what you are doing so other people do not get suspicious.The Tie to Financial Leadership - My First Budget Review MeetingI vividly remember the first time I had the opportunity to see the corporate budget review team in action. I was invited to the meeting where we reviewed the hotel annual budget. I really had no idea what to expect. I was nervous, and I had convinced myself that I would be found out and singled out for not really know what was going on. You know, the impostor syndrome. I know this is what holds many people back from jumping into the numbers game in their hotels. Fear.What I experienced that day was nothing short of theater. A lot of chest pounding and pontificating in that room. Who had the best stories, the most convincing comparisons, the examples that paled the rest? Each person in the meeting that day was in some way an impostor, playing a part and trying to convince the others that they knew what they were talking about. All the while we followed the president's lead. If he liked a particular story or theory, we all followed that dog. It was an amazing dance to watch. I barely said a word beyond hello, goodbye and kissed my calculator. But what I did see that day was that these captains of my industry, they were all trying to convince one another and the boss they knew the story. It is a confidence game. It is how human beings play together in the business world. If you have been there you know what I am talking about. If you have not experienced this yet, be patient, be ready and above all else take your shot.Here is the parallel: being an impostor and financial leadership. You must be willing to walk into the meeting room like it is your room. That does not mean you are cocky or arrogant. Humble and respectful is the demeanor you want to have. Your number one job is to listen, observe and learn. You also need the stomach for what is coming your way, and the willingness to respond. This is where most people turn away. They do not feel they have the knowledge or the experience, so they do not feel they can play, let alone play at this level. This is a big mistake. What you do not realize is everyone in that room is in the same boat as you. At some level or another, they are thinking the same things you are, namely, who am I to be here with my limited knowledge and sooner or later will someone find me out?I have seen hundreds of examples of people playing this game and I want to share a few things about this experience with you. In fact, once you see this you will realize everyone you encounter is playing the game at one level or another.One, the biggest impostor is almost always the bossThat is right--he or she ultimately knows the least about the detailed subject matter. That does not mean they lack the experience or the knowledge to do their job, they just do not have the knowledge and firsthand experience you do. Do not think for a moment they know your reality. At the time my experience began, our president had just joined our hotel group from a sister company that made baking supplies. Now he is in a boardroom with 15 hotel people talking about our business. The best con man that day was him.Two, people have your backThe people in the room want to hear from you and they have your back. They have a natural desire to want you to feel comfortable and to hear your thoughts. They instinctively know you are the rookie and they want to put you at ease and they do not want to see you suffering. They will not hang you out to dry.Three, play the gameIf someone you work with thinks enough of what you are up to and they have invited you to the big show, then you are ready. The only thing that is missing is you and the courage to play the game. To listen and learn.When you are called upon, speak from your heart and above all else do not try to BS your way. If you do not know the answer, ask a clarifying question. Someone will bail you out. Many times, not having the answer is the best strategy.Point to a possible answer or conclusion and watch others fall in.Fourth and final, they've been in your shoesEveryone in that room has passed through the same door as you. They have all been in your shoes and in some way, they are all impostors just like you, so enjoy the show. You are about to witness human interaction at a whole new level. Be conscious enough not to miss this. Over the years, every time I have attended a similar meeting I received an education that cannot be taught in school. Do not lose sight of this.What "Catch Me If You Can" taught me was a willingness to get it wrong was more important than being right. The readiness to show up and see what happens is more important than staying home until you are ready because you never will be completely ready. Taking the numbers in your hotel by the horns is the way to go. Trust yourself enough to walk into the cockpit and take a seat and welcome those probing questions."All the world's indeed a stage / And we are merely players / Performers and portrayers / Each another's audience / Outside the gilded cage" - Rush "Limelight"
Lodging Magazine·16 April 2018
GDPR—four letters of the alphabet that are proving to represent one of the biggest challenges facing businesses in 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on May 25 across the European Union and impacts any organization that operates within the EU and processes the data of EU citizens wherever they may be in the world. How organizations hold, store, and process personal data will now be subject to higher and more consistent scrutiny—with the potential of a significant penalty for non-compliance.
hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·16 April 2018
Sexual harassment, exploitation and GDPR compliance took center stage during the first day of the Hospitality Law Conference, where legal and hotel industry experts addressed the current state of these issues and what hoteliers can do to address them. Speakers at this year’s Hospitality Law Conference shed light on a number of pressing legal issues facing the hotel industry, explaining where the industry stands now and what actions hoteliers can take. Sexual harassmentThough the number of workplace sexual harassment claims made to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has not increased so far in 2018, said Andria Ryan, partner at Fisher Phillips, insurance companies are reporting an increasing number of demand letters from their clients. It’s likely there will be more claims coming through, she said during her presentation “Harassment in the hospitality Industry—how to avoid being the next #MeToo.”
hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·13 April 2018
After a decade or so of constant oversharing, a fair amount of people now seem to care about their privacy. The government, surprisingly, appears to care as well. You’ve likely read online (possibly by someone who shared it on Facebook) about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s more than 10 hours in front of members of Congress, answering their questions about his company and social media network, how Cambridge Analytica was able to scrape the data of 87 million Facebook users and possible regulation to catch up with how fast technology has advanced.
Duetto Research Blog·13 April 2018
The hotel industry, both in North America and worldwide, has been riding a long winning streak, with increasing occupancies, revenues and profits. And while the performance has been good for bottom lines, one area of concern has been alarming increases in some cost centers, especially commissions paid to third-party distribution platforms. According to the CBRE Trends in the Hotel Industry report, commission expenses paid by hotels rose nearly 7% last year. And as the firm prepares its 2018 report, the trend appears to be continuing, says Robert Mandelbaum, director of research information services for CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research.
Modern Restaurant Management·13 April 2018
New businesses commonly face tax problems and restaurants are no exception. By the time you pay your waitstaff, your vendors, and your rent, you may have a difficult time paying your taxes. Sometimes, restaurants have less profit during their first year in existence, and so they have a relatively small tax bill. If business improves as more and more diners find your restaurant, your profits may increase, and you might find that you have an unexpectedly large tax bill with seemingly no way to pay it. Many restaurant owners fear an IRS audit, but more commonly, restaurant owners are contacted by the IRS because they have not paid their taxes, and specifically have not paid their payroll taxes. Effectively dealing with the IRS is especially important in this situation because if it is not resolved, the IRS can close your restaurant and padlock its doors. Payroll taxes: Payroll taxes are perhaps the most common tax problem faced by restaurant owners. Payroll taxes that are withheld…
BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus·12 April 2018
Small companies most often scrape by with borrowed or invested funds, doing everything possible to grow and prosper with limited resources. So, it is like a punch in the gut when an employee makes a claim against the company for a perceived or actual but unintentional violation of a law or regulation. Or when a former employee strikes out with a suit claiming discrimination for one of a thousand causes.