Law balances rights against duties
HTM 3130 - Hospitality Law & Ethics
Laws are rules, enforceable in court
Syllabus for Spring 2011

General Class Information
Weekly Schedule
Course Description
 Semester Projects
Outcomes and Course Objectives
Academic Support
Evaluation and Grading
Academic Integrity
Class Policies
Textbook / Prerequisites

Instructor:  Reed Fisher, Professor
     Class Day:  Wednesday
Office:  217 Martinetti Hall      Class Time:  4:00 p.m. until 6:45 p.m.
Phone:  802-635-1301      Room:  Martinetti 225
E-mail:      Credit Hours:  3
Office Hours: 
  • Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. until noon
  • Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. until 3:45 p.m.
  • other times are available by making an appointment with me, please ask!
Professor Fisher's Web Site:
Instant Messaging:
  • AOL Instant Messenger -- my buddy name is jsc prof reed
  • Skype -- my contact name is reedatjsc
Blackboard Class Site:

Textbook and Prerequisites:
  • Prerequisites:
    • Senior Status
  • Required Textbook:
    • Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Law:  A Preventive Approach, (Seventh Edition)
           by Norman G. Cournoyer, Anthony G. Marshall, and Karen L. Morris  (2008)
this is our textbook for the semester

Course Description:
This course will introduce the student to the laws and regulations applicable to the ownership and operation of inns, hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, bars, and other hospitality businesses.  The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the laws and regulations that influence business and management decisions in the hospitality industry.  It is designed to provide the student with a practical knowledge of the law and the operation of the legal system.  The course will focus on the Legal Fundamentals for the hospitality industry which include negligence, relationships with guests, contracts, and liability and the sale of food and alcohol.  This course will also explore the question of ethics in hospitality management.

Departmental Learning Outcomes and Assessment: 
The Business and Economics Department has identified five learning outcomes that should be developed and mastered by the time our students graduate.  Graduates of the Business and Economics Department will:
  1. integrate classroom knowledge with guided work/internship experience,
  2. demonstrate industry appropriate communication skills and the ability to work effectively with diverse groups in a team environment,
  3. demonstrate the ability to adapt themselves to a changing business environment while encouraging others to do so as well,
  4. demonstrate the ability to amass, evaluate, and interpret complex information to make effective business decisions, and
  5. demonstrate the appropriate business norms and ethics, and mastery of the fundamental skills and knowledge required to successfully steward a business operation.
This course will give you an opportunity to develop skills towards mastering learning outcomes 4 and 5.
  • Learning Outcome 4 -- during the semester you will develop the tools to evaluate and interpret potential legal pitfalls in a hospitality organization.  You will analyze a variety of legal cases as well as conduct a field exercise where you will investigate and identify potential negligence issues in a hospitality operation.  You will present a written report of your findings concentrating on your recommendations to management.  In addition, you will receive feedback on your written report thus helping you improve your written communication skills (learning outcome 2).
  • Learning Outcome 5 -- in this class we discuss the the legal and ethical decisions hospitality operators face.  You will develop a set of tolls to help you understand and analyze ethical situations.  During the semester you will have the opportunity to use these tools to analyze several situations where the law and what is ethical seem to diverge (one example is the practice of overbooking hotel rooms).
Course Objectives:

By the end of the course the student should be able to....

  • comprehend the laws of Innkeeping and how they apply to the hospitality industry as a whole,
  • read and analyze a legal case,
  • conduct research on legal topics,
  • describe the relationship between ethics and the law,
  • formulate operational policies to conform to the requirements of the various state and federal agencies and guidelines,
  • assess and compare liability for personal injuries on and off the premise,
  • evaluate liability for damage or loss of property to clientele in the hospitality industry.
  • assess the need for exclusion and ejection of undesirables,
  • compare, evaluate, and appraise the types of contracts made in the hospitality industry, and
  • recognize, analyze, and evaluate legal issues for the purpose of making and articulating appropriate decisions as executives in conducting your managerial responsibilities.

Departmental and Class Policies:

Conduct in Class:
Students should conduct themselves in accordance with the Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities, page 18.   Any acts of classroom disruption that go beyond the normal rights of students to question and discuss with instructors the educational process relative to subject content will not be tolerated.  Examples of inappropriate disruptions include but are not limited to the following:
  • disruptive (side) conversations;
  • leaving class to go to the bathroom (especially during guest speakers);
  • disrespectful comments about fellow students;
  • interrupting the instructor about issues that should be discussed after class (such as a grade or accepting late homework);
  • using computers to surf the web, instant message or doing homework for another class;
  • ringing cell phones.
Sanctions for the above will be in accordance with the Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities, page 20.

Examinations must be taken when scheduled.  Please plan your schedule accordingly.  Make-up examinations will not be allowed unless the instructor has, prior to the examination, approved a request for make-up.

Attendance has a high correlation with success in this class thus, students are expected to attend every class.  Attendance will be taken at the beginning of every class.
   number of absences
   effect on final grade
     0-1  [less than 8% of all classes]
     no reduction of final grade
     2-3  [14-21% of all classes]
     one letter grade reduction
     4+  [more than 28% of classes]
     failure of the course

Students are expected to be in class on time.  Arriving late to class is disruptive as well as disrespectful to your fellow students.  Six unexcused tardies will result in the reduction of one letter grade for the course.  Seven unexcused tardies will result in failure for the course.

Late Assignments:
All assignments are due at the beginning of class. For 1000 and 2000 level courses, late assignments will be reduced as follows: 25% reduction if turned in by the beginning of the next class, 50% for the second class, 100% after the second class.  For 3000 and 4000 courses late assignments will not be accepted and will result in a grade of zero for that assignment.

To appeal a grade, either talk to the instructor or send an email to your instructor within two weeks of the grade having been received. Overdue appeals will not be considered.

Incomplete Policy
For a student to receive an incomplete, he or she must have a passing grade and must have completed a significant portion of the course work. Students will not be given an incomplete grade in the course without sound reason and documented evidence.

Course Evaluation:

Final grades will be determined using the grading criteria outlined in the JSC Undergraduate Catalogue. Your final grade in this course will be based on the following assignments:

16 chapter quizzes Short answer ; drop the lowest grade
2 class projects
Short answer and short essay
4 semester projects 3 case analysis and 1 investigative report
final exam
a variety of question covering the entire semester
Attendance/participation/class assignments
includes application questions assignments 
Total class points    
This is the scale I will use for assigning final grades:
Grading Scale
A+   98-100% B-    80-82% D    63-66%
A    93-97% C+   77-79% D-   60-62%
A-   90-92% C     73-76% F    below 60%
B+   87-89% C-    70-72%  
B    83-86% D+   67-69%  
Application Questions:  Application questions found at the end of the chapters will be assigned on a regular basis.  Students may hand write or type their answers to these questions.  I will collect the application questions at the end of the class period assigned.  Students will receive one of the following three grades:  0 = not turned in; 1 = turned in but work is marginal; or 2 = turned in and the work is satisfactory.  The total grade for your application questions will be used as one of the components in the determination of  your attendance/participation grade.
Chapter Quizzes:  Will be administered on Blackboard; you can use your book and notes.  The chapter quizzes will be a variety of short answer (e.g., multiple choice, true/false, and fill in the blank) questions.
Final Exam:  The final exam will be held during final exam week and will cover all material discussed during the semester.  The format of the final exam will be explained shortly before the end of the semester.

Semester Projects:
   Case Analyses:
  • Students will analyze two large cases and 2-4 small case studies during the course of the semester.  You may work individually or in groups of not more than two students.  Groups will turn in one analysis and both students will receive the same grade for the assignment.  Students are expected to follow the case analysis techniques that will be presented and discussed in class.  I suggest that even if you choose to do the case analyses individually, you discuss the basics of the case with your fellow students.  See the  Case Evaluation Sheet  for guidelines in writing your case analysis.
   Investigative Report:
    Students will investigate and report on a circumstances that invite an accident; situations that, if left unattended, will likely cause someone to trip and fall, or otherwise hurt themselves.  Using a camera, document those conditions with a photograph.  Your submission for this project will include two parts:  first, a minimum of two photographs of two different dangerous conditions; and second, a written explanation for each picture that identifies the problem and how it should be
    addressed by responsible management.   Additional details on this project will be handed out in class.

Academic Support
Students who have an academic need may receive support in the following areas:  testing accommodations for students who have a documented disability, assistance with test taking strategies and study skills, intensive advising, personal counseling, tutoring, and support for non-traditional students through the department of Academic Support Services and the Learning Resource Center in Dewey Campus Center.  Some services may require meeting eligibility requirements.  Please call extension 1259 or 1464 or stop by their office in room #126 or room #114 in the Dewey Campus Center) for more information.

Students with disabilities, who believe that they may need accommodations in this class, are encouraged to contact me during my office hours.  It is your responsibility to contact Dian Duranleau at Academic Support Services (Dewey 123, extension 1264) as soon as possible to verify your eligibility for any classroom accommodations, to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion, and to access academic assistance related to your disability.

Academic Integrity
I expect all of your work, including group projects, to be independent and original. This includes providing proper citation and credit when utilizing information from outside sources.  JSC’s policy on academic honesty, located in the JSC Undergraduate Catalogue, will be strictly enforced in this class.
"Students are expected to be honest in all their academic work at Johnson State College. Academic dishonesty in any form is prohibited and unacceptable. Acts of dishonesty for which a student may be disciplined include, but are not limited to, receiving or providing unauthorized assistance on an examination and plagiarizing the work of others in writing assignments. The American Heritage Dictionary defines plagiarism in the following way: "To steal or use (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own." Students are responsible for knowing what specific acts constitute plagiarism; if students are uncertain whether a particular act constitutes plagiarism, they should consult with their instructors before turning in assigned work."

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this page is maintained by Reed Fisher
last updated January 15, 2011