What is Labor Trafficking?

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Labor Trafficking

Labor trafficking is a form of human trafficking that involves forcing individuals to perform labor or services against their will for little or no pay. Labor trafficking happens across many industries in the U.S. such as ag-riculture, food service and hospitality. It can also be called forced labor, involuntary child labor and debt bondage. 

Labor traffickers often present themselves as legitimate job recruiters or employers who lure victims with promises of an education, high for travelers to know what forced labor is, what it looks like and how to report it. Travelers are on the front lines of potentially observing labor trafficking at hospitality locations such as gas stations, travel centers, rest stops, hotels, motels and resorts. 

Victims of labor trafficking can be any age, race, gender or legal status. People most susceptible to becoming a victim of labor trafficking are those with undefined immigration statuses, large debts and those living in poverty. 

Indicators of labor trafficking include, but are not wages or exciting travel opportunities. Traffickers use force and coercion to gain and keep control of their victims, often taking passports or identification documents. Victims often experience physical and mental abuse by the trafficker, threats of deportation and/or threats of violence towards themselves or their families. 

As domestic travel increases during the summer, it is especially important limited to, the following: 

  • Is the person not in control of his/her own money? 
  • Is the person not in possession of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport) or defer to someone else when asked for their identification documents? 
  • Does the person work excessively long and/or unusual hours? 
  • Is the person not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work? 
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? 
  • Is the person fearful, anxious or tense? 
  • Does the person avoid eye contact or seem afraid to speak? 
  • Has the child stopped attending school? 

To learn more about the indictors and how to report suspected human trafficking, please visit our website.


 Maria Odom

Maria M. Odom is the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman for the Department of Homeland Security and appointed Chair of the DHS Blue Campaign.

How to Look Comfortable When Speaking Even When You Feel Uncomfortable

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Public Speaking

During your next public speaking opportunity: interview, speech or presentation; follow these guidelines to help you look and sound more comfortable even if on the inside you feel terrified!

  • Move slower. The fastest indicator of nervousness will be your body language. Approximately 50 percent of your perceived confidence when speaking in public will be deduced from your hand gestures, posture, and facial expressions. When you walk, or gesture with fewer sporadic movements, you will be perceived as more in control of your energy.
  • Talk slower. The second fastest indicator of nervousness is the speed of your voice. Approximately 40 percent of your perceived confidence when speaking in public will be deduced from three vocal dynamics: Volume, Pausing and Speed. When you say your words slower, you will be perceived as more in control of your emotions.
  • Ask questions. Instead of feeling as if you have to carry all of the presentation, make it interactive. Ask questions, facilitate discussions and welcome immediate feedback. Answering questions and generating discussions can reduce your fear and increase the listener’s enjoyment of your presentation.

Being nervous makes you a human. Being prepared makes you a professional.

Vincent PhippsComms VP Logo

Vincent Ivan Phipps, is owner of Communication VIP Training and Coaching, He is an award winning trainer and speaker. His expertise is in the areas of: Communication, Motivation, Leadership and Customer Service. www.NoUms.com

Personal Foundation: Building a Strong Community

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Community Building - Group High Five

So how are you doing in the process of building a personal foundation? In this series of ten articles this is the eighth. If you haven’t been following the series, here is a quick overview of the ten topics:

Clearing Unresolved Matters
Restoring Integrity
Getting needs met
Extending Boundaries
Raising Standards
Stop Tolerating
Seeing the Positive Side
Strengthening the Family
Building a Strong Community
Reorienting around Values

If this is the eighth article I am submitting then it should be about Strengthening the Family, but as I sat down to write this, I felt compelled to do number nine in the series. It is not that it is more important than strengthening the family but due to current events it is very timely. Number nine is entitled “Building a Strong Community.”

Let’s start by defining what a Community is. A community is a group of people that we coexist with. A community is a group of people that we care about and that cares about us. The members of a community have a vested interest in supporting the members of that community.

So, are you part of a community? Well, most of us are members of many communities. We live in a community, a neighborhood, a city or town. We have a community at work made up of members and staff. Our clubs have communities that live around them; many may be members, many may not be. We may have an ethnic, cultural or spiritual community. We may have a community that we have built through participation in a sport, a hobby or a special interest. Of course CMAA is an obvious example of a community that is industry-based. Our state or country is a community and for that matter humanity is a community.

Why do people put effort into building and supporting a community? Well there are lots of reasons. Many do it to make a difference or to affect the lives of others. Some do it to show gratitude for all that the community has done for them. Some do it because something needs to be done. When you look at it from a foundational perspective the reality is that sometimes the challenges we face are bigger than something we can or would choose to handle by ourselves. Knowing that we have a community to hold us up when we are feeling vulnerable, hurt or powerless can make a significant difference in our rate of recovery or in some cases our survival.

I have personal experience in the CMAA community as a member, a chapter leader, and, for the past thirteen years, as a coach for its membership. The fact that coaching services were set up is another example of a community providing a service to enhance the professionalism and security of its members and provide support when one of its members is in need. One of the motivating reasons to have coaching services in the beginning was to create another level of support for club managers who have lost their jobs. If you have ever lost a job you will know that your community can play a huge role in your efforts to move on to your next opportunity. My observation, from all of the vantage points that I have seen this organization from, is that there is a direct correlation between the amount of support you receive from the community and the amount of effort and support you put into the community. In this community there is a lot of support that you have access to regardless of the amount that you have put in, but it is quite amazing to see the way people reach out to support those who have reached out to them, stayed in touch over the years or simply were open to building a relationship if even for a moment.

Think about the different possibilities for a club manager who is going through a transition alone versus a club manager who is going through the process with the support of many people from his or her CMAA community. Now think about that person being supported by four or five communities outside of CMAA.

About a year after I lost my job as a club manager I was asked to speak at a local chapter meeting. Before I spoke I saw the list of 25 club managers that would be in attendance. I made note that 24 of the 25 had reached out in some way to support me. The one who didn’t had only been in his new job for a week and we had never met. I was supported with notes, phone calls, invitations for lunch or golf, introductions, information on possible jobs, encouragement, recommendations and perhaps most importantly, interest in how I was doing. I had one CMAA member who called me and told me that he would be calling me once a week to see how he could help me and that he would continue calling me until I told him to stop.

I had one person from my CMAA community say, “I am about to say something to you and I do not want you to respond in any way. I would just like you to hear this. If you and your family find yourself in a situation where you need money all you have to do is send me a note with an amount of money written on it and a cheque will arrive.” I never needed to write that note, but knowing that I could gave me the realization that years earlier when I accepted the position as a club manager of a club in Canada, my community expanded well beyond the suburbs of Vancouver.

How are you doing at building the communities that you are part of? There are so many ways! It could be a big effort in the wake of a disaster like a Tsunami or a Hurricane. It could be by opening checkbook and helping financially. It could be staying in touch. It could be spending time with the elderly person who has lost a spouse or coaching a child’s team. There are so many ways to do it, but just know that building community is an integral part of building a personal foundation.

Kevin McDonald HeadshotKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for the CMAA. You can reach Kevin atkmacdonald@dccnet.com or Shelley MacDougall atnewreality@telus.net. Or call the Toll Free Coaches Line at 1(866)822-3481.

Growing the Game: Topgolf’s Secrets to Reaching Millennials, Women

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08.02.16 Top Golf

The golf industry has watched the meteoric growth of the golf entertainment company, Topgolf, with hopeful interest and excitement. With 27 venues worldwide including the new flagship venue in Las Vegas and more to open in 2016, Topgolf expects that more than 12 million guests will visit and play in 2016. Perhaps most exciting for the growth of golf is the fact that Topgolf has been able to attract two demographics that have been identified as primary growth areas for golf: millennials and women.

According to the National Golf Foundation (NGF) and its 2015 US Golf Participation Report, only 24 percent of the 24.1 million golfers are female and fewer than 30 percent are millennials. Onboarding more women and millennials to golf and keeping them engaged in the game would have a major impact on the current and future participation in golf. With 57 percent millennial and 32 percent female guests, Topgolf has clearly removed barriers that have kept these groups from traditional golf. Further, according to a recent study by the NGF, more than 50 percent of all Topgolf guests have expressed that interest in playing traditional golf has been positively influenced by their Topgolf experience, demonstrating the company is an ideal access point through which people are experiencing golf. However, to truly grow the game of golf, these casual visits and first swings need to convert to golfers who will develop their skills and potentially play traditional golf. Read more...

Transgender in the Workplace: The EEOC as Social Engineer

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bathroomIt’s an issue all employers face or will face—how, if at all, should we accommodate an employee who gives us notice that he or she is transgender and will be coming to work as a person of the other gender. (This morning on the news, I heard of a lawsuit against the federal government by a citizen who objected to having to identify as either gender.) In workplaces where the dress code requires only “professional attire” or a similar gender neutral description, the issue doesn’t seem too deep. (As a federal judge is reported to have said, “the sun will still rise tomorrow” even if a particular employee changes gender presentation.)  

But then, the employer thinks about restrooms or locker rooms. Can employers require transgender employees to use a restroom or locker room designated for persons with similar genitalia. Can employers require transgender employees to use gender-neutral, single user restrooms or family restrooms. How far should employers go to protect social norms of gender-specific privacy in the restrooms and locker rooms?

The EEOC has offered guidance on this issue. Employees are entitled to have access to a restroom, and denying access to a restroom designated for women, to an employee who identifies as a woman, is sex discrimination. See EEOC, “What You Should Know About EEOC and the Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers” (last visited July 21, 2016). The same can probably be said for locker rooms. 

In one case involving a federal employee, the EEOC went further and suggested how employers should communicate with transgender employees and others in the workplace over these sensitive restroom issues:

[Employers] are certainly encouraged to work with transgender employees to develop plans for individual workplace transitions. For a variety of reasons, including the personal comfort of the transitioning employee, a transition plan might include a limited period of time where the employee opts to use a private facility instead of a common one. 

Circumstances can change, however . . . . [Employers] should . . . view any plan with a transitioning employee related to facility access as a “temporary compromise” . . . .

We recognize that certain employees may object - some vigorously - to allowing a transgender individual to use the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity. . . . But supervisory or co-worker confusion or anxiety cannot justify discriminatory terms and conditions of employment. Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sex whether motivated by hostility, by a desire to protect people of a certain gender, by gender stereotypes, or by the desire to accommodate other people’s prejudices or discomfort. 

Lusardi v. Dep’t of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133395, 2015 WL 1607756 (Mar. 27, 2015). 

In short, the EEOC’s view is that transgender employees have a right to access the restroom or locker room designated for those who share the employee’s gender identity. If an employer has visitors or other employees who object to using a shared restroom, the employer may suggest the objecting employee use a single-user or family restroom. 

To put a fine point on it, employers are free to offer special accommodation to employees who suffer from gender-based shyness, but the accommodation cannot restrict the rights of their transgender co-workers. 

This is an evolving area of law, and we will be keeping a close eye on any developments. In addition, purely private clubs are exempt from some federal civil rights laws, but in many states there are parallel laws from which they are not exempt. Regardless of whether the club is exempt from any such laws, all employers will be faced with conflicting rights and interests of a variety of employee populations, and the transgendered employees will continue to be one of those populations.

William A. Wright is a partner in the law firm of Sherman & Howard L.L.C. in Colorado and Arizona. Bill may be reached at (303) 299-8086 or by email at wwright@shermanhoward.com. This article is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.

Finding & Retaining Staff

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training photoWhat do a radio announcer, a cake decorator, a railroad operator and a theatre teacher have in common?  Believe it or not, they all have successful careers in club management and are all part of the success of the private club I presently manage. There are of course essential talents needed for various skilled positions, yet when adding to staff, do not discredit lack of experience in a certain area to mean lack of dedication. Talent exists in all shapes, sizes and forms so it is important to maintain an open mind and keen sense of emotional intelligence when adding to the team. The lesson here is, when it seems as if good help is nowhere to be found, don't be afraid to think outside of the box when looking to add to your team.

As a candidate, a positive attitude and enthusiasm for a position are a primary quality to show during the hiring and interview process. All the rest can be learned and taught with time. As managers, being able to recognize those candidates with these qualities is a valuable skill. Successfully hiring individuals from unlikely professional backgrounds, who show great potential to make a positive contribution to the team greatly contributes to lower employee turnover rates and can even improve morale with a contribution of new perspectives and ideas.

When interviewing candidates, read between the lines and connect the dots in career paths by ask questions regarding job changes and unusual moves. But above all, look for the "fire" and those intangible qualities in a person and be willing to take a chance. All the rest can be taught. If ever in doubt, the use of personality profiles are quite valuable in assisting in the hiring process if there is even a hint of trepidation in filling an important role. Getting the "right people on the bus" can take some time and mistakes can and will be made. That being said... it is always worth it. 

Once new talent is brought on board, employees need to be trained and trained well. Never assume that someone will simply know what to do by watching others in their work group. Initiative is one thing, but proper on boarding and ongoing training programs assures a new employee has been set up for success with the proper tools and resources to do the job well. This means that opening and closing procedures, checklists and well defined objectives and expectations need to be explained in detail.

And remember, as time passes, don’t get too busy to value each individual on the team. In addition to employee recognition programs, a simple wave "hello," 'happy birthday" and "thank you" expressed with a sincere smile speaks volumes.


Dana Dichara headshotDana R. DiChiara, CCM, CCE, has been working at Mountain Brook Club in Birmingham, AL for the past sixteen years, leading in the role of general manager since 2008. She is a hospitality professional with a diverse background ranging from private clubs, universities, cruise ships, dinner theatres and amusement parks. Dana is currently serving her third year as president of the Alabama Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America.

3 Summer Tips to Keep Your Communication Cool!

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07.12.16 Summer

Summer is the Saturday of the year! The longer days of sunshine along with the fun outdoor activities can bring promise and adventure to this season. Unfortunately, the increased temperatures and more people out and about can cause an increase in impatience and shorter tempers. This phenomenon is such a nomenclature it has become incorporated into our vernacular through common expressions/terms such as:

  • Hot headed
  • Cool headed
  • Steamed (up)
  • Hot under the collar
  • Getting red hot
  • Blow off some steam
  • Keep your cool
  • Cool as a cucumber
  • Seeing red

According to an article posted on PsychCentral.com, “27 percent of us are summer haters. Summer haters are those who are more likely to get angrier when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.”

In other words, for about 3 out of 10 people, the hotter they get due to the temperature the hotter they get emotionally. Read more...

Personal Foundation: Seeing the Positive Side

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07.05.16 Positibity

As I begin to write this, the seventh article in this ten-part series about personal foundation, I think it is a good time to review why building a strong personal foundation is important at all. Some people would argue that it is possible to be successful without having some of the elements of a personal foundation that I have been talking about. Some people might be able to site examples of people who have been very successful and yet may not have had integrity, or, as it relates to this article, they may know people who have achieved success and yet seem negative or pessimistic. The thing I want you to know about a foundation is that when it is in place it serves to support or sustain that which has been built on top of it.

I have used the following metaphor before, but I think it is a powerful one. The size of the foundation you build needs to be proportionate to the structure you are building. A tent doesn’t need much of a foundation, a two story home needs a strong foundation and a skyscraper needs a deep, strong, solid foundation. If you are building a small life of little consequence you may not need to spend a lot of time on a foundation. If you are set on building a big life, one of consequence, whether that means building a career of excellence in an industry, building wealth, being an amazing parent or building strong relationships, foundation makes a difference in supporting what you have built.

Developing the ability to see the positive side of things that happen in our lives is an important part of building our foundation. You may already think that you are a person who has a very positive outlook on life and to a certain extent you may be right, but some would say that a positive thinking person is a person with a positive veneer on top of a lot of negative programming. Think about that. Read more...

This information is provided for informational purposes only. The contents are presented with no warranty, either expressed or implied by the Club Managers Association of America. No legal responsibility is assumed for the outcome of decisions, commitments or obligations made on the basis of this information. If your club is faced with a question concerning legal issues, you should contact the club’s legal counsel for the specific application of the law to your situation.