Comments are closed. Police plead guilty over ethnic recruitmentOn 23 Jan 2001 in Police, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article The Metropolitan Police artificially boosted the number ofnon-white officers serving on the force in figures submitted to the HomeOffice.Figures for visible ethnic minority recruitment wereincreased after officers who would previously have been considered white werereclassified.Statistics released by the force last year appeared to showit had recruited an additional 218 non-white officers in six months, bringingits total to 1,227.But the increase included 214 officers who describedthemselves as “white Irish” and “other whites” as members of visible ethnicminorities.The Home Office revealed that without the inclusion of thebogus figures the Metropolitan police would have seen a drop in non-whiteofficers in the six months to September 2000.After the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report in 1999 HomeSecretary Jack Straw set police a target of increasing the number of non-whitesto 8,265 by 2009. The current figure is under 3,000.A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police denied thesubmission of the inaccurate figures was an attempt to massage the figures. Headded, “It was an error made by a member of staff. We want to be as open aspossible and as soon as the error was discovered we held up our hands to themistake.”
Council fined over death of electricianOn 27 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Doncaster Council was fined £400,000 last week after anelectrician died following lapses in health and safety procedures. Michael Seiles, 31, of Wheatley, Doncaster, South Yorkshirehad been called to repair a heating unit in the council’s offices in 1997. Hedied after touching live wires. Council managers knew of the dangers but had not warnedelectricians. The council pleaded guilty at Doncaster Crown Court to offencesunder the Health and Safety Act and was fined £400,000, with £30,000 costs. David Cotton, head of operations at the HSE, whichprosecuted the council, said, “I hope this fine will bring home to allemployers the high price of not properly discharging responsibilities ofensuring the safety of people working on their property.”A council spokesperson said, “Since this incident the localauthority has been working on improving safety procedures, and has placedpriority on electrical safety.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
e-biz in briefOn 10 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. This week’s e-biz news in briefUnusual ways of saying‘thank you’HR managers lookingfor more unusual ways to reward staff can choose from a new set of experiencesthat can soon be bought online from Virgin Incentives. They include a packagecalled The Boardroom, which entails seminars with leading business figures. Thefull range of experiences span adrenaline-pumping air-, water- and motorsportsto the rather more civilised lunch at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons. And if your sales team has bust every target this year, how aboutrewarding them with a week for 26 people on Richard Branson’s private island,Necker, at £275,000? www.virginincentives.co.ukAdvice on moving onjust a click awayGuardian Media Group’semployment site workthing.com has signed content exchange and marketing dealswith online HR site OneClickHR.com and recruitment site I-Resign.com. Thelatter offers advice to people considering resignation. Workthing will featuregeneral HR content from OneClickHR on its site, as well as tools such aspayroll processing. The I-Resign deal sees workthing embedding its job searchengine into I-Resign’s home page.www.I-resign.com www.Oneclickhr.com www.workthing.comSingle path tomanagement learningFinancial trainingcompany Time2Learn is using Pathlore’s Learning Management System (LMS) toplan, deliver and manage its training courses via a single portal. “Weneeded a sophisticated system that enabled us to record and track users throughthe learning process and then assess their performance in e-learning as well astraditional classroom courses,” says CEO John Newlands. www.pathlore.comScottish site switchese-recruiterScotland On Line isreplacing its established Recruitment.Scotland.net with enhanced onlinerecruitment service Scottishappointments.com. The service gives employersgreater management control over vacancies, allowing them to receiveapplications and search a database of CVs to find active jobseekers.Scottishappointments focuses purely on the Scottish market and serves smallbusinesses up to blue-chip clients. It claims it will attract over 20,000 newusers every month. ScotlandOnline.com receives more than 420,000 users amonth. www.scotlandonline.com www.scottishappointments.com Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
Who is the comparator in a claim under the Equal Pay Act 1970?South Ayrshire Council v Morton, 2002, IRLR 256n In the case of South Ayrshire Council v Morton, the Court of Session considered the issue of who could be named as a comparator in a claim under the Equal Pay Act 1970 (EPA).Primary school headteachers had brought applications for equal pay with secondary school headteachers, some of whom were not employed by the same local authority. Section 1 (6) of the EPA provides that in order to succeed with an equal pay claim, a woman must identify a male comparator in “the same employment” as her.This is defined as a man “employed by her employer or any associated employer at the same establishment or at establishments within Great Britain which include that one and at which common terms and conditions of employment are observed either generally or for employees of the relevant classes”.The teachers conceded that the two local authorities were not associated as the definition of that term within the EPA required that one company be under the control of the other or that both be under the control of a third party.Because the claim could not be brought under domestic legislation, the teachers had to rely upon European legislation providing for men and women to have equal pay for equal work.In the case of Defrenne v Sabena (No2) 1976 ECR 455, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the principle of equal pay in the European Treaty allows an employee to nominate a comparator empl-oyed by a different employer if both are employed “in the same establishment or service”.The Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the education authorities were part of the same service and so found in favour of the teachers. The employers appealed to the Court of Session.The Court of Session held that all pay arrangements were governed by the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee. Irrespective of the fact that the various education authorities decided employees’ actual wages, there was in force a form of “collective agreement” that applied to employees in both authorities. The teachers could therefore compare their salary with that of teachers in the other authority due to the fact that any discrimination had its origin in an agreement that applied equally to both authorities. It was unnecessary to consider whether employees of the two authorities were within the “same service”.The effect of the decision is particularly important to all employees subject to national collective agreements and for employers following a transfer where the contracts of employment incorporate a collective agreement.Foreseeable stress in the workplaceSutherland v Hatton, Somerset County Council v Barber and Baker Refractories Ltd v Bishop, 2002, IRLR 263n Stress claims have resulted in headline compensation figures – and a twelve-fold increase in the number of claims against employers in the last year may have caused many employers to suffer stress of their own. But now the Court of Appeal has signalled that the tide may have turned against employees wishing to recover damages from their employers in such circumstances.In the cases of Sutherland v Hatton, Somerset County Council v Barber and Baker Refractories Ltd v Bishop, the Court of Appeal allowed appeals by employers against earlier awards for stress-related complaints of nearly £200,000.The legal position is that for an employer to be liable there needs to be a duty of care and a breach by the employer of that duty which causes damage to be suffered. Most importantly, it must be shown that it is reasonably foreseeable that the breach will cause harm.The Court of Appeal’s guidance on “foreseeability” identifies the key issue as what the employer knows or ought to know about the employee. Relevant factors in assessing that question include the nature and extent of the work done by the employee. Has the employee made it known that there is a risk to his health?Essentially, the Court decided that the onus was to some extent upon the employee to raise their concerns – if they did not, the employer was entitled in most cases to take that silence as tacit acceptance that there were no problems. This is good news for employers in relation to stress claims, but care should be taken that obligations under Health and Safety legislation and the Disability Discrimination Act are not ignored.The importance of clear covenantsWard Evans Financial Services Ltd v Fox & Anor 2002 IRLR 120n An employee acting in competition with their employer when still employed is generally going to be in breach of the implied term in their contract regarding trust and confidence. The employee who does not compete but makes preparations to compete at a future date may not necessarily fall foul of that term and employers will have to include express terms to deal with such situations.In the case of Ward Evans Financial Services Ltd v Fox & Anor, 2002 IRLR 120, two employees had bought an off-the-shelf company during their employment, had then resigned and subsequently taken over the work of a client who had been with their original employer.The contracts of employment had contained a provision preventing them from holding any interests that might impair their ability to act at all times in the best interests of the company.A further clause prevented them from inducing a customer from leaving the firm by revealing confidential business information.The Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court’s decision that although one of the employees had told the customer he was leaving, this did not amount to inducement by way of revealing confidential information.However, it allowed the employer’s appeal in relation to the claim that the employees, by setting up a company, had placed themselves in a position that impaired their ability to act in the best interests of the employer. The fact that the company did not trade during their employment did not mean that their ability to act in the best interests of their employer was not affected.It was found that it clearly had as the employees had failed to bring in business in the period since the setting up of the other company. This case is a reminder to employers of the importance of clear covenants preventing competition. on appealOn 30 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.
The Edinburgh branch of Swedish home furnishing chain IKEA is usinge-learning to introduce its first ever IT training programme for staff. NETg, part of the Thomson Corporation, won the one-year contract and willdeliver courses in Microsoft desktop skills and the European Computer DrivingLicence (ECDL). “While many of our employees do not use computers directly in theirroles, we recognise the importance of allowing staff to develop in all areas inthe belief that this will help us to create a more motivated, committed andhappy workforce,” said Neil Crowson, training manager of IKEA, Edinburgh.”It’s important to give staff some autonomy over training and let themtake responsibility for personal development.” Staff access the e-learning via PC in the Learning Resource Centre or fromhome via a CD-Rom. Excel and PowerPoint skills are most in demand at manageriallevel. On the shopfloor, confidence at using a computer is more of a priority. www.netg.co.uk Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. IKEA offers staff training autonomyOn 1 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.
Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article HR HartleyOn 15 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Spot the leaders with Blue Peter tasksWinter may have been the season of discontent for Richard of York, but forme it was summer, thanks to graduate recruitment. It was a pain made worse byconducting batteries of pointless tests. Like many HR directors, I had to help devise ways to sort the intellectualwheat from the chaff while recruiting graduates. The state used to help, but now that every other 20-something is armed witha 2:1 or better from the University of Perpetual Debt, the onus is increasinglyon us in HR. This led me down some pretty bizarre paths and proved Blue Peter is amust-watch show for managers involved in graduate recruitment. How so? Well, we tried online assessment tests, followed by psychometrictesting, rounded off with three to five days’ work shadowing. It got us so far,but not far enough, and I was still left with more than twice as many pegs asholes. There had to be a better way. Enter the Blue Peter box of tricks! We forced the wretches to undergo aday’s activities that tested their ability to think creatively and displayleadership qualities. For us, it’s all about shoving them in a room with paper,card, sticks, scissors, milk bottle tops and sticky-back plastic, andinstructed them to build a bridge, a motorway service area or an executive toy.Tracey Emin eat your heart out! You should see some of these youngsters go. Of course it’s filmed, and itdoesn’t take much to spot the thinkers, the leaders, the doers and thefollowers. Take my advice: cut out the fancy assessment tests and go straight to theBlue Peter stage. It really does work. Hartley is an HR director at large
341 Ninth Avenue, 55 Water Street and 1440 Broadway are 3 of the largest post-Covid sublease availabilities. (Google Maps, 55 Water, 1440 Broadway)Sublease space in Manhattan’s office market continued to grow in the last quarter of the year, and has now reached the highest level this century, according to a new report from Savills.Available sublet space in the borough reached 18.6 million square feet at the end of 2020, a 47 percent increase year-over-year. This outpaced the growth in direct available office space, which increased 32.1 percent over the same period. Sublet supply’s share of total available space now stands at 27.2 percent, still short of the 2009 peak of 30.3 percent.“With many organizations planning to operate remotely until widespread coronavirus vaccination in mid- to late-2021 and many others considering permanent shifts in office utilization, new sublease spaces will continue to become available as tenants look to right-size their office footprints,” Savills’ New York & tri-state region research director Danny Mangru wrote in the report, noting that sublease supply is on track to surpass 20 million square feet by the end of 2021.ADVERTISEMENTTechnology, advertising, media, and information (TAMI) tenants accounted for 41.8 percent of newly available sublease space, followed by financial services and insurance at 17.6 percent and retailers and luxury brands at 13.2 percent.Since the beginning of the pandemic, the four largest blocks of sublease space to hit the market all came in the fourth quarter.The largest addition came from Tokyo-based public relations and advertising company Dentsu, which is seeking to sublease all of its space at Tishman Speyer’s 341 Ninth Avenue, home to the Morgan General Mail Facility or “Morgan North.” Just a year prior, The Real Deal ranked Dentsu’s 324,00-square-foot lease at the building as the fifth-most valuable to be signed in 2019.The second largest new addition was at RXR Realty’s 620 Sixth Avenue, where WeWork’s 212,000-square-foot space is now up for grabs. Last July, the co-working company, which is aiming for profitability this year, tapped JLL and CBRE to help it fill millions of square feet in vacant space across the country.S&P Global is looking to sublease 205,700 square feet at the Retirement System of Alabama’s 55 Water Street in the Financial District. In the previous quarter, EmblemHealth had also put up 163,000 square feet for sublease at the same building. Rounding out the top four, Macy’s put 197,200 square feet of office space on the sublease market at CIM Group’s 1440 Broadway.Read moreQ3: Manhattan now has 16M sf of available office sublease spaceSeptember 2020 magazine: A nationwide sublease surgeSpike in Manhattan’s office sublease explained Contact Kevin Sun Full Name* TagsCommercial Real EstateOffice LeasingTRD Insights Share via Shortlink Email Address* Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink
(Photos by Sonya Revell)You could call it the tweet heard around the world.In early December, Delian Asparouhov, a principal at venture-capital firm Founders Fund, threw out a proposal moving Silicon Valley to Miami. Francis Suarez, a real estate attorney who stepped into the mayor’s chair in 2017, quote-tweeted the investor. He asked, “How can I help?”Suarez’s response went viral with more than 2 million impressions and thousands of likes. The mayor later likened it to “catching lightning in a bottle.” He was suddenly in conversation with major venture capitalists and tech executives from around the country, grateful for a friendly ear in what has become a political climate openly hostile to Big Tech. Keith Rabois, a member of the “PayPal Mafia” and an early investor in Opendoor, SoftBank Group CEO Marcelo Claure and Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer are among those palling up with the 43-year-old mayor on Twitter. Rabois has become the city’s most prominent evangelist among the tech community. ADVERTISEMENT“I have met more new interesting people in Miami in 3 weeks than all of 2020 in the Bay Area,” Rabois tweeted Jan. 4.For those marquee names and those who look up to them, Miami marks a sharp contrast to the governments that have “marginalized and rejected” them in the past, Suarez said in an interview with The Real Deal last month. “I’m letting them tell their story. There’s nothing more powerful [than that].”It’s an overture that has South Florida real estate salivating. Developers, brokers and office landlords are anticipating a Big Tech gold rush that would build on the recent success Miami has had with financial firms. Last month, Rabois paid a record $29 million for a waterfront mansion in Miami Beach, and the following month announced his intent to attract at least 1,000 “founder caliber” technologists to the Magic City in 2021 as well as VC firms and established startups. That’s a lot of office space and a lot of high-end homes.But Miami has a long way to go on several metrics important to Big Tech. It lacks efficient large-scale public transit and is well behind established tech hubs on health care and education. A surge in population might push the city’s infrastructure to the brink. Some warn that all the hype (and growth) could be short-lived. And Suarez, for all his enthusiasm and PR savvy, has very limited powers as mayor to bring about the sweeping changes that the tech industry will likely want.If Miami really hopes to become the next Silicon Valley or Boston, it will need to address those infrastructure deficits, said Bernard Zyscovich, an urban planner and architect who Facebook tapped to study the Bay Area from an urban design and mobility perspective.There is “no way” Miami can provide the same “brain trust” as Silicon Valley in the short term, Zyscovich said. “Over time, Miami could become a place which generates its own feeder system for recruitment. But in the short term, recruitment is limited to Miami being a desirable place for startups and incubators. It has to be a large number of small scale investors that come here that can run their businesses from their computer.”Oringer, who relocated to Miami Beach in the fall after keeping a pied-à-terre for years, described Miami’s situation as a “chicken or egg problem.”“If we can find entrepreneurs down here, if we can launch enough businesses, if we can attract enough talent, we’ll be able to build lots of interesting companies down here,” he said. “People asked me the same questions in the early 2000s when I started Shutterstock in New York. New York was a finance town filled with Wall Street people. It had a little bit of tech, but if you wanted to start a tech company, you moved to San Francisco. I resisted that.” Testing the waters“Visiting Miami right now and I think I’ve seen more people from SF here than I saw in SF last year,” JD Ross, a co-founder of iBuying startup Opendoor, tweeted Jan. 10.It’s a trend that’s been on since at least the summer, with South Florida’s residential brokers finding themselves inundated with requests for luxury waterfront rentals and for-sale homes. The single-family home market, particularly in Miami Beach and Palm Beach, saw a surge, and sellers called the shots.In the second half of 2020, there were more than 3,000 sales of single-family homes priced at over $1 million, an increase of 99 percent, according to Analytics Miami. In Palm Beach, which saw the greatest gains, $1 million-plus single-family home sales more than doubled year over year with nearly 1,300 closings.The wealthy buyers hailed from several industries: hedge funds, finance, real estate and entertainment. Martin Brand, Blackstone Group’s co-head of U.S. acquisitions, bought a waterfront home in Palm Beach, and Goldman Sachs managing director Douglas Sacks picked up a condo at Eighty Seven Park in Miami Beach.Many buyers also purchased teardowns and empty lots. Builders are busy.Jason Anderson, vice president of Coastal Homes, said buyers are upping the ask for amenities, including bowling alleys, indoor basketball courts and even built-out tunnels connecting properties divided by the street. Rabois’ Venetian Islands mansion came with a $1 million aquarium.Miami’s waterways are bustling with hedge fund managers and tech investors, many of whom have recently become first-time boat owners. Boat slips, which were already in demand, are being snapped up. It’s the cool way to get around. “They’re boating weekdays: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Every day is a boat day,” yacht broker Boomer Jousma, who’s seen his sales double in 2020, said, referring to the influx of New Yorkers in South Florida. “They’re entertaining on the water. They’re meeting on the water; they’re social distancing.” Another sign that the migration is less seasonal and more permanent? Schools are filling up.“In the middle of Covid, where people would otherwise be potentially guessing private schools, there’s waiting lists,” Steve Hurwitz of JLL said. “People have already made those decisions.”Land of the (tax) freeIt’s not just the tech bros planting flags in South Florida. Though Suarez seems to have put Miami on the map with that industry, the city has long been working to attract blue-chip financial firms to the region. The pandemic, which normalized work from home, merely accelerated a migration that’s been underway for years, experts said. Florida’s lack of state income tax, pro-business leaders and warm weather have long drawn the wealthy.Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group, Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital, Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises and David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management have all relocated to South Florida.“The tours I used to have were with folks with second homes and second offices,” JLL’s Hurwitz said.And there’s more to come. In early January, Blackstone took 41,000 square feet at the MiamiCentral development in downtown Miami, where it will hire more than 200 employees.Billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin, already the owner of some of Miami’s priciest real estate, is nearing a deal to lease space at the under-construction office tower 830 Brickell, according to Business Insider, where Microsoft is also close to a deal. Goldman Sachs is also considering a larger expansion into South Florida, and Virtu Financial has toured spaces in Palm Beach County. Google is eyeing an expansion in the Miami area, and Spotify last year inked a lease in Wynwood.Thrive Capital, Joshua Kushner’s investment firm, is also in the market, according to sources. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and the Winklevoss twins have expressed interest in investing in Miami. Kelly Smallridge, president of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, acknowledged that there are no guarantees the businesses coming into town are here to stay. “However, our retention numbers are very high, and you can’t get away from no state tax on income,” Smallridge said. She is behind the effort to build up “Wall Street South” and said there are about 30 financial services firms in the pipeline in Palm Beach County. (Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is among them with plans to move to a 40,000-square-foot space at Related Companies’ 360 Rosemary office building in West Palm Beach.)Danet Linares, vice chair of brokerage Blanca Commercial Real Estate, said new-to-market tenants have toured more than 1 million square feet of space in Miami-Dade over the past six months with Class A rents still increasing. Countywide, Class A rents rose to more than $48 a foot in the fourth quarter, according to Colliers International data. Brickell is still the most expensive with asking rents of nearly $60 per square foot. Though there is increased buzz surrounding the office market in South Florida, the vacancy rate was at 10.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 9.2 percent a year earlier, according to Colliers. The hospitality and retail industries are still reeling, and multifamily landlords aren’t able to collect rent from lower-income renters. In a way, it’s a tale of two cities, sources said.Documentary filmmaker Billy Corben called the push for tech “the latest real estate hustle” in Miami.“There is a commercial real estate depression happening right now,” said Corben, who’s known for the “Cocaine Cowboys” and “Screwball” documentaries. “No one wants to say the D word, especially down here where everything is about spinning reality. But the reality is you have one of the poorest cities in America and its residents and business owners are crying out for real and immediate help, without any response from their government.”Moving’s easy. Living’s harder. Let’s assume Big Tech does make the big move to Miami. Will the city be equipped to integrate it?Transportation has long been a big issue for South Florida. Brightline, a train that runs from downtown Miami to West Palm Beach, is planning an expansion, as is Tri-Rail, a more affordable commuter rail option.Suarez said that it was hard to predict what transportation requirements would be in a remote-work world, and pointed to Miami’s investment in walkable neighborhoods.David Goldberg, general partner at Alpaca VC (formerly Corigin Ventures) noted that the cities attracting companies — Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach — are all far apart from each other, preventing the kind of cluster that tech firms love.He also made reference to the area’s more easygoing ways as a potential hurdle.“Is there a hard-charging hustlers mentality?” he said. “Or is it a bit slower, less ambitious, potentially shady?” A thin talent pipeline is another concern: “You don’t have the Stanfords, MITs and Berkeleys churning out entrepreneur talent,” said the University of Miami graduate. Still, Goldberg made the jump to the city with his wife in August. He’s working out of a private office at the LAB Miami, one of the first startup hubs. When asked where his partners are based, he responded, “I don’t really know what that means anymore. I’m in Miami. Ryan [Freedman] is in Aspen. Aubrie [Pagano] is usually in New York, but she’s in Brazil right now.”He added he’s been checking in on the tech scene in South Florida every couple of years, waiting for the inflection point. In 2014, he met with “everybody important” within 24 hours. “Now, I get introduced to five or six a day,” he said.Though business leaders are promoting the pool of local talent, it’s also no longer necessary to recruit locally. Oringer and his business partner are launching Pareto Holdings to invest in startups that will be based in Miami — “whatever based means these days,” he said. He envisions a combination of remote and office workers, and said it will likely be much easier to hire remotely.“I cannot imagine we’ll snap our fingers and work in our headquarters again,” he added.Cometh the hourSuarez’s powers as mayor are limited, and when he proposed becoming a strong mayor in 2018, Miami residents trounced the measure, leaving the city commission and the city manager with most of the clout. (There are 34 municipalities in Miami-Dade County, 31 in Broward and 39 in Palm Beach County. Suarez is mayor of just one city.)That legislative weakness, according to attorney David Winker, could see Suarez’s push to bring companies over backfire.“By not having a strong mayor, you have the tension that Miami’s open for business, but when you get here, you have to deal with a commission that may not be open for you to do business,” Winker said, referring to the ongoing battle between the popular Little Havana nightclub Ball and Chain and the city.Businesses relocating to the city of Miami, for example, could be eligible for tax breaks promoted by business development agencies that include the Beacon Council. In some cases, those incentives packages are subject to approval by the Miami-Dade County Commission, or in the case of those offered by the DDA, subject to approval by the DDA’s board. Suarez can only veto decisions made by the Miami City Commission, which does not offer incentives.“The mayor is a mascot in the head coach’s office. By charter, he does not have a lot of official power,” Corben said. “Ultimately, the buck stops with the commission, and the buck stops with the bureaucracy. The moment any of these people out west have to come out here and have to deal with someone in government, not Suarez, they will head right back for the hills.” Condo market consultant Peter Zalewski cautioned against buying into the hype. “Politicians sell a dream and a vision,” Zalewski said. “The problem is he [Suarez] doesn’t have the juice to be able to pull this off.” Still, there’s no denying the astounding success of Suarez’s PR blitz.Aaron Gordon, a partner at Schwartz Media Strategies, described the last two months as “rocket fuel” for the city’s corporate prospects.“It took a bold, forward-looking mayor with a Twitter handle to open the floodgates,” Gordon said. “Francis has become the face of Miami’s tech scene in the span of four weeks, the same way Dwyane Wade was the face of the Miami Heat and Dan Marino the face of the Miami Dolphins.”Suarez, who is the son of former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, is quick to respond, lighthearted and accessible. He’s what business leaders wish their government leaders would be like, Gordon said.On a recent podcast, Suarez said that any city that is not competing to grow its tech community is being negligent toward its residents who could benefit from high-paying tech jobs.“I want to seize the momentum. You don’t always get opportunities like this,” he told TRD. For the tech community, it’s the gesture that counts.Some say it’s almost irrelevant that he doesn’t manage the city’s budget, or that he can’t direct who gets awarded what contracts, while others point out his power to sway the Miami commission and his connections to major developers.Nitin Motwani, the developer of Miami Worldcenter and a DDA board member, said the incentives wouldn’t make or break a company’s decision to move to Miami.“It’s not a life changing amount of money with these companies,” Motwani said. “What the incentive does is exactly what we wanted to do. It reinforces our message: How can we help? We want to show you that you’re important to us. People are so excited to come to a place like Miami knowing the community is embracing them.” Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink
The tenant’s argument relies in part on an executive order Gov. Andrew Cuomo penned last spring after the state legislature gave him new authority to combat the pandemic. The May 7 order mandated that no landlord or landlord agent could solicit or receive fees for late payment of rent from March 20 to Aug. 20.From mid-May to July, the plaintiffs allege, Carnegie Management repeatedly threatened to report their rental arrears to credit bureaus. A damaged credit report, the tenants point out, can impair their financial future, such as by hindering their ability to buy a house or get a job. (A 2015 city law prevents employers from seeking or using workers’ or job applicants’ credit histories, except in very limited circumstances.)The suit asserts that Carnegie Management emailed one of the plaintiffs, promising “distasteful” legal action and spelling out how damaging a bad credit report could be.“We will litigate till judgement and full recovery of our justified rent, legal fees and potentially taking back possession of our apartment,” the email allegedly read. “It will undoubtedly adversely affect your credit rating for a long time, which is pretty costly in the process of life.”After Carnegie Management’s collection attempts failed, tenants received notices from third-party collection agency NCSPlus Incorporated, their lawsuit claims.Carnegie Management’s Isaac Jacobowitz said the firm has worked with tenants and offered financial relief during the pandemic.Some tenants, he said, were not satisfied with the relief offers, and are attempting to leverage the state’s eviction protections to their advantage. Jacobowitz said one of the plaintiffs vacated the building more than a year ago, sublet the apartment, but has not been paying rent, while another tenant was able to pay but chose not to.“Those tenants who steadfastly refused to pay or negotiate and/or ignored communications, were sent to a collection agency,” said Jacobowitz. “It is standard practice of landlords to refer tenants who owe arrears to collection agencies, but we only do it as a last resort, if we are unable to reach an amicable agreement with a tenant or former tenant.”Jack Lester, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said that even before Covid, retaliating against tenants for organizing is illegal.“The tenants got together to communicate, organize and bargain collectively with the landlord,” said Lester. “Rather than engage them that way, and negotiate, he’s seeking to ruin their lives.”In 2019, the state legislature banned so-called tenant blacklists, which landlords use to see housing court records of people seeking apartments. However, the law is enforced only by the attorney general’s office and there is no way to tell if a landlord uses a blacklist to reject a potential tenant.Credit reports can also lead landlords to turn away rental applicants. Lester said he hopes lawmakers such as state Sen. Julia Salazar will take up the issue and beef up enforcement of the 2019 law, which he likened to “Swiss cheese.”“The legislature has provided tenants with the right to withhold rent [in some cases] but leaves tenants vulnerable to having their credit destroyed,” said Lester. “It’s a right with no means to carry out that right.”Contact Georgia Kromrei Message* Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsbushwickJulia SalazarReal Estate LawsuitsRental Market Email Address* Full Name* Clockwise from left: 248 McKibbin Street, 586 Hart Street and 345 Eldert Street in Brooklyn (Google Maps)Tenants are seeking class-action status in a lawsuit alleging that Carnegie Management engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices at four of its Brooklyn buildings.Five tenants at 345 Eldert Street allege that in retaliation for their organizing and not paying rent, Carnegie reported the unpaid debts and fees to debt collectors and credit bureaus. The case, filed Wednesday, argues that tenants at 342 Eldert Street, 586 Hart Street, 248 McKibbin Street and 15 Judge Street in Bushwick experienced the same treatment.The debt which Carnegie allegedly reported included late fees and penalties, inflating the totals that marred the tenants’ credit histories. The lawsuit alleges that the “inaccurate” reporting of rental arrears, a practice barred by New York’s general business law, caused “lasting and permanent financial consequences.”ADVERTISEMENTRead moreNew York halts evictions statewide due to coronavirusRetail landlords create blacklist of tenants who aren’t paying rent
Knotel CEO Amol Sarva and Newmark CEO Barry Gosin (Sarva via Sasha Maslov; Gosin via Newmark)A bankruptcy court has approved the sale of flex-office provider Knotel to brokerage Newmark.Newmark officials said they expected the deal to close quickly, Commercial Observer reported. The brokerage provided $20 million in debtor-in-possession financing after Knotel filed for bankruptcy in January, and its stalking-horse bid of $70 million brought it closer to acquiring the coworking company.“Flexible workspace has been one of the fastest-growing areas of commercial real estate, and we expect this adaptive model will play an important role in the future of our industry,” Newmark CEO Barry Gosin told the publication.Read moreKnotel files for bankruptcy, set to be bought by NewmarkKnotel’s CEO cheered WeWork’s fall but he’s got challenges tooLawsuits mounting against Knotel Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Share via Shortlink Email Address* While it is not clear how many Knotel locations will remain open, a filing with the New York Department of Labor indicated that Newmark plans to employ “many, if not most” of the 106 Knotel staffers in New York City.Newmark was an early investor in Knotel, and Gosin has defended the flex-office provider’s business model.But problems at the company emerged before the pandemic, as leasing fell and vacancies rose. Broader questions over whether the firm could achieve profitability — and comparisons of its business model to that of WeWork — persisted.While Sarva said he expected Knotel to turn a profit by the end of 2020, it instead lost about $49 million in the first half of that year and owed vendors $84 million, Business Insider reported.The onset of the pandemic brought more problems for Knotel, as offices emptied out and more companies announced shifts to hybrid work-from-home models. The firm drew a number of lawsuits from vendors who accused Knotel of halting rent payments in the wake of the pandemic.[CO] — Georgia KromreiContact the author Tags Co-workingCommercial Real EstateKnotelNewmark