Editorial Board   

Mr. Barth

Stephen Barth

Founder, HospitalityLawyer.com

Stephen Barth, author of Hospitality Law and coauthor of Restaurant Law Basics, is an attorney, the founder of HospitalityLawyer.com, the annual Hospitality Law Conference series, and the Global Congress on Legal, Safety, and Security Solutions in Travel. As a professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, he teaches courses in hospitality law and leadership. He has over twenty years of experience in hospitality operations, including line positions, management, and ownership. Professor Barth is a founding member of the Hospitality Industry Bar Association. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas. He is also a mediator and a strong proponent for alternative dispute resolution. In addition to being a resource for travel and hospitality press, Professor Barth and his work have been quoted in the New York Times, USAToday, and the Houston Business Journal among others. Professor Barth's articles on legal and leadership issues have appeared in Lodging Hospitality, Hotel and Motel Management, CHEERS, NightClub and Bar, and HospitalityLawyer.com. He speaks regularly on many issues for the travel, lodging, restaurant, club, and health care industries. His presentations focus on emotional intelligence, social intelligence, positive leadership techniques, and methods for preventing liability in the hospitality industry. He assisted the National Restaurant Association in developing its Safety and Security Seminar and its Responsible Service of Alcohol program. Other presentations developed by Stephen include STEM the Tide of Litigation, Positive Leadership for Positive Performance, A Model for Reducing Worker's Compensation Costs for the Hospitality Industry, Enhancing Your Presentation Effectiveness, Managing Your Emotional Energy, and Legal Updates for Lodging, Restaurant and Club Operations. Professor Barth earned his Law degree, Master of Arts in Communications, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Economics from Texas Tech University. In 1995 he was recognized by the City of Houston for his accomplishments as a faculty member at the University of Houston, and in 1996 he received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence at the Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston. In 1998 Professor Barth was awarded the University Teaching Excellence Award, the highest recognition of teaching bestowed by the University of Houston. In 2000 he received the University of Houston's Distance Education Award. In 2001 he launched HospitalityLawyer.com, and in 2002 he initiated the annual Hospitality Law Conference series. In 2003 Professor Barth created the Electronic Journal of Hospitality Legal, Safety, and Security Research. In 2007 he was the recipient of the Hilton College Outstanding Teacher award. In 2009, he received the Hilton College “HVS” Research Award. In 2011 he launched the Global Congress on Legal, Safety, and Security Solutions in Travel.

Mr. Barth can be contacted at 713-963-8800 or SBarth@HospitalityLawyer.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.