November Architecture & Design: Expecting the Unexpected

Trending articles this week...

David Chitlik

Assessors across the thousands of taxing jurisdictions in the United States are calculating the value of hotels for tax purposes. Often the most complicated part of determining the value of a property is how to include capital expenses. This problem is worsened by the lack of information assessors usually have on such expenses and projects, and the complicated rules around brand standards. In this article, Altus Group's hospitality tax specialists explore how to manage these situations through communication and information sharing through their combined seventy years of experience in property tax. Read on...

Zoe Connolly

Hiring great people is critical to the success of a hotel or hotel tech company. It takes considerable effort and money to find employees that are the right blend of cultural and experiential fit. But hiring is only one part of the human resources equation. After going to great lengths to find the right employees, it is just as critical to keep them. This article looks at the ways many hotels are building employee engagement to increase retention, focusing on both obvious initiatives (like proper pay) and newer approaches (such as points programs). Read on...

Bernard Ellis

A labor rule was set to go into effect during the final days of the Obama Administration that would have called for almost doubling the minimum salary an employee must earn before he or she becomes exempt from overtime pay. Owing much to pressure from our industry, which would have been significantly affected, the rule was prevented from taking effect by the courts and summarily shelved. For those workers who were affected, especially those who were extended the raise then had it taken away, it was not only breaking news, but heartbreaking news, and made for low morale and heightened distrust. What now? Read on...

Dana Kravetz

Hoteliers in the Golden State better pay heed to a recent decision by the California Supreme Court and think twice before neglecting to pay workers for routine, albeit trivial, duties that are handled off the clock. The ruling in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation severely limits a hotel or resort operator's ability to rely on the so-called "de minimis defense," an argument that California employers have, for years, successfully asserted in wage and hour litigation brought by employees seeking compensation for brief tasks undertaken pre- or post-shift. As the author explains, hospitality employers, in the wake of Troester, are encouraged to leverage available technology to capture all of the time their employees actually work on any given day. Read on...

Coming up in December 2018...

Hotel Law: New Administration - New Policies

In a business as large as a hotel and in a field as broad as the law, there are innumerable legal issues which affect every area of a hotel's operation. For a hotel, the primary legal focus includes their restaurant, bar, meeting, convention and spa areas of their business, as well as employee relations. Hotels are also expected to protect their guests from criminal harm and to ensure the confidentiality of their personal identity information. These are a few of the daily legal matters hotels are concerned with, but on a national scale, there are also a number of pressing issues that the industry at large must address. For example, with a new presidential administration, there could be new policies on minimum wage and overtime rules, and a revised standard for determining joint employer status. There could also be legal issues surrounding new immigration policies like the H-2B guest-worker program (used by some hotels and resorts for seasonal staffing), as well as the uncertain legal status of some employees who fall under the DACA program. There are also major legal implications surrounding the online gaming industry. With the growing popularity of internet gambling and daily fantasy sports betting, more traditional resort casinos are also seeking the legal right to offer online gambling. Finally, the legal status of home-sharing companies like Airbnb continues to make news. Local jurisdictions are still trying to determine how to regulate the short-term apartment rental market, and the outcome will have consequences for the hotel industry. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.