Library Archives

Christine Samsel

What do employers need to know when considering whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines? This article discusses the impact of the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization on employers' ability to mandate vaccines; addresses the interaction of federal and proposed state legislation on the issue; discusses recent EEOC guidance on vaccine issues; and outlines a myriad of other considerations employers must take into account in implementing any COVID-19 vaccine program. READ MORE

Emily Adams

Civil suits against hotel and motel chains for allegedly benefiting financially from human trafficking are on the rise across the country. On February 5, 2020, the December 2019 request for 38 human trafficking lawsuits pending in 12 states to be consolidated into one federal case was denied. As a result, lawsuits against hotel and motel entity defendants alleging violations of the Trafficking and Violence Protection Reauthorization Act will proceed in a minimum of 12 district courts in the coming months. READ MORE

J. Drei Munar

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of San Francisco is seeking to help employees who have been laid off, including those in the hospitality industry. In late June, the city's Board of Supervisors passed a new ordinance that guarantees reemployment for certain workers who were laid off, creating a temporary right to reemployment when covered employers seek to hire workers for the same positions previously held by employees who were laid off for COVID-19 reasons. READ MORE

Jennifer Smith Thomas

Over the past few months, COVID-19 has ravaged the economy, leaving hospitality industry feeling especially compromised. As travel resumes, hotel ownership and management are left with various and continually evolving premises liability concerns. Among those concerns, owners must take precautions to avoid personal injury liability for negligent exposure claims, and employment liability claims. READ MORE

Christine Samsel

Should employers do drug tests, and what are the implications of a positive test? Is it preferable to implement a single, blanket policy, or vary the policy depending on employees' roles within the organization? Are employers required to accommodate an employee's use of medical marijuana? Attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck discuss the employment implications of cannabis/marijuana for leaders in the hospitality industry. READ MORE

William A. Brewer III

The hotel industry is facing an extended crisis. As governments impose travel restrictions and hotel guests cancel trips or avoid booking them altogether, the hotel industry worldwide is collectively experiencing dire economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with plummeting occupancy rates, hotel performance has been negatively impacted on an unprecedented global scale. As the global economy enters a recession that many predict will be as bad as the downturn in 2007-2008, it is likely that hotel owners and operators will, once again, experience conflicts as their disparate economic interests collide. This article explores the conflicts of interest between owners and operators. READ MORE

Jeremy Kriegel

In a post COVID-19 world, it is critical for brands in the hospitality sector to engage consumers in a manner that provides a high likelihood of positive experiences, engenders loyalty, fosters referrals and return stays. Advances in digital media and artificial intelligence (AI) offer new ways for brands to deliver and enhance these experiences. By obtaining intellectual property (IP) protection for technical achievements and differentiating service, brands can develop a stable of assets to help lawfully keep competitors at bay. This article discusses effective techniques for identifying opportunities and strategies to seek and obtain IP protection for inventions relating to digital media and AI that enhance the guest experience. READ MORE

Travis Crabtree

At the beginning of 2020, the accommodations industry had been experiencing steady growth for a couple of years. However, with the introduction of COVID-19 there has been a very clear slowdown. Some hotels have been forced to cease operation while others have cut down significantly on staff. Whatever the case may be, there are still a few things those in the industry can be doing. Hotels can take cues from those who survived the 2008 recession, take time to create a response plan in the event this happens in the future and plenty more. This article will provide tips about what you can be doing now in the face of COVID-19. READ MORE

Christine Samsel

Christine Samsel, a shareholder, and Jesse Sutz, an associate with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, provide "tools of the trade" to assist employers in crafting legally compliant business expense reimbursement policies. While many states have no specific requirements and default to federal law standards, the article outlines the more stringent requirements in various states including California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts. The article dives into remote work considerations, especially now with the COVID-19 epidemic and how employers must pay particular attention to expense reimbursement requirements for remote workers. The article also discusses risk for employers and tips to avoid liability. Read more… READ MORE

Rebecca King

In 2019, two California appellate courts issued separate decisions regarding employee on-duty meal periods that could greatly impact hotel operations in the Golden State. The Naranjo decision covered the specificity of on-duty meal period agreements and "substantial compliance" with the controlling state law, while the Ferra decision considered how to calculate the hour of premium pay owed to employees when employers fail to provide a compliant meal or rest period. Given these decisions, it is important for California hotel employers to understand these cases, their respective impacts and how they can be sure to comply with the new changes in law. READ MORE

Christine Samsel

Many employers are implementing or expanding paid parental leave policies. Christine Samsel, shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, reviews the challenges of implementing and administering such policies, from avoiding discrimination and gender stereotyping to differentiating between pregnancy/childbirth-related medical leave, on the one hand, and baby bonding and parental leave, on the other hand. Her article also provides recommendations for employers on considerations in auditing or expanding existing leave policies. Read more… READ MORE

Dana Kravetz

Along with real property, equipment, furniture, fixtures and inventory is an oftentimes overlooked asset class: your hotel's intellectual property. No less valuable than these more tangible assets, your IP-brand name, proprietary systems, trade dress and unique designs, to name a few-has untold economic value that serves as a safeguard against infringement, increases the worth of your business, and can be exploited if and when you seek to sell, in whole or in part. But this is only true if your IP portfolio is properly protected by way of trademarks, copyrights and patents, depending, of course, on the particularities and nature of the IP in question. Intrigued? Read on. READ MORE

John Mavros

Currently, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Many other states are projected to follow suit. Under federal law, however, marijuana remains illegal as a Schedule I drug pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act. The ever-changing landscape on legalized marijuana makes it difficult for hotel employers to comply with both state and federal law and caused many to question whether their policies and practices should be revised. This article discusses the potential pros and cons of including marijuana in a zero tolerance alcohol and drug policy. READ MORE

Lindsay Ayers

Last year alone, many well-known hospitality companies across the country paid multi-millions as a result of wrongful termination claims filed against them. Why is this? How can hotels and restaurants in the hospitality field ensure they are following recent and ever-changing laws and educating management and subordinate employees on the hotel's policies that comply with these laws? This article shares tips to help guide hotels in taking the proper steps before terminating an employee. READ MORE

Dana Kravetz

Legislation is being passed worldwide that seeks to protect consumer privacy; most notably, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Hoteliers, these laws may well apply to you, even if you don't have any properties located in the Golden State or EU. Long story short, for those in the hospitality space, If your bookings include CA or EU resident, you must be mindful of how guests' personal information and data are collected, processed, shared and retained, and poised to implement comprehensive data privacy programs at an organization-wide level to ensure legal compliance. As for the latter, if you haven't done so already, the time is now. READ MORE

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Coming up in May 2021...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Now More Than Ever

One theory about the pandemic states that future viruses are more likely to originate and flourish due to global warming. If true, the urgency to accelerate the adoption of eco-friendly practices is greater than ever. Of course, there are many other reasons to create a sustainable operation, including reduced utility costs, savings on operational costs, healthier and happier guests and employees, and positive publicity, marketing and community goodwill. Many hotels are introducing innovative programs into their operations - from recycling bins in guest rooms to starting a roof top garden. Other hotels are using eco-friendly cleaning products, reusing towels and sheets, sourcing locally grown food, supporting the use of electric vehicles, and permitting guests to refill their reusable water bottles with clean, filtered water. Finally, some hotels are encouraging guests to get involved by making it possible for them to participate in local community clean-up projects. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.