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Bret Cohen

The year 2020 was transformational for the hospitality and travel industry as millions of employees were furloughed or lost their jobs. In 2021, there is potential to revitalize those same industries as vaccination rollout continues across the globe. Bringing those employees back to work, and recruiting new hires, requires attention to health concerns and discrimination laws on the state and federal level that are unique to COVID-19. READ MORE

David Camhi

Regardless of the changes it has gone through, the all-inclusive industry still remains the last frontier, to be explored and conquered by the major hotel brands. There are still many obstacles to be overcome, but winds of change are blowing, and very soon we will see dramatic changes in the segment. David Camhi, partner and attorney at Berger Singerman law firm provides some insight... READ MORE

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

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Coming up in July 2021...

Hotel Spa: Immense Transformation

There is no doubt that the Hotel Spa industry is undergoing an immense transformation as a result of the pandemic. New cleanliness standards for facilities, new safety standards for employees, and new ways of interacting with guests are now the New Normal, and will be for the foreseeable future. Given that some former patrons might be reluctant to return due to safety concerns, some spas are offering contactless experiences that utilize high-tech technologies to address wellness concerns like sleep, stress, pain, and immunity. Other spas are expanding their services to include life coaches, osteopaths, psychologists, and nutrition counselors in an effort to help their guests achieve a balanced lifestyle. Some spas are tapping into traditional Asian rituals to create programs such as sound healing, chakra balancing, and intuitive energy reading. Other programs emphasize re-connecting with Nature and have developed outdoor treatments such as Star Bathing, Feet in the Creek, and Treehouse meditations. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotel spas are doing to promote and manage their operations so guests can safely return for their health, wellness and beauty treatments.