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Christine Samsel

Looking to renovate? Make sure you consider the ADA when doing so. In this article, Christine Samsel, Jonathan Sandler and Allison Gambill of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck walk through ADA compliance considerations for renovations. They provide guidance on how to determine which Title III ADA standards apply to which portions of your facility, including how renovations may impact compliance requirements and common ADA compliance problem areas. This article builds upon their prior articles related to (among other things) website accessibility issues, including guidelines for making your website reservation system accessible to the disabled. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

Airbnb, thought by some to pose an existential threat to hotels and resorts, continues to compete with them for market share. That being said, the off-the-charts growth that the short-term rental company experienced in years past seems to have leveled off, and it looks as though mainstream lodging has weathered the Airbnb storm. But how? With an eye toward an ever-expanding network of regulations, both here and abroad, that not only limit Airbnb’s inventory, but also hold its hosts accountable to hotel-like standards, hoteliers have staved off their (exaggerated) demise. In doing so, hotels and resorts have emerged stronger and more innovative than ever. Read on...

Bruce Liebman

Most of the projected growth in the Caribbean region is expected to come from foreign visitor spending and the United States has remained the most important supplier of tourists to the Caribbean region. However, what happens when these foreign visitors return to the United States and bring lawsuits against the resort in their home states? Defending lawsuits throughout the 50 states is financially and logistically burdensome. This article offers best practices for hotels in the Caribbean to protect themselves from claims brought in the US, preemptive measures and how to get the lawsuits moved to their home turf. Read on...

John Mavros

Wage and hour class actions are one of the biggest financial risks to employers. They can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees and could require a multimillion dollar settlement. Employers should protect themselves from this risk by complying with federal and state wage and hour laws. However, the recent US Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems gives employers another critical line of protection: an arbitration agreement with a class action waiver. The Supreme Court affirmed that class action waivers are enforceable and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act. What is a class action waiver and how can your hotel capitalize on this ruling? Read on...

Michael Starr

By mid-year, pay-equity statutes will be in effect in over 15 states, including key hospitality states like California, Illinois and Massachusetts. Other states will be coming on board to this trend soon. These statutes will force hotels to justify pay disparities across jobs that were never before regarded as comparable – like, possibly, kitchen stewards and room attendants. Unless hotel employers start preparing now to analyze and justify pay disparities across job classifications, they may confront large and unexpected legal liabilities. This article explains this emerging trend and gives guidance on how to prepare. Read on...

Christine Samsel

When does your hotel remodel trigger an obligation to become ADA compliant? From ensuring the correct number of disabled-accessible guest rooms to pool and spa accessibility, attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Christine Samsel, Jonathan Sandler and Nick Santucci, address key questions and provide answers on making sure your updates are ADA-compliant. Read more in their latest article... Read on...

Steven D. Weber

When disaster strikes in the hospitality industry or something bad happens, bad publicity almost inevitably follows. A hospitality player might try to take actions to mitigate the impact of this publicity. However, in today's day and age, once the information is out in the news or social media, it may never be erased - or forgotten. The information may sit there for years misinforming and causing damage to a brand. When does publicity cross the line from being merely damaging information about a hospitality industry player - or any business - to information that they might seek to rectify through a lawsuit. Read on...

Tara K. Gorman

Viva Las Vegas - "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" - not anymore, at least not when it comes to hotel security in the aftermath of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States by an individual. Hotel owners, operators and brands are taking a hard look at their security policies and procedures with an eye on balancing the safety and privacy of their guests, and safety of members of the community surrounding their hotel, with the comfort and "hospitable" environment that guests expect in hotels. This article will explore whether the Las Vegas shooting will significantly change the way hotel owners, operators and brands approach their security procedures. Read on...

John Mavros

Local legislatures in states, counties, and cities across America are implementing new Paid Sick Leave laws to build a healthy workforce, but employers have no simple task in making sense of them. What is the difference between an accrual cap, a use cap, and a rolling cap? What are the pros and cons of the accrual method versus the frontload method? How does a PTO plan interact with new Paid Sick Leave laws? Check out this article for guidance from employment attorneys to help understand and successfully implement these viral laws. Read on...

Michael Pryor

Dialing 911 will soon became easier for guests staying at hotels because of a bill signed by President Trump on Feb. 16, 2018 called, Kari's Law. Michael Pryor, shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, dissects Kari's Law and how its requirements apply to businesses that operate or manage multi-line telephone systems, including, of course, hotel owners and operators. Technically, the law became part of the Federal Communications Act and in particular, its enforcement provisions. So what is required? Read more... Read on...

William Shepherd

Marriott recently announced the implementation of global anti-human trafficking policies and a training program for all employees. The company's efforts highlight the growing national and international trend toward requiring companies to proactively weed out trafficking from their business and supply chains. Both domestic and international laws are making fighting trafficking a business imperative for hotels who want to avoid brand and liability risks. Read on...

Dana Kravetz

No contemporary workplace challenge is more immediate for employers than sexual assault and harassment. Such wrongdoing, once veiled in secrecy, denial and inattention, is now receiving the consideration it deserves, thanks, in part, to the #MeToo movement. Employers from every business imaginable have taken notice and are making an effort to eliminate inappropriate behavior on the job. Still, there is much work to be done. For their part, hotel and resort owners, operators and management face a particularly acute crisis with respect to sexual misconduct in the workplace, and must take affirmative steps to address this growing epidemic which uniquely impacts their industry. Read on...

Steven D. Weber

A cyberattack, a natural disaster, an injured guest - bad things can happen in the hospitality industry. Hospitality industry players should not have their heads in the sand when it comes to bad events. Instead, hospitality industry players should take steps to prepare for the bad event and practice their response to the bad event. This preparation might include training, preparing a response team, and understanding any legal obligations that may apply in light of any such bad event. Aside from risking bad publicity, a failure to prepare may have legal ramifications. Preparation may mitigate those risks. Read on...

Christine Samsel

Is your hotel website accessible to those with disabilities? If you don't think this will impact your property, think again. More than 800 federal lawsuits claiming lack of website accessibility were filed in 2017, including many against hospitality companies and hotels. Christine Samsel and Jonathan Sandler, shareholders at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, dive into what the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) has to do with websites and why the hospitality industry is particularly susceptible to individuals filing claims against them. Read on...

Josias Dewey

Earlier this year, the travel company Webjet announced it was in the process of converting a blockchain pilot it had developed into a commercial grade application. The blockchain-based application will be able to provide accurate information about hotel inventory, on a real-time basis, for hotels around the world. This article will discuss these and other possible use cases important to the hospitality industry, including their business justification. Beyond the explanation of use cases, the article highlights several legal considerations that hotel counsel will need to confront and consider as the technology is deployed, including intellectual property, privacy laws in the United States and the European Union and FinCen's current guidance on convertible virtual currencies and the potential relationship between money laundering and blockchain-based loyalty programs. Read on...

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Coming up in July 2019...

Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program. Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.