Library Archives

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

Steven D. Weber

There is a growing shortage of qualified and skilled hospitality employees. This shortage may lead hospitality brands to hire from competitors. While the idea of hiring a skilled employee with access to a competitor's information may be tempting, hiring from a competitor may have negative repercussions for the employee, the employer, and for the hospitality brand that is hiring them. To mitigate the risk of such a repercussion, a hospitality brand may wish to consider the below when hiring from a competitor. READ MORE

Dana Kravetz

Hoteliers may ask: "isn't cannabis illegal under the federal law?" The short answer is yes, but that is a qualified response at best. As the scale tips toward marijuana becoming legal throughout the country, pot continues to be against the law federally. The resulting dichotomy between the relaxed view of cannabis and its extracts at the state level and the current federal position on marijuana is an interesting one. According to the Controlled Substance Act, by which the federal government regulates drugs, there is no recognized difference between cannabis, cocaine, heroin or LSD. Likewise, the CSA does not distinguish between the medical and recreational use of marijuana. So technically, pot is illegal and users (even those with valid prescriptions for the substance) can be arrested, convicted and sentenced to jail under the federal law as it stands. READ MORE

Leon Fresco

There are two main challenges the hospitality industry faces from the new Administration's immigration policies - increased labor costs and decreased demand. With regard to labor, policies are likely to be promulgated that may remove millions of non-U.S. citizen workers from the U.S. workforce and make it far more challenging for the hospitality industry to obtain the labor needed operate its facilities. With regard to demand, policies have already been put in place, and are likely to continue to expand, that will reduce the demand from foreign visitors to enter the United States and consume hospitality resources. READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2021...

Sales & Marketing: Playing the Long Game

During an economic downturn, it is tempting to slash marketing budgets to make up for lost revenue. But smart hoteliers play the long game, knowing that companies who stay engaged with their customers will be the first to benefit from a rebound. Therefore, now is the time to renew and revamp sales and marketing strategies in order to be ready for what lies ahead. For example, this is a perfect time to refresh website content, social media and SEO.  The same for hotel blogs where content can be updated to give customers inspirational ideas as they begin to travel and meet again. Multimedia assets should also be revised with new photo/video shoots that provide accurate information about how setups, room configurations, and onsite offerings have changed to accommodate safer meetings and social distancing. The June Hotel Business Review will focus on the sales and marketing strategies that some hotels are adopting in anticipation of a recovery in 2021.