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Megan Walker

With the ongoing worker shortage in the wake of the pandemic, many employers are opening up their application process to under-aged workers. This article lays out some key considerations to keep in mind in order to avoid legal violations associated with hiring minors in the workplace. READ MORE

Jerome G. Grzeca

While COVID-19 has adversely affected hospitality industry revenues due to a decrease in travel by potential customers, it has also affected hotels' ability to maintain an adequate work force. The H-2B program allowing U.S. employers to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to hire foreign nationals for temporary non-agricultural jobs may enable hotels to address temporary staff shortages. READ MORE

Robert  O'Halloran

The lodging and hospitality industry and its owners and operators have a service orientation that demands constant interaction with guests, employees, vendors and those in the host communities where they operate. Lodging operators need to be aware and vigilant of the changing landscape of their legal environment due to COVID-19. READ MORE

John Mavros

Many hotel employers were forced to lay off staff when shelter-in-place orders grounded travel and tourism. Now hoteliers face a host of new legal obligations. In an effort to put laid off workers in the same position they were pre-pandemic, a number of municipalities and states have enacted "right to recall" laws that require that employers offer re-opened positions to previously laid off staff before hiring new employees. READ MORE

Michael Wildes

The Biden administration's rescission of a series of presidential proclamations that restricted international travel into the United States from multiple countries following the outbreak of COVID-19 will likely offer immediate benefits to hotels, restaurants, and the travel industry in general. After almost 18 months of closure, is America really open for business? READ MORE

Kenneth Rosen

The hospitality industry has been plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic continues to impact occupancy rates and conference bookings, hotels have a number of restructuring options available to avoid foreclosure. This article highlights the best practices for engaging with lenders to explore available restructuring options in the event of prolonged financial distress. READ MORE

Doug Ramsthel

The hotel and hospitality industries were hard hit by the pandemic and one of the outcomes has been a reluctance for employees to return to work, exacerbated by a nationwide labor shortage. Workers desire higher wages and more benefits that meet their major life concerns including health and caregiver coverage. To remain competitive employers, hotels must meet these needs. READ MORE

Peter Dougherty

Holiday travel and dining is coming back in a big way creating an opportunity to capitalize on the rush. This rush comes with myriad challenges from enforcing vaccine mandates, labor and ingredient shortages and increased costs across the business. This article describes six technology-focused suggestions to keep your business booming through the holidays and well into 2022. READ MORE

Bob Butler

Even the smallest problem can snowball into a major disaster if no one speaks up about it. Rather than fostering a workplace where employees are afraid to mention issues they notice, savvy leaders are encouraging a speak-up culture that ensures the company can get ahead of problems. READ MORE

David Sherwyn

Should hospitality employers mandate COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of their employees' return to work? Rising above the political and social debates raging today in America, the authors of this article make a compelling case for hotel owners and operators to demonstrate leadership by requiring their employees to be vaccinated for the good of the hospitality industry and the Nation. We also provide a roadmap for the possible legal pitfalls. READ MORE

Paul Bond

In this article, Holland & Knight partner Paul Bond analyzes the likely real-world impact of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) on hotel operations. If adopted widely, guests will want top quality hotels to add an immersive, connected experience. Legal issues abound, alongside new opportunities for engagement with digital natives. READ MORE

Barry Shuster

If you thought labor issues in this environment couldn't be more difficult, enter the revised Department of Labor (DOL) "dual job" and "80/20" rules, which are effective December 31. They likely will create significant compliance challenges for businesses that take the tip credit. Many operators may have to decide whether to eliminate tipping, assign cleaning and side work to dedicated low-wage workers, or figure out how to track the time tipped staff spend on tasks that are not directly "tipped producing". READ MORE

Steven D. Weber

COVID-19 (coronavirus) will have a lasting impact on the hospitality industry. In some cases, coronavirus may alter language that hospitality actors utilize in contracts. Those contracts may need to be amended to reflect the impact of coronavirus or those contracts, as they stand, may be interpreted in light of coronavirus. One aspect of contracts that may be impacted by coronavirus is force majeure provisions within hotel management agreements. READ MORE

Ashley Halberda

With the ever-changing COVID-related laws, regulations and mandates, hotel employers are finding themselves in court defending COVID-related employment litigation claims. How can hotel employers stay in compliance and avoid a COVID-related lawsuit? READ MORE

Lonnie Giamela

One unforeseen consequence of the pandemic, particularly at hotels, is staffing shortages. These staffing shortages have resulted in hotels requesting existing exempt employees to take on more duties and responsibilities of non-exempt employees. Such efforts may backfire and put hotel employers at risk to wage-and-hour litigation. READ MORE

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Coming up in February 2022...

Social Media: Essential Interaction

As important as social media has been to hotels as a way to engage guests and drive direct bookings, it is becoming even more essential for hotels to implement a comprehensive social media strategy. All the major platforms have users numbering in the hundreds of millions - and in some cases, billions of users - so it is imperative for hotels to have an established presence on those massive channels. The goals of social media outreach are relatively clear-cut - identify and interact with current and prospective guests; create a brand voice that resonates with your target demographic; promote products, services, special offers, and contests; and acquire market data to support your business analytics. This is accomplished by creating imaginative and shareable content in order to give your brand maximum visibility, generate bookings, and keep guests interacting with your business throughout the entire customer journey. The February Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are successfully executing social media strategies for the benefit of their operations.