Monthly Archives November 2015

Starwood Says Malware Found on Some Hotel Point-of-Sale Systems

Starwood customers are urged to keep an eye on their credit financial data. Starwood said the affected point-of-sale systems have been compromised at the restaurants, gift shops and other places in the hotels, but did not affect its reservation or rewards program systems. The malware found on its systems has enabled cyber attackers to access financial data belonging to customers at 54 of its hotel locations which may cause serious issues for their customers. Reuters reports the event.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said Friday that the point-of-sale systems at 54 of its hotels in North America had been infected with a malware designed to collect payment card data.

A third-party investigation showed that no customer data had been compromised and that the malware “no longer pr...

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New EEOC pregnancy guidance and what the states are doing

New EEOC Pregnancy Guidance’s suggest that employer’s, “go beyond federal non-discrimination requirements.” Building on the new EEOC PDA Guidance’s, several states and cities have equally imposed laws requiring covered employers to provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations as well. It is recommended that employers check their state and local laws for more information. BLR, Susan Schoenfeld, summarizes the new EEOC’s 2015 guidelines and gives some insight into how states are following suit.

In March 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Young v. UPS prompted some changes in how the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) will be applied and interpreted by the EEOC.

At issue in the Young case was that provision of the PDA saying that employers ...
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ADA and FMLA compared: When can employers claim undue hardship?

Increase your organizational efficiency, and compliance with ADA and FMLA awareness. Although the policies overlap in areas making compliance confusing at times, “undue hardship” is one component that is clear.  BLR defines the distinction between the two policies.

The term “undue hardship” refers to unreasonable or excessive expense or inconvenience that would be necessary on the part of an employer to accommodate an employee. Undue hardship is an exception to the employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodation.

Quick multiple choice quiz! An undue hardship exception is available under:
  1. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  2. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  3. Both laws
  4. Neither law

If you picked 2) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you’re correct!

Accommodation...

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OSHA fines Boston Wyndham hotel over staff handling of medical waste

Employers, if you are not listening to your concerned employees, OSHA may be dropping in on you next! An employer’s best defense to OSHA is to ensure they provide a healthy and safe environment for its employees and guests. Proper safety equipment and procedures along with corresponding training and documentation is a must. WCVB 5 Boston shares a recent story in which OSHA dropped in on Boston Wyndham hotel.

Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill Hotel fined $12,000

OSHA is investigating a Boston hotel after staff claims they were forced to regularly deal with bodily fluids and medical waste without proper equipment or training.

BOSTON —The federal agency that polices worker safety has cited a Boston hotel for failing to protect workers when they handle bodily fluids.

Workers have told 5 Inve...

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Coming to terms with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act—Recent challenge at the Supreme Court

Employers should address accommodation issues with pregnant employees in the same manner they do with all other accommodation requests, and evaluate each situation on its own merits. With the ever-changing direction and interpretations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), employers need to stay informed and understand the legal principals surrounding the PDA protections in order to alleviate risk in their organization. BLR, Susan Schoenfeld, outlines some important information you should be familiar with.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) has been around since 1978 when Congress amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, adding a new provision to Title VII. The PDA defines discrimination “because of sex” to include discrimination because of, or on the basis of, pregnancy.

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What are disqualifying events under FMLA and ADA?

Difficult and laborious to manage, FMLA and ADA policies are leading elements in HR legal compliance.  While the number of qualifying events under the two policies outweigh the number of disqualifying events under the same policies, it is essential that employers and HR professionals alike understand what both FMLA and ADA policies deem as disqualifying events. BLR points out the disqualifying events for both policies.

What employee actions (or inactions) are considered disqualifying events under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? A disqualifying event is generally defined as a failure or refusal to provide necessary information. Here are the specific circumstances under the ADA and FMLA.

Disqualifying events under the ADA

1) Failu...

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The FCC is Cracking Down on Hotels’ Wi-Fi Blocking

Plain and simple, Wi-Fi blocking is illegal and the FCC is cracking down on hotels and convention centers breaking the law. With hefty fines being imposed by the FCC and the fines likely to keep climbing, you do not want to be the next guy to get hit. Fortune, Christopher Elliot shares some insight.

Lots of money is at stake.

Hilton has become the latest hotel chain to face government fines for allegedly blocking their guests’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots. It joins a growing list of hotel and convention centers that have been accused of falling afoul of federal law, which forbids such activity.

There’s big money at stake...

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3 On Your Side: Shower Door Safety Glass, Not So Safe

Beware! There may be an immeasurable hazard in your bathroom, your glass shower door! It can happen in an instant; shower doors spontaneously shattering, sometimes while a person is showering, resulting in injuries of various magnitudes. Framed or unframed, something as simple as closing the door a little too hard, worn rubber stoppers, or damaged runners, typically from wear and tear, can create a small unseen fractures in the side-edge of the door causing the glass to explode at any time, like a ticking time bomb. CBS Philly, Jim Donovan, reports.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  It can happen in a split second.  One minute you’re getting ready, the next you’re covered in glass after the shower door explodes.  It’s happening so often that the federal government is now taking notice...

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What Causes Hotel Claims and How to Prevent Them

Accidents can and do happen all the time! Hotels have a legal obligation to do everything reasonably possible to make their properties safe for all guests and to prevent accidents wherever and whenever possible. Despite regular property inspections and firm company policies, accidents and other adverse incidents sometimes occur.  Hotel Business Review, Philip J Harvey (President, Venture Insurance Programs), defines some of the prime areas of concern that all hotel establishments should examine.

As you well know, Legionnaires’ disease has reared its coughing, aching head this year. Generally, we see one or two cases of Legionnaires’ in hotels every eight to 10 years. Yet there have been at least three outbreaks in the Northeast and Southeast United States this year...

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Prepare for an OSHA Rapid Response Investigation: How to conduct a root cause analysis without raising red flags

All too often employers tend to lay blame towards the victim for injuries sustained in the workplace. Whether an employee injury is classified as a near miss, incident, or an accident, all injuries should be investigated thoroughly. Understanding what “is not” wrong is just as important as what “is” wrong when troubleshooting to determine the root of the cause. BLR, Valerie Butera Esq., Eptein Becker & Green, P.C., outlines key areas of focus when preparing an OSHA Rapid Response Investigation.

Although OSHA’s new reporting rule has been in effect for less than a year, it has caused some major changes in the way that OSHA operates...

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