Category Hospitality Regulations

California proposes hotel ‘panic button’ bill to protect workers from assaults, sex harassment

“A former employer took more than 20 minutes to respond after I alerted them that a man exposed himself to me in a hallway.” Hotels are under increased scrutiny as workers, cities, and the State of California push for legislation requiring employers to equip room attendants with panic buttons in an effort to prevent violent assaults and sexual harassment in the industry. If passed, California will be the first state in the nation to impose legislation state-wide. CNBC, Jeff Daniels, reports.

  • A California bill was introduced Wednesday that requires hotels to provide hotel room cleaners with panic buttons.
  • The so-called hotel maid “panic button” bill is designed to protect employees from assaults by guests.
  • If passed, it would make California the first to have a statewide law manda...
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OSHA penalties increase by 2 percent

OSHA has begun the New Year with penalty hikes.  Effective January 2, 2018, civil penalties for violations of OSHA standards and regulations increased 2%. The penalty increase applies to Federal OSHA states; however, states operating their own occupational safety and health programs are expected to introduce comparable penalty structures making them equally effective. Safety.BLR.com, Emily Scace, compares penalty structures and increases in the charts below.

Effective January 2, civil penalties for violations of workplace safety and health standards are 2 percent higher, with a new maximum fine of nearly $130,000...

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Is Your Hotel Website ADA Compliant? Here’s Why It Matters

Achieving ADA website compliance simply means maintaining a set of web standards by ensuring that the website’s contents can be accessed in different ways, via screen readers, electronic devices that translate websites into speech and braille.

Numerous organizations have already been hit with hefty lawsuits siting ADA website noncompliance. With the US DOJ’s announcement to implement ADA regulations, expected in 2018, now is the time to get your website compliant.  Forbes Councils, Adam Deflorian, provides tips to help your hotel meet its ADA website compliance needs.

When the Americans with Disabilities Act first came into existence in 1990, few industries were affected more than the hotel industry...

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California – OSHA and Transgender Rights Poster Updates

California has recently released two new laws that carry mandatory posting requirements with them. The new Transgender Rights and California OSHA Update posters must be displayed along with other required workplace notices in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace January 1, 2018. All employers must comply with the rulings.  Labor Law Center shares the update.

California has recently come out with two new labor compliance posters that employers will need to comply with as they begin 2018.

California OSHA Update:

The first poster is an update to the existing OSHA notice.  The updates to the poster include wording that is more distinct and clear in understanding the intent...

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New Mexico Judge Dismisses 99 ADA Lawsuits as Fraudulent and Malicious Entertains Sanction Motions

Judge rejects 99 ADA lawsuits against businesses throughout Albuquerque, New Mexico. The lawsuits, labeled as malicious and filed in bad faith, are the result of online advertisements designed to lure disabled plaintiffs into filing ADA lawsuits and harass business defendants into settlements. The recommendation to dismiss the cases suggests the plaintiff may be liable for almost $40K in filing fees, and opens the door for the 99 affected businesses to request sanctions against the plaintiff’s lawyer. Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group report the facts.

On October 26, 2017, a judge dismissed 99 ADA lawsuits, ordered an in forma pauperis plaintiff  (a person without funds to pursue the cost of a lawsuit) to pay filing fees of $38,300 and authorized the defendants to ...

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ADA In The Digital Age: Federal Court Strikes Down Inaccessible Website

If you haven’t already, add website accessibility to the growing list of unintended consequences of the ADA. Evolving definitions of what constitutes a physical or mental disability, senseless mandates, hefty compliance costs for business owners and waves of abusive litigation that have developed under ADA have proven that enforcement of the law is nothing more than a disaster that has lined the pockets of a small number of opportunist lawyers and their clients.

Clear rules for applying the ADA to websites have yet to be established leaving the door open for interpretation by the courts...

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Union-backed hotel safety ordinance poses danger to Long Beach: Guest commentary

The City of Long Beach, following behind Seattle, is set to impose multiple worker safety requirements on hotels. The City of Long Beach ordinance would affect hotels with 100 rooms or more and limit housekeeper workloads to cleaning 4,000 square feet per day. Although it provides for other safety features as well, many hotels in the area have already implemented panic buttons for housekeepers, which the bill is also including. The measure would inflict hoteliers with needless cost that may ultimately hurt the workers and blacklist guests. The ordinance will be heard by council Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Press-Telegram, Sandy Cajas, outlines the key points surrounding the ordinance.

A 2015 file photo shows a person in Long Beach walking past protest signs created by UNITE HERE...
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DHS Issues New Version of Form I-9 – Effective on September 18, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released “another” revised Form I-9. All employers are required to use the new version to verify identity and employment authorization of new hires by September 18, 2017. Because of the recently revised form in November 2016, which was a major overhaul to previous documents, the changes in this version are not substantial. The National Review outlines changes to the current revision.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued yet another update to the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. This new version becomes mandatory for use with new hires and reverifications as of September 18, 2017.  This is the thirteenth revision of Form I-9 in the thirty years since the form was first required...

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Cannabis Shift Impacting Employers

Legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana is on the rise. With vague and nearly silent guidelines, these state statues are open for interpretation by the courts leaving employers and employees treading unfamiliar and sticky territory. It would be wise for employers to keep a close eye on the emerging legal and regulatory compliance obligations. Risk & Insurance, Autumn Heisler, cites some recent and notable case decisions.

Decisions on marijuana policy are shifting, leaving employers concerned about maintaining safe and drug-free workplaces.

Marijuana policy made headlines twice in one week, on matters that may be potential game changers for employers.

On July 17, Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of a woman fired for using medical marijuana in Barbuto vs...

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Lawyer recommends employers work with experts after class-action suit against Kroger subsidiary over biometric data

For the past five years or so, employers have turned to new technology for a more accurate and reliable source of employee time keeping,  to reduce fraud in the work force, to provide better security and limit access to sensitive work areas. Facial recognition, photo tagging, finger or palm prints, GPS tracking, and even DNA have become the technologies of choice, but not without a price.  Employees can challenge the use of biometrics and the storage of the biometric data, and they are – numbers are growing rapidly. Recent lawsuits have brought hefty fines to employers for improperly collecting and storing employee biometric data. Make sure you know the guidelines for biometric data use and storage in your area.  Cook County Record, John Meyers, reports one of the largest cases to date...

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