Category Hospitality Law

The hospitality industry’s lurking liability

Sex trafficking is everywhere! Are you doing enough to fight sex trafficking on your property? Are your employees turning a blind eye while girls and women are being imprisoned and forced into sex? Branded or unbranded, luxurious or economical, you may be the next hotel pulled into litigation surrounding activities taking place on your properties. As states across the country enact new or proposed law seeking to hold hotels directly liable for sex trafficking on their properties, hotel operators must act to prevent the crimes. Employees must be trained and alert to the activities taking place on your properties. Business Insurance, Louise Esola, discusses the growing allegations and concerns surrounding the matter.

The hospitality industry must rethink its approach to service, privac...

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How to handle wage and labor investigations

As wage and hour investigations from the US Department of Labor (DOL) continue to rise, employers must be knowledgeable and prepared. It is important that employers do not underestimate the severity of a potential investigation. Conducting periodic recordkeeping and wage and hour self-audits are two preventive measures every employer should perform to minimize potential exposures that may be costly. If you’re facing an investigation, there are ways to minimize the negative consequences. Hotel Management, Alicia Hoisington, gives important insights to help you prepare for a Wage and Hour investigation.

Labor is one of the top expenses hoteliers face, and it doesn’t come without its own set of issues...

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Drive-by Age Discrimination Lawsuits Are Still Happening

Get ready! The next wave of drive-by lawsuits has rolled in! Hotels in California are being targeted by serial plaintiff, Jonathan Asselin-Normand, based on age discrimination and citing violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act of California. Many defendants have settled the suits paying fees ranging from $4,000 to $15,000. In an effort to help hotel owners and end the unfounded suits, Attorney Phillip Stillman has teamed up with Jim Abrams of the CH & LA and is offering low cost defense to get the cases dismissed. Newsfeed, Pat Mitchell, brings awareness to the issue and important information that may help your organization.

One of our hotels was served a baseless age discrimination lawsuit with Jonathan Asselin-Normand as the named plaintiff...

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HospitalityStaff To Pay $30,000 To Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Religious discrimination continues to be a high priority for the EEOC. Federal law requires employers to exempt religious employees from various kinds of generally applicable rules, so long as those exemptions are relatively easy and cheap for the employer. 

Although the employees hair wasn’t initially an issue with his employer, HospitalityStaff, or the company he actually performed worked for, a religious discrimination suit was filed July 12, 2016 alleging that the Rastafarian prep cook lost his job working at Walt Disney World resort hotel because he refused to cut his dreadlocks. JD Supra shares the EEOC case and its resolution.

Staffing Company Refused to Accommodate Rastafarian Employee’s Dreadlocks, Federal Agency Charged


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Seattle hotel-worker rights intact after judge tosses hotel-owners’ lawsuit

Seattle Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative, Initiative 124, gives Seattle hotel workers new rights related to assault and sexual harassment, injuries, workloads, medical care and changes in hotel ownership. The hotel-owner groups, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Washington Hospitality Association and Seattle Hotel Association, argued that the initiative establishes what the plaintiffs are calling a “blacklist” by requiring hotels to keep ongoing lists of guests whom their workers accuse of sexual harassment or assault. Also included with the hotel-owner groups complaint were concerns that the ordinance undermined guest privacy and due process rights. Advisen Insurance outlines the case, the outcome, and responses from both sides for the suit.

June 10–A King Count...

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Mistakes to Avoid During Workplace Investigations

Resolving conflict in the workplace is a key issue for employers. A workplace investigation should be prompt, impartial, and thorough. A proper investigation can help you figure out what happened and what to do about it. Remember that your job is simply to find out the truth and weigh each piece of evidence against the narrative of what happened. At the same time, investigations provide opportunities to create new problems when conducted improperly. Avoid common and costly pitfalls. HR Daily Advisor, Bridget Miller, shares some common workplace investigation mistakes below.

Workplace investigations can be time consuming and exhausting—but, despite that, they’re not a time where it’s okay to cut corners...

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Smoking Gun: Manager’s E-mail About Maternity Leave Costs Employer $100K

An employer cannot refuse to hire a woman because of her pregnancy related condition as long as she is able to perform the major functions of her job. It is solely up to the employee to decide when she wants to tell her employer and colleagues about her pregnancy. Once you, the employer, has been told of the employees pregnancy, the employee is protected against unfair dismissal, unfair treatment and discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy. Managers and Supervisors must understand that Pregnancy Discrimination is illegal. HR Daily Advisor, Kate McGovern Tornone, cites recent litigation that cost Brown & Brown $100K.

An employer will pay $100,000 to settle allegations that it rescinded a job offer from an applicant after learning she was pregnant, telling her in writing that it nee...

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Whiskey For My Men, Beer For My (Service) Horse – A Business Owner’s Primer On Service Animals And The ADA

When you think of the traditional definition of service animals, miniature horses usually don’t come to mind. Miniature horses are indeed used as services animals; most commonly for guiding the blind but also to help individuals with mobile impairments. If a miniature horse has been trained to perform the tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, then they have the same rights as a service animal. Entities covered by the ADA must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. JD Supra/Smith Amundsen interpret the law.

A guy and his horse walk into a bar…

This could be the start of a funny joke, or the beginning of an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint that can cost your business thousands of dollars in defense costs and damages...

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Food-and-beverage legal compliance worth the time, money

Once considered a loss leader, Food and Beverage revenue is growing in importance to overall hotel profitability. From safety and security challenges to education and training, it is all-too-important for owners and managers to develop a comprehensive system of processes that address the many legal challenges the Food and Beverage industry faces day to day. Hotel Management, Stephen Barth, shares his compilation of suggestions in an effort to help F & B operators overcome inefficiencies and minimize potential risks.

When food-and-beverage owners and managers are responsible for an endless list of tasks, from employees to food safety to sanitation, it is not surprising when some important elements get overlooked throughout the busy day-to-day schedule that is maintained...

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How the ACA can benefit hotels employing seasonal workers

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been an endless and complex maze of mandates for employers both large and small.  The ACA requires applicable large employers (ALEs) to offer health insurance to their full-time (30+ hours per week) employees; however, there is an exception for a seasonal workforce. Employees are considered seasonal if the expected period of their employment is six months or less, and if the job typically starts and ends at approximately the same time each year. Although the ACA and seasonal employees can be a difficult road to navigate, hotel employers have a lot to gain by avoiding “Applicable Large Employer” status under the ACA. Hotel Management, Elliot Mest, helps sort out the seasonal employee provision.

Summer is around the corner, and hotels are preparin...

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