Total Articles: 39
Fisher Phillips • June 04, 2019
Yes, indeed—the labor market is tight. And with the nationwide unemployment rate below 4 percent, 263,000 new jobs created in April 2019, and a sizzling economy, the labor market is likely to get even tighter. This is especially true for the hospitality industry, which has traditionally relied upon a steady stream of lower-skilled and younger applicants eager to enter into the job market. In fact, the National Restaurant Association predicts that jobs in the food service industry will top 15 million in 2019, and lists recruiting and retaining employees among the top challenges for operators.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 25, 2019
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued three sets of proposed regulations that significantly impact the Hospitality industry. As recently discussed in several Littler articles, after two years of regulatory inactivity, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division published three Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) regarding overtime exemptions, the regular rate, and joint employment under the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 02, 2019
As part of our practice, we like to keep an eye on significant legislative, regulatory, and judicial developments affecting our clients in the hospitality industry. Based on our monitoring of these legal trends, we are shining a light on five key issues that are, or should be, top of mind right now for hospitality employers.
Fisher Phillips • March 03, 2019
A Florida federal jury recently handed down a shocking $21.5 million verdict in favor of a dishwasher alleging religious discrimination when she was fired after refusing to work Sundays. This case begs the question…how did this happen?! And what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you?
Fisher Phillips • December 03, 2018
hether internal or external, violence in the workplace is an increasingly problematic issue that employers must learn to effectively minimize and prevent. This is even more important in the hospitality industry, given the constant interaction with the public, the high rate of turnover, and the added responsibility of dealing with available cash. It is imperative that employers recognize and understand the need to take constant and active steps to address both internal and external potential threats of workplace violence.
Ogletree Deakins • September 12, 2018
As residents and employers on the East Coast are aware, Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall shortly. This type of disaster can take a toll on businesses in the affected areas, from property damage to employee safety complications. Employers in the restaurant industry face a unique set of potential issues before, during, and after a disaster like a hurricane. Ogletree Deakins shareholder Hal A. Shillingstad recently sat down with Nation’s Restaurant News to discuss what restaurants can do right now to prepare.
Fisher Phillips • September 03, 2018
The hospitality industry is an increasingly popular target for enforcement actions by government agencies, not to mention lawsuits by plaintiffs’ attorneys. To help avoid three common wage and hour issues that come up too often in hospitality businesses, here are just a few questions you should ask yourself right now. Note: these examples address federal wage and hour laws and regulations; many states have their own laws and regulations that may also come into play. You should check with your Fisher Phillips attorney if you have specific questions about local compliance issues.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 28, 2018
Bruce Sarchet and Corinn Jackson, both with Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute, discuss a noticeable trend developing in the hotel industry. They review the burgeoning popularity of laws requiring hotel employers to provide certain workers – primarily guestroom cleaning staff – with panic buttons to be used in emergencies, including instances of sexual harassment by guests. Bruce and Corinn survey panic button ordinances enacted in Seattle, Sacramento, and Chicago. They also consider a bill pending in California that would impose similar obligations statewide.
Fisher Phillips • December 04, 2017
Tipping Point Of Confusion: Contradictions Abound In Tip Credit Rules
Ogletree Deakins • November 21, 2017
Just as one flood of lawsuits against Arizona businesses finally dries up, another downpour begins. Peter Strojnik of Phoenix, the same attorney who filed more than 1,100 lawsuits that drew the attention of the Arizona attorney general, has filed approximately 60 new lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against motels and places of lodging in the last three months in federal court in Arizona. Fernando Gastelum, an Arizona resident with a prosthetic leg who uses a wheelchair, is the plaintiff in each of these cases. In each suit, Gastelum claims that he visited the hotel or motel’s website to determine if the property provides the accessible features necessary for him to be able to stay there. He claims that the websites failed to disclose sufficient information about their accessibility and that, upon visiting each hotel or motel, he discovered barriers to access, including a lack of accessible parking spaces, steep ramps, stairs with open risers, and other alleged ADA violations. He seeks orders requiring the hotels and motels to remove the alleged access barriers and revise their websites, and demands damages, including punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
Fisher Phillips • September 05, 2017
Hospitality employers open to the general public should be aware of a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with implications across the industry. In a 2-to-1 decision, the NLRB ruled that a hotel and casino unlawfully retaliated against a former employee by barring her from its premises after she filed a suit for unpaid wages (MEI-GSR Holdings, LLC d/b/a Grand Sierra Resort & Casino/HG Staffing). Following this decision, employers should think twice before limiting access to former employees because of a pending lawsuit, claim, or charge
Fisher Phillips • August 30, 2017
When it rains, it pours. If you think back roughly nine years ago, at the crippling height of the economic downturn, employers were laying off workers en masse across all industries. Fast forward to 2017, and they can’t get enough of them. The concern has clearly shifted from no jobs to no workers. What’s even more ironic is that industries that were releasing the most workers during the recession – namely, hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels – are now struggling to now find employees to fill vacant positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one third of the 388 metropolitan areas that it tracks report unemployment at below 4 percent.
Fisher Phillips • June 01, 2017
Newspaper headlines, television airwaves, and social media links are filled with companies dealing with crises on a near-daily basis. Just as Samsung learned in 2016 when its phones were catching on fire, and as United Airlines learned in April when news of the forcible removal of a passenger from one of its aircraft dominated the headlines, a crisis can happen in seconds and spread across the world in minutes. No matter how well you prepare, you could be next. Is your property prepared to handle a crisis?
Ogletree Deakins • May 01, 2017
Wage and hour class action jurisprudence continues to twist and turn down an unusual path. As a consequence of the limited consistent case precedent in this area, hospitality employers defending against these claims face difficulty in accurately predicting their legal outcome.
Fisher Phillips • March 01, 2017
Top 20 Immigration Compliance Tips For Hospitality Employers
Fisher Phillips • September 05, 2016
Active Shooters In The Workplace: Is The Hospitality Industry Ready?
Ogletree Deakins • August 10, 2016
We’ve previously answered some basic questions that employers may have when their employees work in or visit locations where exposure to Zika virus is a risk. With recent news concerning the first cases of transmission of the virus by mosquitoes in the Miami, Florida area, hospitality employers are becoming increasingly concerned about how the virus will affect their businesses. This blog post will address some issues unique to the hospitality industry.
Fisher Phillips • June 06, 2016
Like most in the hospitality industry, you are constantly balancing many competing demands. At any given moment, you could be focusing on managing staff performance. Or perhaps you are reviewing your employment policies to see if they are legal, or checking your website to ensure it complies with accessibility requirements. All the while, you are maintaining your laser focus on guest service and satisfaction. But what happens when the very guests whose demands you are satisfying without hesitation or question take an inappropriate interest in your employees, or worse, harass them? Do you have to be the one to address the harassment?
Fisher Phillips • March 03, 2016
The World Health Organization recently declared Zika a global public health emergency, only the fourth time the agency has declared the spread of a disease to be a health emergency of international concern. The following Frequently Asked Questions will help hospitality employers better understand the virus and its impact on the workplace:
Fisher Phillips • September 02, 2015
At long last, the anxiously awaited proposed changes to the regulations defining federal wage and hour law have been published by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). The changes, if adopted, would impact the determination of which of your employees has to be paid overtime. These regulations will sharply reduce the number of workers across the country who are exempt from OT pay and will work to give many employees a raise in pay.
Fisher Phillips • March 03, 2015
Many hospitality employers are surprised to learn that employees have a right under federal labor law to access the exterior, nonworking areas of the hotel property in their off-duty hours for union or other protected concerted activities. Hospitality employers are also surprised to learn that handbook rules prohibiting any off-duty employee access or conditioning off-duty employee access on manager approval are unlawful.
Fisher Phillips • December 03, 2014
In the most recent 60-day reporting period, we were aware of 25 petitions filed against hospitality employers.
Fisher Phillips • June 09, 2014
This summer it’s expected that temporary workers will fill roughly 10,000 summer jobs, many of which will be in the hospitality industry. Before filling any of your seasonal positions, it’s worth reviewing a few cautionary items:
Fisher Phillips • March 05, 2014
There is much to be learned from 2013. Below are five legal topics that made headlines last year, and should provide valuable guidance for managing labor and employment law issues in 2014.
Fisher Phillips • December 06, 2013
In recent weeks, the fast-food industry has fallen prey to coordinated demonstrations by a number of loosely affiliated groups, rallying around wages, benefits and other conditions. The strategy invoked by these so-called "worker centers" (or "alt-unions") is not altogether new, and was actually contemplated by unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) years ago. At that time, an internal strategy memo was leaked, at which point the union’s intent to organize fast food restaurants was made public. While these reports were met with alarm on behalf of food establishments and other service-sector employers, little came of the effort, which fizzled out as quickly as it started.
Fisher Phillips • December 06, 2013
The whole country watched as celebrity chef Paula Deen was roasted over the lawsuit filed by a former general manager of a Deen-affiliated restaurant. Now that the media storm is starting to fade, what lessons can employers and human resources professionals learn from what happened? Keep reading for a recipe to keep you “out of the frying pan” (and the fryer)!
Fisher Phillips • December 06, 2013
Almost 4.1 million employees missed work due to illness last January, which was the most since 2008. Even worse, the four-month peak season lasted through March, so the numbers continued to add up. Some years, absences during that four-month period ran at 3.8 million a month, for a whopping total of 15+ million absences. Remember news outlets carrying stories in January 2013 about the City of Boston declaring a state of public-health emergency and of Chicago hospitals having to send flu patients to other hospitals?
FordHarrison LLP • July 29, 2013
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) establishes and enforces workplace safety regulations in several industries, including restaurants. Under the Obama administration, OSHA has undertaken several new enforcement initiatives that have a wide-ranging impact on employers in the restaurant industry.
FordHarrison LLP • June 12, 2013
Everyone remembers their first summer job in high school. It was not only your first taste of what it meant to work for a living, but also your first taste of having some extra spending money for the weekend. One of the most popular industries in which people look for summer jobs is the restaurant industry. In fact, only the construction industry adds more summer jobs each year than the restaurant industry. Therefore, it probably comes as no surprise that the National Restaurant Association projects restaurants to add around 448,000 jobs this summer, a 4.5 % increase over their collective March 2013 employment levels.
Fisher Phillips • December 07, 2012
There is no question that tattoos, body piercings, and other forms of self-expression have become commonplace in modern society, especially among the Gen X and Gen Y demographic. As a result, employers have to deal with these issues in the workplace, even in companies that traditionally have had conservative dress and appearance expectations such as high-end restaurants and luxury hotels.
Fisher Phillips • September 07, 2011
Lots of hospitality employers, and a fair number of retail employers as well, spend time, money, and thought creating a brand or "look." They're trying to create something beyond just a logo or store colors; something that stands out just by looking at the very employees who work there. The way they look. The way they dress.
Ogletree Deakins • July 14, 2011
PDF Version of Hospitality eAuthority (Summer 2011).pdf
Fisher Phillips • September 24, 2010
Recently U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division officials unofficially announced the Department's "Hotel and Motel Resort Pilot Initiative." Although no specific strategy or plan has been set forth for this investigation program, it is scheduled to begin in the agency's next fiscal year, which commences on Oct. 1, 2010. Under this initiative, the Division will target and audit hospitality employers in two areas—compliance with H2B requirements and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Ogletree Deakins • August 03, 2010
The Wage & Hour Division's Crackdown on the Hospitality Industry; Hospitality Employment Lawsuit Summaries; Have Government Investigators Made a Reservation at Your Property? – Hospitality Employers Targeted for Immigration Compliance Reviews; Increase in OFCCP Audits Expected.
Ogletree Deakins • July 23, 2010
Avoiding Liability for Wage and Hour Violations in the Hospitality Industry
Ogletree Deakins • July 20, 2010
No industry provides more interesting fact patterns in employment discrimination lawsuits than the hospitality industry. And unfortunately, those interesting fact patterns tend to surface with some regularity. The following are summaries of recent employment lawsuits against hospitality employers. Such cases can be instructive to hospitality employers as they strive to minimize the risk of being subjected to similar claims.
Fisher Phillips • June 29, 2010
Fisher & Phillips recently participated in a closed-door meeting with U.S. Wage and Hour Division officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss the Labor Department's "Hotel and Motel Resort Pilot Initiative." There appears to be no specific strategy or plan as yet for this investigative program, but it is scheduled to begin in the agency's next fiscal year, which commences on October 1, 2010. It is definite that the Division will target Hospitality employers on two fronts – compliance with both H2B requirements and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Fisher Phillips • March 04, 2009
During the last quarter of 2008 we were aware of 14 petitions filed against hospitality employers.
Fisher Phillips • April 23, 2007
Imagine a dream vacation package at a luxurious hotel in San Francisco, Palm Beach or Chicago – replete with in room massages, pedicures and turn down service – all for your canine companion! The hotel industry is now tapping into the billion dollars Americans spend on their pets every year.