Articles Posted in Labor & Employment

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12 August 2008

Hospitality Lawyer with the 3 most important issues facing the hospitality industry today and what you can do about them. Formed in 1910 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Hotel & Lodging Association is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry. For almost 100 years, AH&LA has been the leading voice for the hotel industry, providing national advocacy on Capitol Hill — a comprehensive federal governmental affairs program covering legislative and regulatory issues for the lodging industry. (see www.ahla.com)

AH&LA has a lot on its agenda, but when I caught up with AH&LA Chairman, Tom Corcoran, he identified 3 of the most important issues to the hospitality industry and asked that we really focus our attention. Here they are . . .

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com 17 April 2007
Hotel Lawyer with landmark labor and employment decision from the California Supreme Court on wage and hour issues. Wage and hour claims are serious matters for employers, because they typically involve class actions with lots of current (and former employees), and the claims can cover a long period of time. They are also particularly bad for the hospitality industry because so many employees are nominally “exempt” employees–managers or assistant managers–by their titles, but not under California legal standards. (See prior postings on www.HotelLawBlog.com under the Topic of “Labor & Employment” such as New law on who is a “supervisor” can even the playing field for employers a bit.)

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
3 January 2007
Hotel Lawyer — Top Picks of 2006. Yes, 2006 has been a record year for many in the hospitality industry, and for the hotel lawyers at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP. As we have already given our Outlook for 2007, we thought it might be interesting to look back on our Top Pick articles from 2006 from www.HotelLawBlog.com.

The Top Picks articles are organized by the major TOPICS on the Blog. We generally tried to select just the top two or three articles for each TOPIC. It was a major struggle to decide where to make the cutoff. If you want more information on a particular TOPIC, you can go to www.HotelLawBlog.com, and search for all articles on that TOPIC. To do that, just scroll down the right hand side, and below the (free) subscription and RSS Feed buttons is the Browse search engine that enables you to sort by TOPIC (or date, or key words, etc.).

Here they are . . .

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
14 November 2006
Hotel Lawyer on hotel labor and employment issues. Yesterday, I discussed the record jury verdict against Unite Here in the Sutter Health case where a Superior Court jury in rural Placer County California found Unite Here guilty of “fraud, malice or oppression.” The jury hit the union with a $17.3 million verdict for intentionally and maliciously acting to harm the business of the Sutter Health not-for-profit hospitals and birthing clinics. As usual, I looked to Marta Fernandez, my hotel labor attorney partner, for insight and guidance. Yesterday, she gave us 9 points to think about as to the significance of the case — what it all means. But she saved some real gems for today’s short blast. Here they are.

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
13 November 2006
Hotel Lawyer on hotel labor and employment issues. On July 21, 2006, a Superior Court jury in rural Placer County California — where you still expect jurors to know the value of a dollar — found Unite Here guilty of “fraud, malice or oppression.” This time, Unite Here — the union that represents hotel and hospitality workers — was caught red handed in its typical outrageous behavior. And it got slapped … but good. The jury hit the union with a $17.3 million (actually $17,292,850) verdict for intentionally and maliciously acting to harm the business of the Sutter Health not-for-profit hospitals and birthing clinics. This is one of the biggest verdicts ever awarded against a labor union in the United States. As usual, I looked to Marta Fernandez, my hotel labor attorney partner, for insight and guidance.

Marta says, “This case is another very important one for all employers. It is right up there with Oakwood and Cintas. It is both educational as to the ‘hard ball’ tactics Unite Here regularly employs, shows the union’s true colors, and demonstrates that when employers will stand up to outrageous union threats and behavior, they finally may be vindicated and justified.” Listen to this story! If you are an employer, it will warm your heart. If you are a callow union boss, it should give you second thought.

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
31 October 2006
Hotel Lawyer on labor and employment developments. It has now been several years since Unite Here targeted the hospitality industry with its organizing efforts. Their tactics have been extremely aggressive. At a macro level, the unions have poured resources into political campaigns across the country and are not shy about calling in favors from those they help elect. And of course, in 2006, we saw the fruits of a huge effort to time union contract expirations to hit at the same time in order to maximize leverage (see my earlier postings about the union campaign). At a micro level, the unions have also stepped up their pressure — buying 5 or 6 shares of stock and playing havoc with public companies (for example, trying to sabotage the CNL public offering), creating web sites to “educate” investors about target companies (with abusive and damaging stories about bad management, poor investment returns) and to generally embarrass and financially harm employers and their management. Fortunately, for employers, there have recently been significant wins in the ongoing struggle (such as the Oakwood Healthcare case) and one of those deserves mention today.

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
5 October 2006
Quick settlement with the union.

The Beverly Hilton hotel is expected to announce today (October 5, 2006) that it has signed a three year contract with Unite Here, according to Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer. Both sides are claiming victory with the announcement of a quick resolution, along with increased wages, maintaining the current health benefits and a commitment to hire more African Americans. But beyond that, what is the significance of this settlement for others who may be sitting on the other side of the table, facing the union soon–whether in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Honolulu, Toronto or elsewhere?

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
5 October 2006
If you have any interest regarding unionization of your hotel, a landmark decision has just been issued by NLRB. To understand the significance of this development, I have turned to my partner, Marta Fernandez, a hospitality lawyer who is a senior member of our Global Hospitality Group and the Labor & Employment Group of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP.

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Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
30 September 2006
One of the top priorities of the Unite Here over the past two years has been obtaining neutrality agreements (also sometimes called card-check agreements or peace agreements). See yesterday’s posting and many of the newspaper articles referenced below). So what do you do when the union is at your door — whether you are a union hotel (not covered by a Multi-Employer Group contract), a non-union hotel, or a developer waiting to break ground?

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