West Hollywood’s Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance
August 13, 2021
On August 2, 2021, the City Council of West Hollywood approved a Hotel Worker Ordinance, which establishes additional protections for hotel workers in the City of West Hollywood. The ordinance includes provisions on the use of personal security devices, workload limitations based on square footage, right to recall, and hotel worker retention. The ordinance also includes novel provisions such as the creation of a “Public Housekeeping Training Organization” and financial hardship waivers.
Reasonable Cause Relief from ACA Reporting Penalties
August 12, 2021 • W. Baker Gerwig, IV
The Affordable Care Act requires covered employers to report that they offered minimum essential coverage to their employees by filing IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Until recently, the IRS offered “good-faith transition relief,” which allowed businesses to avoid penalties related to the submission of incorrect or incomplete information in Form 1094-C and 1095-C filings, including missing or incorrect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs), dates of birth, and other vital information. Under that policy, a business that submitted forms containing any incorrect or incomplete information could avoid penalties simply by demonstrating to the IRS that it had made a “good-faith” effort to comply with ACA regulations when furnishing the forms to individuals and filing with the IRS.
California Supreme Court Holds Dynamex ABC Test Applies Retroactively
January 15, 2021
On Thursday, the California Supreme Court ruled that California’s “ABC” test for determining independent contractor status applies retroactively. As a result, employers may be held to a standard not even in effect at the time they made worker classification decisions. The Supreme Court in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc. delivered a long-awaited opinion finding that the “ABC test” for independent contractor classification, adopted in its 2018 Dynamex decision, applies retroactively to all pending cases that arose before April 30, 2018. This new ruling will weigh heavily in currently pending misclassification lawsuits where the employer applied pre-Dynamex classification standards.
HotelExecutive.com: Equal Pay Law Developments and the Hospitality Industry
January 3, 2020 • John R. Hunt
John Hunt’s latest article for HotelExecutive.com covers the history of the Equal Pay Act, the latest updates nationwide, and how this legislation affects hotels and restaurants across the county. Head over to the link to get all the details, or keep reading for the full text! For further questions, clarifications, and conversation no matter your state, please reach out to Stokes Wagner.
California Supreme Court Limits Recovery for PAGA Claims
September 12, 2019
Are you familiar with PAGA? Do you have a PAGA claim for unpaid wages filed against you right now? If yes, this recent California Supreme Court case may apply to you. (ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court).
What is PAGA? In a nutshell, the Private Attorney General’s Act (“PAGA”), is a California state statutory scheme within the Labor Code that allows aggrieved employees to step into the shoes of the State and enforce California’s Labor Code provisions by filing lawsuits against their employer to recover civil penalties. PAGA is considered a representative action, as an aggrieved employee is suing on behalf of both themselves and their similarly situated colleagues. PAGA claims may not be arbitrated even if an employee signs an arbitration agreement. (Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348).
HotelExecutive.com: U.S. Department of Labor Changes Rule for Tipped and Non Tipped Work
February 3, 2019 • John R. Hunt
On HotelExecutive.com, be sure to check out John Hunt’s article covering the US Department of Labor’s rule regarding tipped and non-tipped work. John Hunt is always ready to get you answers, so contact Stokes Wagner with any questions you might have!
HotelExecutive.com: Group Sales Contracts, Service Charges, and Tips - What's in a Name?
September 23, 2018 • Ashley S. Nunneker, John R. Hunt
This week, HotelExecutive.com published an article by our own John Hunt and Ashley Nunneker, covering the nuanced differences between different types of compensation for hotel and restaurant servers. Check it out on their website! And if this thorough review doesn’t quite clarify everything you’re wondering about gratuities and service charges, contact Stokes Wagner with any questions you might have!
HotelExecutive.com: Expanded Labor and Employment Liability in Hotel Acquisitions
December 17, 2017 • John R. Hunt
Head on over to HotelExecutive.com to read the latest article by John Hunt, covering a brief review of laws pertaining to hotel mergers and acquisitions! If that doesn’t slake your appetite for knowledge, contact Stokes Wagner at any time with your questions.
Security Shortcomings Exposed By Las Vegas Massacre Prompt Sweeping Security Overhaul Discussions Among Hotels In The United States
October 5, 2017 • Diana Lerma
On Sunday, October 1, 2017, a gunman shot into a crowd of 22,000 people from his 32nd-story room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. After 11 minutes, 59 people were killed and more than 500 were injured. Whether hotels can or will respond to this tragedy with security measures capable of preventing future mass shootings remains to be seen. In the wake of this tragedy, however, hotel security practices undoubtedly will come under severe scrutiny. As many of our hospitality clients have contacted us over the past three days to discuss their security obligations, we thought this short article might prove helpful by identifying certain legal principles applicable to hotel security and by outlining several security measures hotels will likely evaluate and implement in the near future.
An Innkeeper’s Liability for Guest Safety
Attorney Journal Article: White Glove Service for San Diego's Hospitality Industry- Peter Maretz
August 29, 2017
San Diego shareholder and attorney Peter Maretz is making headlines in Attorney Journal San Diego! Check out his article on the Attorney Journal website for a great photograph of the firm!
An Update on the Ability of the Police to Search Hotel Records
June 16, 2017 • John R. Hunt
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that placed restrictions on the ability of law enforcement officers to inspect hotel guest registers and other records. Many local laws, which had authorized unlimited police inspections, suddenly were rendered unconstitutional. This article reviews that decision and discusses the developments that have occurred in this area during the past year.
Until recently, hotels in many jurisdictions routinely provided the police with access to their guest registers without much concern about the privacy issues that might be involved. After all, numerous cities and towns possessed ordinances that required hotels to collect specific guest information and allowed the police inspect the information upon request. A failure to allow access could result in a fine or in some cases, jail time.
Legal Alert - Day of Rest
May 7, 2017
Mendoza (Christopher) V. Nordstrom, Inc. (Gordon, Intervener)
This case was brought in California state court, then Nordstrom removed to federal court. Most California employers have operated under the assumption that they could assign work to employees for seven or more consecutive days so long as they paid the overtime premiums.