Daily Archives: March 30, 2016

DOL Sets its Sights on the Hospitality Industry – Exemptions, Independent Contractors and Other Compliance Challenges

Gone are the days of federal government outreach to employers and providing education and compliance assistance. As a result, the risk of US Department of Labor investigations and large penal-ties has increased substantially especially for hospitality employers. The DOL considers hospitality to be a “high risk” industry for wage and hour violations because the industry employs large numbers of “vulnerable” employees (younger workers, temporary workers and seasonal workers) who are not likely to complain and because the industry is what the DOL calls a “fissured industry” by which it means the industry is dominated by arrangements (such as franchises and management agreements) which results – in the DOL’s opinion – in the dilution of both the relationship between employer and employee and the responsibility for compliance with employment laws. This session will help you understand the DOL’s current enforcement positions and provide you with practical solutions to address these challenges.

Andria Ryan

Fisher & Phillips

Reptile Theory: What You Need to Know in 2016 – Strategies for Counsel and Claims Professionals

The “Reptile Theory” (Ball and Keenan, 2009) is flourishing in trial courts across the country. This technique/strategy focuses the discovery and trial of a case on the defendants’ behavior (rather than the traditional attempt to engender sympathy for the plaintiff). The fixation of the prosecution is on anger and the idea is to make jurors believe the worst about a defendant, typically a company, and its record of safety. Hospitality entities are not immune from the crosshairs of plaintiff’s counsel employing this strategy. Attend this presentation to learn more about Reptile Theory and its expansion into all parts of the United States and find out about strategies to effectively combat the same from discovery to trial.

Christian Stegmeier

Collins & Lacy


Trending Issues in Hospitality Regulation in Another

The session will discuss information on short-term rentals (STRs) and implications for both the lodging industry and local governments; firearms legislation and recent regulation; police activity and request for hotel records in hotels in light of Patel v. Los Angeles; FTC regulation of resort fees and other hotel charges; and trends in hotel taxes usage and economic development.

Justin Bragiel

Texas Hotel & Lodging Association

Trends in Discrimination including the ADA Claims Arising out of FMLA

The presentation will address from the speaker’s perspective as a trial attorney the trends that are occurring as to the type of employment claims filed. In particular, discrimination claims and the different basis for discrimination claims include ADA, disability. The presentation will also highlight preventative risk strategies to protect employers against these claims.

Bruno Katz

Wilson Elser

People Are Normal until They Check into a Hotel (Part II) The Sequel

In response to the popular original “People Are Normal Until They Check Into a Hotel Room”, Senior Partner James Eiler of Murchison & Cumming, LLP and Rob R. Schnitz, Senior Vice President of Hyatt Hotels will present a “sequel” discussing a new collection of strange-but-true experiences involving claims, lawsuits, and losses involving the hospitality industry.

James Eiler
Murchison & Cumming LLP
Rob Schnitz
Hyatt Hotels