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Posts tagged Hospitality.

What a week it has been watching the horrible events unfold in Ukraine. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Ukraine or with family in Ukraine.  

Booking Holdings Fourth Quarter Earnings Call
(“Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG) CEO Glenn Fogel on Q4 2021 Results - Earnings Call Transcript,” February 23, 2022 via Seeking Alpha)
As promised, for those of you interested, attached is the transcript from the recent Booking Holdings’ earnings call.

Effects of Recent Egencia Acquisition Start to Unfold at Amex GBT
(“Egencia Adds Amex GBT Negotiated Airfares to Booking Platform,” March 2, 2022 via Business Travel News - Top Stories)
Egencia has announced that discounted airfares previously available to customers through Amex GBT are now available to users of the Egencia platform. Just a friendly reminder that as distribution channels and platforms continue to evolve (through mergers, acquisitions, and other activity), one can never be certain where his or her inventory may appear.

This week’s Update features stories on Kayak, Hopper (again) and Shiji, and includes an important privacy update from California on loyalty programs.

Kayak and Cruise Critic Partner on Cruises
(“In new partnership, Kayak cruise searches will feed Cruise Critic,” February 4, 2022 via Travel Weekly)
Last week, Kayak (Booking Holdings) announced that it was expanding its cruise offering by partnering with Cruise Critic (TripAdvisor). Once implemented, the partnership will redirect users searching for cruises on Kayak to Cruise Critic where they can then review and book cruises through travel agencies or cruise suppliers.

This blog post discusses how the recent Supreme Court ruling, Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, may impact potential employee wage and hour claims for hourly employees in the future. – Greg

California employers are currently scratching their heads over how to interpret “suitable seating” that is required under California Wage Orders. Nancy Cooper, member of our Labor and Employment Group and Hospitality, Travel and Tourism practice team, discusses how that term is defined will affect your business. Thank you for today’s post, Nancy! - Greg

Since the 2013 Hospitality Law Conference, we have received many requests for the Garvey Schubert Barer presentations. Well, here they are. Ruth and I are happy to further explain them and other details on the trending topics. Please give us a call or email. It was a fun and educational conference so it is nice to look back at these slides!

I am just back from the 5th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference, held in Washington DC last week. The Conference was an information-packed two and one-half days. There were terrific presentations, interesting panel discussions, great audience questions, and many opportunities to informally connect with others in the hospitality industry who focus on human resource issues. I have already marked my calendar for next year’s Conference to be held February 27-29 in San Francisco. 

Earlier this month, Stephen Barth and HospitalityLawyer.com hosted the most recent installment of their successful hospitality law conference held each February in Houston. This year’s conference saw attendance return to pre-recession levels with representation from many of the in-house legal departments of the largest national and international hotel operators. The conference dedicated the first day to three all-day pre-conference boot camps on real estate, privacy / PCI compliance and the unique issues faced by the restaurant and lodging in-house lawyer. I sat through the real estate presentations, which although a little slow at times (you can only define REVPAR so many times), did a reasonable job of summarizing the variety of issues associated with the development, purchase, sale and management of hospitality properties in one coherent presentation. Ruth sat through the privacy / PCI discussion and found it very informative. The second day was filled with a wide variety of topics – from alcohol compliance, to sweepstakes, to franchise negotiations, to receiverships to tips – in one of four breakouts dedicated to food & beverage, lodging, human resources and loss prevention. The highlight of the third and final day was the annual hospitality case update.

Happy New Year (belated)! The new year means new opportunities, and in the Hospitality industry that means it’s events time! The calendar of upcoming events is varied, but here are a couple that I plan to attend:

ALIS (America’s Lodging Investment Summit): I will be attending this San Diego event, January 24 through 26. According to the website, ALIS is the “leading and largest hotel investment conference in the world, attracting more than 7,000 delegates from around the globe over the past three years.” If you plan to attend, and you’d like to get together, please email me.

2011 Hospitality Law Conference: Held at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas, this event covers the latest trends and issues in hospitality law. This year, I’ll be speaking at the conference on the topic of distribution. I would love to meet up with you in Houston; just send me an email and let’s get together.

Of course, I’ll be providing updates and a thorough follow up after each conference. If there is a topic to be covered at either of these events that you’d like particularly to hear about, please let me know and I’ll do my best to cover it.

In this week’s “late due to Snowmageddon II” post, Diana Shukis, a partner in our Employment law practice group and long-time member of our Hospitality team, discusses the basic elements necessary to minimize your organization’s risk of harassment in the workplace, including a step-by-step approach to avoiding, and what to do in the event it occurs. Of course, the easiest way to ensure you have all the training and assistance you need is to give Diana a call.

Workplace harassment continues to be a serious concern because of its negative business impacts and serious liability risks for employers in all industries, including those in the hospitality community. It is vital for hotel managers and human resources professionals to review their organizations’ policies and practices regarding harassment and make any necessary improvements to avoid negative impacts. Workplace harassment based on race, ethnicity, disability or the perception of disability, sex, sexual orientation (in Washington and some other states), religion or age is prohibited by law.

Given the number of questions I've received recently from clients who've heard rumors about tip pooling becoming legal, I thought it time to update everyone. The short answer is (at least for now) that employers in Washington and Oregon may initiate mandatory tip pools under certain circumstances.

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Greg Duff
Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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