3 Ways To Prep Hospitality Cos. On Holiday Legal Issues

November 20, 2015 – In The News

Carolyn D. Richmond was featured in the Law360 article, “3 Ways To Prep Hospitality Cos. On Holiday Legal Issues.” Full text can be found in the November 20, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

As the holiday season approaches, hospitality companies must be advised by their attorneys on a number of legal matters to avoid unwanted lawsuits. One of these areas is being prepared for law changes that begin with the start of the New Year.

With a number of states set to raise minimum wages after the holiday season, restaurants and hotels should be prepared to implement changes within the organization.

“The No. 1 thing hospitality employers need to do to prepare for the holidays is to really be prepared for the significant changes in minimum wage that go into effect at year end,” said Carolyn Richmond, co-chair of Fox Rothschild’s hospitality practice. “Besides making sure that payroll and [point-of-sale] systems are up to speed, it is essential to make sure that New York employers reissue the required rate of pay form which is mandated whenever there is a wage change.”

The rate of pay form must be given out in the employee’s native language and should reference the overtime rate and any tip or meal credits, Richmond included.

Hospitality companies should also consider in-house liability issues that may occur with the hosting of special holiday events for employees.

“One of the greatest concerns at holiday parties is that managers do not realize that while they are 'off duty,' they still remain liable for workplace harassment claims,” Richmond said. “The best advice for a manager is to make an appearance, make the rounds and stick to non-alcoholic beverages.”