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Tag: joint employment

What the recent NLRB ruling reversal means for the hospitality industry

With the recent reversal on its 2015 ruling in the Browning-Ferris Industries case, the National Relations Board has given welcome news to hotel owners and executive team: companies are no longer responsible for associates they do not have direct control over. While the ruling provides a clearer guide for what hoteliers are liable for, the hotel industry, which is heavily reliant on staffing vendors and subcontractors in many circumstances, is not in the clear from joint-employment liability.

 

The Political Environment

This reversal has shown how quickly policy can change; and with the ever-changing state of the political environment, it is not out of the question that the Browning-Ferris Industries may be reversed to its 2015 ruling. In fact, Republican Chairman Philip Miscimarra, member of the NLRB, left the board on December 16, and the opening of his seat has the potential to shift the makeup of the board. This potential is slim as the board seat will be confirmed by the Senate, of which the Republican party holds a majority. However, this plus the two additional board seats that will be opening within the next two years should be a cause for concern for the hospitality industry. With such a quickly changing political environment, hoteliers should approach joint employment as if the 2015 ruling of Browning-Ferris Industries was still in place. Not only is it the only way to fully prevent hoteliers and their ownership groups from being held liable for joint employment violations, but creates peace of mind and less work should the NLRB reinstate the Browning-Ferris Industries ruling again.

 

Vendor Contracts

Bryan Wroten, in his article titled “Joint-employer reversal: What hoteliers should know,” addressed legal concerns following the reversal and the importance that hoteliers review the contracts with their subcontractors or staffing providers. Referencing and quoting Dana Kravetz, managing partner at Michelman & Robinson, Wroten writes “It’s likely many hoteliers didn’t take a strong look at their contracts to make sure they only included components to protect them from joint-employer status, such as checking that the contract only maintains franchise standards rather than exerting control.”

 

While this reversal benefits hoteliers, it is important to remain vigilant on potential joint employment issues within a property. Continue to ask your vendors these important questions to fully protect yourself, your management company and ownership group, and review your vendor contracts with your legal team. For guaranteed protection, consider The Service Companies, the only provider of staffing, cleaning and managed services to the hospitality industry that protects a property and ownership from any potential joint employment challenges. We provide a full benefits package and training to our associates, document ID and social security numbers and require all associates to have I-9, W-4, criminal background checks, drug screens and E-Verification validations.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

What hotels, resorts & casinos should ask when selecting a managed services or staffing vendor partner

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With budget season upon us for 2018, you may be accepting proposals from vendors to assume responsibilities of one or more departments at your hotel, casino or resort. To protect yourself, your management company and your ownership group, there are specific questions to ask as you review these proposals. The cheapest option is generally not the best option as there is always an underlying reason why prices are substantially lower.

  • Is the vendor well capitalized and able to meet their payroll needs? A number of service providers are unable to pay their employees on time, which opens their customers (you) up to liability and bad publicity.
  • What does the vendor’s workers compensation program look like? Many lower cost vendors create shell games that could put your property at risk to pay for their employees’ workers compensation claims.
  • Does the vendor follow Department of Labor regulations on overtime payment and payment timeliness?
  • Is there a plan for the management of their employees so joint employment issues are not found and filed?
  • Is there an employee training, retention and satisfaction program? What does the training program, if one exists, look like and are there processes that encourage continuous education (pre-shift meetings, for instance)? At The Service Companies we are constantly educating and training our associates, even if they have been with the team for over 10 years. There are always new techniques and best practices to share and learn.
  • Does the vendor provide benefits, competitive wages and retain their employees? If not, you may be looking at joint employment issues and a workforce that is consistently in flux and not up to speed on your specifications and standards.
  • What is the vendor’s approach to recruiting and staffing? Does the vendor run background and E-verification tests prior to hiring their employees? Unlike The Service Companies, many vendors cannot guarantee that their labor is legal because they do not run these checks, which opens your property up to issues with I.C.E. and the Department of Homeland Security.

These are just a few items that we have learned in our 30 years of experience are necessary for hotels, casinos and resorts to be aware of when making a decision on managed service providers. We take pride in becoming a seamless partner for each of our customers, so we put the responsibility of liability exposure, insurance, benefits, recruiting and quality assurance on our shoulders. This also means that we can guarantee our customers’ properties and ownership are fully protected from potential joint employment issues. Not many other companies put the same emphasis on this, and many times, that is directly reflected in price.

Steve Wilson is the President and CEO of The Service Companies, the leading provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry. With over 30 years of experience in service and hospitality, he flies more than 200,000 miles per year (all domestic) and spends over 200 nights per year in hotels visiting the company’s associates and customers, located in 44 states across the country.