The article,�”Pennsylvania ranks fourth nationally in number of hotels breaking labor laws: PublicSource,”� published by the Observer-Reporter last week, failed to capture the complexities of labor laws that the hotel industry has to deal with.
Lodging establishments are not only large employers, in many cases employing hundreds of individuals, but also complex entities that employ just about every category of worker (i.e., full time, part time, tipped, contracted, salaried, hourly, etc.). As a result, these businesses are subject to almost every labor law written. Not only is it difficult for a business to be 100 percent compliant, but labor laws also are open to interpretation by the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Department of Labor. An operator might not realize his or her business is in violation of the law until it is uncovered in an audit, at which point the error is corrected and rarely repeated.
When it comes to understanding the intricate regulations such as those relating to labor compliance, education is key. Educating lodging establishments on the many nuances of labor law will go a long way in helping compliance and curbing repeat violations.
Patrick C. Conway
Conway is the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.