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(This column recently appeared in Hotel News Now where Randall Pullen is a columnist for their on-line publication)


I attended the annual Hospitality Law Conference recently concluded at the Houston Omni Hotel.  Besides meeting with many of the leading labor attorneys across the country, it is an opportunity to learn about the latest legal issues and rulings that are affecting hotel human resources and labor markets.  This year was no different; there are a lot of new developments that are or will impact the hospitality industry now and in the near future.


It would take several columns to just deal with the many unknowns of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as Obama Care, or the proposed changes to the immigration laws that are now being discussed in Congress, or with the many labor union contract negotiations scheduled to occur in 2013.


Top Stories: Human Resources
Retaining Walls
Why do we have layoffs? One counter-intuitive answer is "because retention programs work." Layoffs happen because the efforts to keep the workforce trimmed didn't work. Attrition wasn't high enough. The right people did not leave of their own accord.
(HR Examiner)
  Read the complete article
"Workers' compensation is more about protecting employers than workers... It should be called the 'Employer Protection Act'... It protects employers from being sued. It protects them from the real costs of injuries. It protects employers from having to look the families of the workers they have injured or killed in their eyes and be accountable for what happened."
(Workers Compensation)
  Read the complete article
American industries from film-making and construction to accounting and health care powered broad- based job gains in February, a show of confidence among employers in the face of federal budget cuts and tax increases.
 Read the complete article
Here's something that we haven't seen at all during the crisis aftermath: accelerating wage growth. But check this out. If you look at a year-over-year chart of private sector average hourly wages, you can finally see the first real signs of accelerating wages.
(Business Insider)
 Read the complete article
Top Stories: Lodging & Gaming
House, Senate Democrats call for boost of minimum wage to $10.10 an hour
House and Senate Democrats want to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, more than a dollar higher than President Barack Obama proposed in his State of the Union address.
(The Washington Post) Read the complete article
Hotel surge reflects renaissance in downtown Los Angeles
If the notion of adding four hotels on a single downtown Los Angeles block within a four-year period gave Bill Marriott pause, having to cut a check to competing businesses cleared that up real quick.
(Travel Weekly) Read the complete article
Hyatt Reaches New Contract Agreements With UniteHere Local 274 in Philadelphia, Local 23 in Denver and Local 30 in San Diego
Hyatt announced today that Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing and Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center associates overwhelmingly ratified agreements recently for new five-year contracts with UniteHere Local 274 and UniteHere Local 23, respectively, giving Hyatt associates the wage and benefit increases they deserve.
(Market Watch) Read the complete article
Top Stories: Healthcare
Which Health Programs Did the Sequester Cut?
Much buzz has been generated for months about the crisis of across-the-board spending cuts that took effect Friday after Congress failed to pass an equivalent $1.2 trillion savings package over the next 10 years. Few federal programs were spared from the cuts other than the Medicaid and CHIP programs.
(Becker's Hospital Review) Read the complete article
Cloud and Obamacare: Mandates for Healthcare Change?
No matter your political bent, one of the more interesting aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare in the common parlance) is its emphasis on technology's role in curbing healthcare costs. A layer below that, of course, is the question of what kind of technologies will be able to help lower healthcare spending and associated costs.
(Wired) Read the complete article
Strike Debt Declares Healthcare Emergency
Strike Debt, one of the offshoot groups of Occupy Wall Street, has planned a week of action March 16-23 in response to what it calls a "healthcare emergency." A majority of personal bankruptcies in the United States are linked to medical bills, with 75 percent of people declaring bankruptcy even though they have health insurance.
(The Nation) Read the complete article
The Young and the Healthy Will Leave the ACA Exchanges as Costs Rise
The CBO projects that the number of enrollees in the ACA's subsidized exchanges will climb until 2018, at which point large numbers of young, healthy individuals will choose to leave the exchanges rather than bear the rising cost of premiums. As Jed Graham explains, this decline reflects a quirk of the law inserted to reduce projected spending:
(National Review Online) Read the complete article
CNN's Visionary Documentary on Health Care
To get a sense of how out of whack American health care costs are, we need only look to Canada, a society whose standard of living and culture are very similar to that of the United States. Per person, the U.S. spends almost double what Canada does on health care, yet American health outcomes, like life expectancy, rank lower.
(Huffington Post)  Read the complete article
Health Care Law Now Faces Biggest Challenge American Consumers
President Obama handily defeated congressional Republicans in the political fight over his health care law. But the law will now face a much tougher opponent -- the creativity of Americans determined to gain more control over their own health care decisions. The end result will be a system much different than the president hopes for -- and his opponents fear.
(Real Clear Politics) Read the complete article
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