As hospitality companies gear up for the busy holiday season on the business end, there are also a number of legal matters that attorneys for these establishments should be tackling with their clients, experts say.
In the frenzy of preparing for increased business or special events, some hospitality companies may unwittingly cut corners with seasonal employees, forget to prepare for a law change that goes into effect in the new year, or simply overlook some of the liabilities that can come with their own holiday parties, experts say.
“Probably the most important thing is you have to be wary that seasonal employees, for almost every purpose, must be treated as permanent employees,” said Jerrold Goldberg of Greenberg Traurig LLP.
It may be tempting for a company to treat the new employees as independent contractors because it's a temporary assignment. But if the temporary employees' duties and management are indistinguishable from regular permanent employees', the distinction won't hold up in the face of a legal challenge, Goldberg noted.