Weekly Update: Rule for Overtime Pay Struck Down

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Major Victory for Hospitality Industry: Rule for Overtime Pay Struck Down

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant has struck down the rule for overtime pay, saying the Labor Department set an excessively high salary threshold to determine which employees are exempt from overtime. The decision was widely anticipated after Mazzant granted a preliminary injunction in November that prevented the overtime rule from taking effect as scheduled on Dec. 1 while he weighed a final ruling. The rule, released by the Obama administration in May 2016, would have nearly doubled the threshold at which executive, administrative and professional employees are exempt from overtime to $47,476 from $23,660. Read more…


Seattle Refocuses on Short-Term Rentals

The Seattle City Council is working to get short-term rental legislation approved before the year’s end. The legislation seeks to protect the supply of long-term rental housing stock, level the playing field in the short-term rental market and protect the rights and safety of guests and neighborhoods. A draft of the legislation is expected soon and may require operators who list rentals on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO to have a special license in addition to a business license and pay a fee. Operators may also be limited to two dwelling units in the city. The platforms themselves may be required to have a license, pay fees and provide data to the city. The council will next discuss the draft legislation at a Sept. 15 committee meeting. For more information, contact Jillian Henze.


Discuss Key Issues Impacting Your Business with Your Local Lawmakers!

Each year, the Hospitality Association Government Affairs team holds series of meetings. One will be near you. Join us for an opportunity to learn about what issues are on the horizon and how you can help. We will invite your local lawmakers to hear from you on topics ranging from the local economy, tourism, and new regulations. Share feedback on our draft issues matrix and legislative plan! We are your voice in Olympia and we hope to hear from you! Full agenda. Please RSVP to Zooie Arnold or call 360.956.7279. For a full list of all regional meeting locations click here.



Support Education Foundation Through Golf FORE! Education Tournament, Sept. 19

This year the Washington Hospitality Education Foundation has celebrated many wins for Association membership and local hospitality communities. Understanding that workforce development was a key issue for restaurants and hotels across the state, the Education Foundation facilitated hiring events that brought key public and private partners together to create over 300 filled job positions in the third quarter of 2017. Additionally, the Education Foundation has provided more than $12,000 in scholarships to hospitality students for post-secondary education in 2017. Also, the Education Foundation continues to grow the state’s ProStart program in continuing efforts to develop our state’s future workforce. As the school year approaches, you can support the Education Foundation by taking advantage of the sponsorship opportunities we still have available. For more information on sponsorships contact Michele Holmes. We’ll see you there on Sept. 19, at Washington National Golf Course.


Attention Hoteliers: Don’t Miss This Year’s Washington Lodging Convention!

The Washington Lodging Convention has rounded out its program with an A-list of speakers and trainers who will help hoteliers navigate the disruptive forces facing the industry. From Greg Duff’s training on distribution disrupters to Glenn Haussman’s keynote on reinventing service in the new hospitality climate, it’s a program you can’t afford to miss. Learn more about the lineup and register here. And remember, the Washington Hospitality Association has developed a smart phone app called “Washington Hospitality Events.” The application puts all the information that lodging professionals need for the convention, right at their fingertips. To get the most out of the convention at Tulalip Casino on Oct. 22, download the app and start to explore. The app is available on Google Play as well as iTunes. Download it today!



Two Minute Video: What You Need to Know

Don’t miss this great video recap of the news you need to know, including a look back at a big year in the Washington State Legislature and many wins for the Association, and look at the possibility of a plastic straw ban in Seattle.


Eye on Hospitality: Hotels Targeted by Patent Trolls

One of the less than pleasant aspects of doing business today is dealing with patent trolls. Patent trolls produce nothing, but buy up vague patents and attempt to enforce their rights against accused infringers far beyond the patent’s actual value or contribution through hardball legal tactics. The hospitality industry, unfortunately, is very familiar with these bottom dwellers because many of our members have been their victims. The latest patent trolling scam involves a Florida-based company called JBSHBM, LLC. Many hotels recently received a letter from this company. Read more…


Foodservice of America and Grocerant Guru on DineNW Radio Show – Listen Online!

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, online. Andy Cook kicks off the show with an interview with the business solutions team at Food Services of America Seattle. Paul Schlienz then joins Andy to chat with Steven Johnson, the Grocerant Guru with Food Service Solutions.



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