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Labor Updates of the
Hotel Industry
Meghan Clark & Olivia Kobayashi
Michigan State University
 Nature of the Industry
 Employee turnover rates
 Government Regulation
Minimum wage
 Union Contracts
 State of the Economy
 “Fiscal Cliff”
Hotel Labor Costs:
30-35% of Total Revenue
Nature of the Hotel Industry
 High employee turnover rates: 78.3% - 95.4%
 Seasonal business
 Low pay rates (52% below the average hourly
wage) ***Hospitality is considered high-risk for
wage violations
 Student employees
 Unskilled labor pool
 Employees unfit for customer service
 Results in higher training and hiring costs
"Introduction." Motivation in the Hospitality Industry. The Incentive Research Foundation, n.d. Web. 19 Nov.
2012. <>.
Combat Labor Costs by Focusing on Employee
 Improved interview process to gauge willingness to
work in customer service
 Increase hourly wages
 Offer employee incentive programs
 Could improve operational income by 19.2%
 Show strong, supportive leadership from
 Improve employee-manager relationships
 Open communication policies
 Provide professional development for employees
 Job enrichment, team building opportunities
Governmental Policy
 Misclassification of Employees
 Affordable Care Act: full time = 30 hrs/wk,
violations of healthcare coverage results in
extra taxes
 Fair Labor Standards Act: employers who
misclassify employees independent
contractors must pay for benefits, overtime
pay, and fines
Immigration Reform
 Significant changes to the I-9 form
 Massive overhaul of format and instructions
 Fines as high as $1,100 per employee for violations
 Public investigations damage reputation
 Hospitality employers at highest risk to
 Abstain from hiring unauthorized workers
 Provide 1-9 training to HR department
 Implement comprehensive immigration compliance
policy and investigation response protocol
Baffa, David, Nicole Bogard, Daniel Hart, Alexander Passatino, and David Pilson. "Five Key Labor And Employment Issues Hospitality
Employers Need To Be Aware Of This Quarter." Seyfarth Shaw LLP. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.
Labor Unions
Hotel Industry is attractive for unionization
 UNITE HERE focuses on the hospitality
industry with card-check neutrality
 Unions can form in hotels where majority of
employees sign for union representation
 Right-to-work states are becoming more
 Could be a cost savings for employer
Effects of the Economy
 “Fiscal Cliff”
 Budget Control Act of 2011 changes went into effect:
payroll tax cuts, healthcare taxes
 Spending cuts
 Tax rate increases
 No consumer spending, low government spending
 What’s Next: Debt Ceiling
Future Payroll & Benefits
 Labor costs average 43.7% of operating
expenses and increase annually 4.3%
 Limited recently by increased productivity,
controlled benefits, and high levels of
 Projected growth of only 2.4% and
unemployment of 9.9%
 Higher skilled employees working for less
Mandelbaum, Robert . "Hotel managers labor to control labor." Hotel News Now . N.p., 3 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.
 Need to prepare for the future in order to curb
labor costs
 Stay up-to-date with laws and other regulations
 The future acts of government and the state of
the economy will have a significant impact
 Hoteliers can offset predicted changes by
 No way to predict what will happen, but can
stay well informed