Laws to Protect the Hotel Industry Essay

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AH&LA: Recent Lobbying Initiative

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is a lobbying group which supports the interests of the hotel industry in congress as well as provides educational and professional resources for members. Networking is a critical aspect of surviving in hospitality and AH&LA offers numerous conferences throughout the year, during which its members can "exchange ideas, strategies, and contacts with industry leaders" as well as with one another ("Conventions and events," 2015). The AH&LA has supported a number of recent acts of legislation to protect the industry including the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015, H.R. 3765.

According to the AH&LA, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015, H.R. 3765 addresses what it calls the "unseemly practice of 'drive-by' lawsuits ... by specifying clear, unambiguous rules for identifying and correcting ADA access violations before allowing litigation or a drawn-out settlement process" ("AH&LA applauds," 2015). The AH&LA states that it supports the ADA but does not think lawyers should abuse it and only "if a business fails to correct an identified violation following a notice and a defined period of time, then the right for seeking legal recourse still applies under the ADA" ("AH&LA applauds," 2015). This demonstrates how the AH&LA treads a delicate balance in its work as an advocacy organization. To take too strong a stand against the ADA would immediately be unpopular with restaurant consumers. On the other hand, small business owners in particular often find it challenging to comply with existing federal laws in regards to disability access and seek out less stringent compliance legislation to save both time and money and reduce legal risks.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the substance of ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015, H.R. 3765 "requires the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice to develop a program to educate state and local governments and property owners on strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for persons with a disability" and "the program may include training for professionals to provide a guidance of remediation for potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)" ("Summaries," 2015). The impetus of the bill is to reduce the risk of legislative action for small businesses (such as individual in the hotel industry) for unintended infractions of the ADA. It is easy to see why the AH&LA would support this bill: keeping abreast of the various legal aspects of antidiscrimination legislation can be extremely challenging and a small or medium-sized business owner might find him or herself unintentionally liable. Not only can this result in costly litigation; it can also garner bad publicity for the business.

The proposed law also institutes specific protocols for violation notices. For example, "the notification must…

Sources Used in Document:

References

AH&LA applauds House introduction of legislation to strengthen the ADA, Stop 'drive-by'

lawsuits. (2015). AH&LA. Retrieved from: https://www.ahla.com/pressrelease.aspx?id=38348

Conventions and events. (2015). AH&LA. Retrieved from:

https://www.ahla.com/events/

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