Editorial Board   

Ms. Williams

Soy Williams

President, Soy Williams Consulting, Inc.

Soy Williams is a registered architect with more than 25 years of experience in disability related issues. Ms. Williams specializes in accessibility requirements of federal civil rights laws as well as model, state and local accessibility codes and standards. Ms. Williams became involved in the revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility guidelines in 1993 and was appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton to the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the U.S. Access Board) in 2000. During her tenure she saw the completion of the revisions to the ADA guidelines. These guidelines are now the U. S. Department of Justice 2010 requirements for accessible buildings and facilities. She was also instrumental in shaping accessibility provisions of the International Building Code and its three legacy codes and served on numerous committees of model code organizations. She continues her involvement in development, application and interpretation of federal, state and local accessibility requirements. Ms. Williams brings unique experience and understanding to provide accessibility consulting services to private and public entities throughout the United States.

Ms. Williams can be contacted at 305-238-9740 or soy@soywilliamsconsulting.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.