Editorial Board   

Mr. Starr

Michael Starr

Partner, Holland & Knight LLP

Michael Starr is a partner in the New York office of Holland & Knight LLP, where he leads the firm's Labor & Employment Hospitality group.  Having practiced for more than 35 years, he is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is listed in Chambers USA: Best Lawyers in America, among other major rating agencies, and in 2016 received the Global Award for Labor-Management Relations from Corporate LiveWire.

Mr. Starr represents major hospitality and other companies nationwide in complex litigation related primarily to labor relations and employment, often handling cutting-edge legal issues of substantial client significance.  His practice encompasses federal labor law, non-competition and employee disloyalty, trade-secret misappropriation, employment discrimination and wage-hour law, as well as senior executive employment.

Mr. Starr appears regularly before federal and state courts for both trials and appeals, and he represents management before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in other agency proceedings. He also advises clients on preventive labor and employee relations practices.

Mr. Starr is frequently published and speaks professionally on the full range of employment and labor law issues. He was for 20 years a regular employment law columnist for The National Law Journal and was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

His extensive community and professional activities include being a member of the Pro Bono Panel for civil appeals of the U.S. Court for the Second Circuit, a court-appointed mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and a member of the Eastern District's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Advisory Council. He was also a founding board member of the Court Appointment Special Advocates (CASA), a board member of the Lawyers Alliance for New York, and a member of the Human Resources Committee for the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Starr can be contacted at 212-513-3506 or Michael.Starr@hklaw.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.