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Major hotel chain facing regulatory compliance issues

Motel 6, a nationwide motel chain known for simple but adequate accommodations and affordable nightly rates, is under fire from the Attorney General of another state and several other quarters for allegedly violating consumer protection laws.

Motel 6 has motels in the Las Vegas area and throughout Nevada, although some may be operated via a franchising agreement and thus would technically be independently owned and operated.

The issue came to light when a reporter noticed a trend that undocumented workers were being detained at Motel 6 frequently. The reporter discovered that Motel 6's employees were turning over the facility's guest list to federal immigration agents, who then would use the information to locate and detain people, sometimes picking them up at the Motel 6.

Critics of this practice, including the authorities of one state, have said that since the motel turned over their lists upon request and without a warrant or court order, they violated the privacy rights of their customers, rights which, incidentally, are codified in the laws of several states.

It is not clear how Motel 6 plans to resolve these allegations, but since the issue came to light, the motel chain has expressly prohibited all employees and agents from turning over guest lists, even to law enforcement, without proper court process.

If anything, this case illustrates the importance of all businesses, but particularly those who deal with customer's private information, to have a strong regulatory compliance program. Even if these employees acted with good intentions, their not understanding the law in this case has landed a major business in legal hot water. This is why having the ongoing support of a business law attorney is important to the success of Nevada organizations.

Source: Nevada Public Radio, "Motel 6 gave guest information to immigration agents, lawsuit says," Doreen McCallister, Jan. 4, 2018.

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