New Cornell institute to promote hospitality labor, employment relations

Jul 02, 2013

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.255.9780,

On July 1, the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA) launched a new institute dedicated to understanding and improving labor and employment relations in the hospitality industry. Through educational student programming, faculty scholarly research, industry conferences, and roundtables, the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER) will establish itself as the leader in the field and will provide a platform for students, employers, employees, unions, and their advocates to learn about the complex relationship between labor and management.

"The school has offered outstanding courses and roundtables in hospitality labor and employee relations for several years now, and we are delighted to formalize and expand our work in this area with the establishment of the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations," said Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at the SHA.

David Sherwyn

David Sherwyn, professor of law and the John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources, will serve as the first CIHLER director. He will serve a three-year term.

Sherwyn is also a research fellow at the Center for Labor and Employment Law at New York University’s School of Law and is of counsel to the law firm of Stokes Roberts & Wagner. From 2006 to 2009, Sherwyn was the director of the Center for Hospitality Research at the SHA. In 2002, Sherwyn conceived of, organized, and hosted the CHR's first Hospitality Industry Roundtable.

Sherwyn’s research interests include discrimination law, arbitration of discrimination lawsuits, and union management relations, and he has published articles in many scholarly hospitality and law journals. Prior to joining the SHA faculty, Sherwyn practiced management-side labor and employment law for six years.

"CIHLER will encompass the entire spectrum of hospitality labor and employment relations. Union contracts, implementing the affordable care act, EEOC issues, wage and hour compliance, leadership, and succession planning are just some of the subjects we will be writing about and discussing," said Sherwyn. "With the help of our partners, we believe that within one year our website we will be a top resource for any information concerning labor and employment relations in the industry. In addition, we have the lofty goal of creating a forum where union and management can work together to ‘modernize’ the hotel industry in ways that benefit both capital and labor. We are tremendously excited about CIHLER and are extremely thankful to John and Melissa Ceriale whose generosity and energy made it possible. We are also thankful that so many industry-related employers and firms are supporting CIHLER financially and with expertise by giving their time to our conferences and roundtables and by contributing content to our website."

For more information on the centers and institutes at the School of Hotel Administration, visit

About the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations
The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations was established in 2013 as a platform for students, employers, labor, and employees involved in the hospitality industry. The institute’s mission is to support educational programs, sponsor and disseminate research, and hold conferences and roundtables dedicated to labor and employment in the hospitality industry. To achieve this goal, the institute supports classes focusing on labor and employment relations; disseminates empirical, theoretical, and doctrinal scholarship; and sponsors conferences and roundtables.