Sexual harassment has gone from one of several discrimination issues to what could be the most important social issue of the year and, maybe, the decade. Employers are more concerned than ever about eliminating sexual harassment. In addition, employers need to know how to react to claims of harassment: investigation, treatment of the accuser and the accused, and the legal standards under which allegations are judged. CIHLER has always been at the forefront of the sexual harassment issue—through research, conferences, roundtables, and other interactions, CIHLER has been a resource for employers, HR professionals, lawyers, and employees.
This year, sexual harassment has been a topic at each of our roundtables and at our presentations at ALIS Law, and of course, it will be a huge topic at HR in Hospitality. In addition, we will have a panel discussion on harassment on April 26 in Washington, D.C. We will follow that up with 2018 roundtables in Washington, D.C., LA, San Francisco, and Ithaca.
At the same time, on the labor side, 2018 is a year in which contracts are up in numerous major cities. CIHLER will be monitoring the negotiations, the process, and the results. We look forward to publishing a report analyzing these negotiations.
We are thrilled to welcome four new members in calendar year 2018. We now have 34 members—all from the employer side. This will soon change.
On the other hand, besides Unite Here, no union, employee advocate organization, or employee/union-side law firm has joined CIHLER. We hope to change that! CIHLER is in the process of developing an employee advocate board. We are looking for international and local unions, law firms, and other organizations to join our new board, and hope that soon, our employee board rivals our employer board. To facilitate that, our October Ithaca roundtable will feature concurrent employer law, HR, and employee advocate sessions, and then one final combined session at the end of the day.
The goal of CIHLER has always been to improve employment relations in the hospitality industry. Having ILR as a partner and an employee advocate board is a major step in achieving that goal.