From the Director

Focusing on Momentous Changes

David Sherwyn Academic Director of the CIHLER

Well, despite the fact that the snow never really came to Ithaca this winter (though there is still time), the calendar says it’s spring, and thus, CIHLER is gearing up for our “busy” season. Next week, faculty members Bruce Tracey, Paul Wagner, Rachel Aleks, Rick Hurd, and ILR Dean Kevin Hallock will head to Scottsdale, Arizona, for the 10th annual HR in Hospitality Conference and Exposition. This conference has become “the place” for hospitality HR professionals to learn from leaders in the field and each other through a number of different types of sessions and learning experiences. It is our pleasure to work with LRP to gather with colleagues each spring and discuss the industry’s most important issues. Our members will be well represented. Attendees can look for (in order of appearance) Ilene Berman, Barry Hartstein, Celeste Yeager, Carolyn Richmond, Jeff Ruzal, Laura FitzRandolph, Michael Lebowich, David Rothfeld, Gregg Gilman, Michael Gray, Alan Momeyer, Debbie Brown, Danielle Hawkins, and Kara Maciel.

After Scottsdale, we will be back in Ithaca for Roundtables dedicated to the joint employer doctrine and traditional labor relations. In May we will have a regional roundtable in Chicago to be followed by regional roundtables in Dallas and NYC.

Labor and employment relations issues continue to be at the forefront of the hospitality industry. The joint employer hearings and debates at the national level could fundamentally change the employment model in the industry. In addition, our members are gearing up for the next round of union negotiations, changes in the exempt versus non-exempt standards, the DOL’s new definition of independent contractor, the EEOC’s position that the definition of “sex” includes orientation and transgender, and the EEOC’s attempt to expand the obligations to accommodate religion. Our roundtables, research papers, and conference sessions provide room to debate the standards and seek guidance on how to comply. Our faculty and members are at the forefront of all these issues, and we thank them and you for continued support.

David Sherwyn
John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources

Academic Director of the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow