Updates from the Director

The Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations typically publishes updates from its director a few times each year. You can see all of CIHLER’s news and features on BusinessFeed.

David Sherwyn

David Sherwyn

Academic Director of CIHLER; John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources 607.255.1711

February 2021

As we all continue to live in this COVID focused world, and wonder about the future of business and other travel, the world of labor and employment relations continues to evolve. One of President Biden’s first actions was to remove Peter Robb, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). We will discuss the effects of this decision on February 9th during a webinar with former NLRB Chair/Member, Wilma Liebman (Democrat); former NLRB Member, Harry Johnson (Republican); and Professor, and former ILR Dean, Harry Katz – I will moderate. While the agenda of the new General Counsel is unclear at this moment, we can guess a change in the general counsel and the make-up in the Board in August, could lead to changes in the law with regards to joint-employer, so-called micro-bargaining units, and a number of other issues that will affect the day to day operations of our industry.  On the other hand, the conservative Supreme Court could rule on card-check, which would significantly alter union organizing in the Industry.  We will keep abreast of the changes and, in webinars, roundtables, conferences, newsletters, and reports, CIHLER will be a source of information for the Industry.

The NLRB is not, of course, the only place where we will see changes: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor (DOL), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will likely be active as they seek to implement the President’s agenda. Because a change in the administration always alters the labor and employment landscape, we plan on a busy Spring semester with several webinars, roundtables, and the preparation for our signature event: the HR in Hospitality Conference, which will now be held on September 21st -23rd at the Del Coronado Hotel in San Diego, CA. Pushing the conference back to September will, we hope, allow us to gather together for the first time in well over a year and give us time to analyze the major issues that face our industry as we seek to return to, or create, a new normal. We hope you will all be able to make it to California this fall!

In addition to staying current with the changes in our field, we are also working on the proposal to create a CIHLER approved dispute resolution program. It is extremely difficult to get all the stakeholders on the same page, but we are guided by two truths: (1) the current system is extremely problematic; and (2) a thoughtful system based on what is best for employees, employers, and society is necessary. We will keep you informed as we navigate this controversial and vital component of our Industry.  We look forward to seeing you online until we see you in person at the Del in the Fall!

Previous Director's Updates

Below are previous director’s messages from David Sherwyn, founding academic director of the Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations.