Hospitality Labor and Employment Law

eCornell

eCornell

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Who should attend

  • HR professionals working in the hospitality industry
  • HR consultants
  • Hospitality managers and executives
  • Hotel owners and asset managers
  • Small business owners and franchise owners
  • Overseas companies looking to do business with the U.S. market

About the course

Hospitality industry labor laws have become increasingly complex to follow, as regulations were largely designed with other industries in mind. But it has never been more critical for employers to make sure that they are in compliance with both federal and state laws, which are rigorously enforced.

This certificate program begins by providing you with a framework for discrimination law to help you identify the seven protected classes under federal law and then defines employers’ obligations in accommodating these classes. Additionally, you’ll delve into the specifics of discrimination laws, including sexual harassment and organizational liability under the law. Throughout the courses, you’ll have the opportunity to examine your organization’s current HR policies and practices to help recognize and minimize discriminatory behavior in the workplace. You will also study the nuances and complexities of wage and hour law and explore traditional labor law, including the National Labor Relations Act, the purpose of unions, and strategies to manage in a union environment.

By the completion of the program, you’ll come away better prepared to adhere to employment laws to avoid costly risks, exposure, and damages.

Discrimination Law in the Hospitality Industry

Discrimination is a topic often discussed yet, unfortunately, often misunderstood. It is common to hear that employment practices are unfair. While this may be the case, fairness and the law are not one and the same. Discrimination law defines specific protected classes and the obligations that employers face in accommodating these protected classes.

In this course, you will begin to analyze and determine discriminatory acts through the lens of burden of proof, according to the law. You will explore the seven protected classes and how certain policies and practices your organization implements can lead to liability and damages. Understanding the legal concepts in accordance with your roles and responsibilities will enhance your decision-making and response with regard to discrimination. Ultimately, a careful examination of federal, state, and local discrimination laws, as well as your HR policies and actions, may help you better manage and prevent discriminatory behavior in your organization.

This course does not assume any legal knowledge or accreditation on your part. Rather, it serves as an educational framework for managing. None of this content should be taken as legal advice. For legal guidance, please consult your own attorney or legal department.

Specific Discrimination Laws in Hospitality

Federal anti-discrimination legislation covers seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability. While some of the protected classes seem fairly clear-cut, others are not quite as straightforward. For example, there are nuances related to sexual harassment, retaliation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and religion. You will examine these four areas in detail, including accommodations, different standards for what constitutes discrimination, and adverse employment actions.

More specifically, you will explore sexual harassment and when your organization may be liable under the law. You will study retaliation and investigate how you can minimize conduct that can trigger discrimination claims. In addition, you will scrutinize the definition of disability under the law and determine your organization's obligations to accommodate for disability based on the ADA. You will also analyze your obligations to accommodate employees' religious beliefs.

This course does not assume any legal knowledge or accreditation on your part. Rather, it serves as an educational framework for managing. None of this content should be taken as legal advice. For legal guidance, please consult your own attorney or legal department.

Wage and Hour Law in Hospitality

The burden is on employers to make sure that they are in compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws, and employers want to be diligent about compliance. The trouble is that the law is not always simple to follow, particularly in hospitality. The law is not written for the hospitality industry; it is written for the manufacturing industry, where the breakdown of work tasks is very clear. Once you move outside of manufacturing, compliance with wage and hour law becomes much more complex and much more confusing. Employers and HR managers in hospitality may not have confidence in their ability to maintain compliance.

A key characteristic of the hospitality industry is that the distinction between supervisor and worker is easily blurred. For example, we've all seen the restaurant manager who pitches in during busy shifts to help serve food. The organization may assume that this worker, as a salaried employee and a manager, is exempt from overtime pay, but is that correct? (Answer: Not necessarily.) In this course, you will examine relevant laws and potential violations that commonly affect the hospitality industry. You will practice correctly classifying workers and explore the questions of wage and hour law that are most relevant to hospitality. (Note: This course will be most relevant to HR managers and employers within the hospitality industry.)

This course does not assume any legal knowledge or accreditation on your part. Rather, it serves as an educational framework for managing. None of this content should be taken as legal advice. For legal guidance, please consult your own attorney or legal department.

Labor Law in Hospitality

Unions have played a major role in shaping working condition standards in the U.S., and the hospitality industry is no exception. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) upholds the regulations that are specified within the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Within the NLRA you will find guidelines for conducting elections for union representation and codified guidelines of how to address unfair labor practices, as well as regulations regarding the employer-employee relationship. In this course, you will explore the nuances and parameters of the NLRA as it pertains to working in the hospitality industry. You will discover how and why employees are motivated to form unions. With those motivations in mind, you will delve into strategies for responding to union organizing efforts. Finally, you will be given tactics for successfully managing in a union environment.

This course takes a deep dive into labor union relations in the hospitality industry. During this course you will navigate through the distinct parameters of the NLRA and consider insights into managing in union environments. You will review several curated applicable scenarios and analyze them to determine whether specific behaviors are lawful in the eyes of the NLRB. These scenarios will allow you to practice your ability to decipher the root causes of issues as you prepare to use the skills acquired in this course within your own workplace.

This course does not assume any legal knowledge or accreditation on your part. Rather, it serves as an educational framework for managing. None of this content should be taken as legal advice. For legal guidance, please consult your own attorney or legal department.

KEY COURSE TAKEAWAYS

  • Use a framework for identifying, understanding, and complying with labor and employment laws
  • Recognize potential retaliation and identify conduct that can lead to discrimination claims
  • Recognize the damages that could be awarded against your company for discriminatory behavior
  • Examine key compliance issues for hospitality, including break time, overtime, Workers’ Comp, and pay equity
  • Identify strategies for managing in complex environments, including with unions, contract workers, and both exempt and non-exempt workers
  • Effectively manage union relationships

Experts

David Sherwyn

David Sherwyn is the John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources and a professor of law at Cornell University''s School of Hotel Administration. He is also the academic director of the Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations and a research fe...

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Hospitality Labor and Employment Law at eCornell

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