2019 Sessions

March 25th – 27th at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Choose from a collection of carefully crafted offerings, including plenaries, smaller breakout sessions, roundtables, and workshops.  Whether you are an HR or employment law practitioner, there is something here for everyone.

HR Sessions

Engaging Today’s Workforce with Cultural Intelligence

HR1 Monday, March 25 1:00 – 2:15pm

The 21st century workforce includes five generations and more ethnic, racial and cultural diversity than ever before. To be effective with such a mix of cultures and generations, companies need to build culturally responsive environments that allow people to thrive. This workshop will provide participants with an in depth look at the cultural identity, experiences and beliefs of the diverse and multigenerational employee populations that make up today’s workforce. By discovering how different employees self-identify, leaders can better coach and motivate them to perform at higher levels and be more promotion ready.

Gerry Fernandez
, President and Founder, Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance

HR Roundtable: Is performance management dead? Not yet, but…

HR2 Monday, March 25 1:00 – 2:15pm

Recent estimates show traditional performance appraisals have been abandoned by more than a third of U.S. companies. And while many organizations are placing bets on moving to more frequent, less formal, development-focused formats, there are several practical challenges that must be considered, including legal considerations and the alignment of individual needs and organizational goals. Come hear our performance management experts discuss the core requirements for an effective performance management program, as well as the key contingencies that can have a direct impact – positive and negative – on key program policies and practices.

*Limited to first 25 attendees

Functional Metrics – When Less is More

HR3 Monday, March 25 2:30 – 3:45pm

Not all HR metrics are created equal. Some are extremely important and serve as reliable and valid indicators of program and process performance. Others, unfortunately, are not as meaningful or simply not worth the effort to consider. As such, on many if not most occasions, less is more. In this session, Jake and Rick will review and discuss a number of approaches to capturing and leveraging key HR metrics. They will consider a wide range of factors that may enhance or impede effective data management efforts, including system and platform options that may impact data access and accuracy.

The #metoo movement and implications for creating a truly inclusive workplace

HR4 Monday, March 25 2:30 – 3:45pm

The #metoo movement has created a national conversation about sexual violence and brought needed salience to one of the most important problems in our industry – and society at large. This session will address the ways in which senior leadership, HR, and the legal team can work collaboratively to create a safe, respectful, and positive work environment for all employees.

Fatal Attraction: Recruiting and Retaining Passionate Talent

HR5 Tuesday, March 26 1:30 – 2:45pm

Team members with a true commitment to and passion for hospitality have been the guarantors of the industry’s success for generations.  But with an extremely tight job market and a high turnover rate, the challenge of attracting and retaining such team members has never been greater. In this general session, hear from experts with ZipRecruiter, HCareers and SalesBoost on how and why you should adapt your culture and environment to align with the values and needs of a changing workforce in order to continue drawing and keeping the necessary talent. The growing obstacles to the hospitality sector’s career appeal and the unique characteristics of its workforce will be discussed from an analytics perspective prior to the panel engaging in a robust discussion leading to a set of action items and ideas for organizations of all sizes to implement.

Developing brand ambassadors – Implications for training design and delivery

HR6 Tuesday, March 26 1:30 – 2:45pm

Many hospitality companies have complex brands that are influenced by a wide array of sometimes competing factors – from the owner’s priorities, to the competitive conditions that are specific to a particular location. However, while trainers have dutifully attempted to account for the subtle yet important distinctions among the competing interests, most efforts fall short in developing the requisite knowledge and skills. In this session, Melissa and Finley will share their experiences in designing and implementing brand-focused training programs that help new and experienced employees alike become more brand savvy and thus, more effective.

Creating a Great Place to Work FOR ALL at The Breakers

HR7 Tuesday, March 26 3:00 – 4:15pm

Diversity goes beyond what we can see about an individual from the outside – it includes an individual’s “hidden diversity”. In this session, Denise and Holly will present an overview of their collaboration to create a “full inclusion culture” at The Breakers. They will address a number of specific programs and initiatives – such as gender change benefits and robust education for those who suffer from depression, mental disorders, anxiety, and stress – and discuss the respective implications for ensuring program success, including the foundations for facilitating a high-trust work environment that directly affects a company’s business success.

New and better ways to find and hire staff

HR8 Tuesday, March 26 3:00 – 4:15pm

Finding sustainable sources of talent and making effective selection decisions remains one of the most critical HR tasks, and those who are seeking employment opportunities have a very strong upper hand. In this session, Greg and Jim will discuss data-driven methods that level the playing field and create innovative and robust solutions for finding and hiring the best employees.

Enhancing HR Expertise to Deliver Better Business Outcomes: A Presentation of Case Studies by Cornell Executive Education

HR9 Tuesday, March 26 9:00 – 10:15am

In this session HR leaders will gain insights on how Cornell Executive Education can help your organization engage, develop and retain your key talent in the hospitality industry and take your teams to the next level. Through our “One Cornell” approach we provide professional development resources from across our schools and academic network. An interactive panel, consisting of members from Hospitality Open and Custom programs, eCornell and ILR Human Resources programs, will discuss current offerings and feature interesting client case studies. Come hear how Cornell is working with our clients to combine faculty research with the most up to date industry best practices in order to address business and workplace challenges within organizations all over the globe.

Faster, smarter, better: How Emerging Technology is Transforming Hiring for High Growth Concepts

HRA Tuesday, March 26 8:00 – 9:00am

HR technology has been evolving at an exponential rate, with recent breakthrough solutions based on the management and optimization of hospitality’s greatest challenge, resource, and opportunity: people.

These new and emerging solutions also provide a level of customization that is transforming HR decision making and problem solving. In this session, Luke and Dave will share what they have learned in their work to integrate the most advanced and real-time HR solutions that are needed to support the growth at CAVA, one of the fastest-growing quick casual restaurant concepts in the U.S.

Bonus Fireside chat with Debbie Brown, Formerly of Four Seasons

HRB Tuesday, March 26 4:30 – 5:30pm
Moderated by Bruce Tracey

This is a special opportunity to spend time with one of the most inspirational and insightful HR executives in the hospitality industry. Debbie Brown will reflect on her three and a half decades of HR leadership experience with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (and other notable hospitality companies), and share her passion and experiences from working with tens of thousands of employees throughout her storied career.

Debbie Brown
, Former Vice President of Human Resources- The Americas, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The People Business

HRB-BONUS Monday, March 25 7:30 – 8:30am
Moderated by Connie Rheams

Curious how to win the war on attracting, and retaining, top talent? Join this breakfast session on the core challenges facing hoteliers and the industry today––and the latest technology solutions to address them. The secret to guest satisfaction starts with your employees. We’ll cover how operations-focused communication strategies help hotels to thrive and keep employee satisfaction high despite current low unemployment rates and related retention hurdles.

Law Sessions

Sexual Harassment Training

LAW1 Monday, March 25 1:00 – 2:15pm

Sexual Harassment has been a cause of action in the United States since 1986, but the fall of 2017 brought the topic from one of several to the one discrimination that cannot only ruin a culture, it can destroy the company. To combat harassment, employers have revised policies, implemented 800 numbers, and committed to training.  Policies and 800 numbers are straightforward, training is not. How should you train, who should you train, when should you train? Should you focus on conduct or law? In this session experienced trainers and litigators discuss options, argue as to what is successful, and reveal how the courts judge the employer’s actions.

ADA: Reasonable Accommodations, Substance Abuse

LAW2 Monday, March 25 1:00 – 2:15pm

The ADA is fundamentally different than any of the other discrimination laws. The other protected classes prohibit discrimination. The ADA requires assertive action – reasonable accommodations.  Reasonable accommodations have always been complex and unclear, but now the directive is difficult to truly comply with. Substance abuse, legal marijuana, and mental illness have replaced “bad backs” as the topic that puts HR professional in a bind.  In this session ADA experts will provide the cutting edge strategies on how to comply with, but be ruled by the ADA.

Pay Equity

LAW3 Monday, March 25 2:30 – 3:45pm

Could pay equity be the next wage and hour epidemic? Unlike discrimination, there is reprehensible intent, the issue is complicated and difficult to comply with, the target keeps moving, and inertia and status quo prevent companies from addressing it. In this session pay equity experts explain the different laws, set forth the penalties, and provide tools and strategies to prevent what could be “bet the company” lawsuits.

The “Unconference”: Legal Think Tank

LAW4 Monday, March 25 2:30 – 3:45pm

You set the agenda for this lively, interactive session covering FLSA legal issues, case law and current requirements for hospitality employers. Three legal experts will facilitate discussions to give you the solutions you need when it comes to the latest on minimum wage, overtime pay, audit preparation and review, compliance and recordkeeping, and more.

Class Actions, Mass Claims… Implementing a Mandatory Arbitration Policy with Class Action Waiver

LAW5 Tuesday, March 26 1:30 – 2:45pm

In May of 2018 the Supreme Court finally resolved a three decade old debate: can employers institute mandatory arbitration policies with class action waivers. The simple answer is YES! The questions that arise are many, but the most obvious are: (1) should you; (2) what should it look like; and (3) how should it be implemented. To answer these questions, decision makers need strong knowledge of class actions, “mass actions”, and what arbitration is really like. This session features one of the top employment class action defense lawyers in the country, an acknowledged leader in non-union arbitration who has directed such programs, defended clients in arbitrations for 20 years, and an HR professional who has lived with and without arbitration.

Union & Management Relations in Hospitality

LAW6 Tuesday, March 26 1:30 – 2:45pm

In 2018 union contracts expired in most of the major cities around the country. Meanwhile, Unite Here continues to increase its use of elections while still focusing on card-check neutrality. In this session, experienced labor lawyers provide a clear picture of what the new contracts say, explain where the industry is and where it’s going with respect to union management relations.

EEOC Update

LAW7 Tuesday, March 26 3:00 – 4:15pm

In the last 20 years the EEOC has resolved approximately 2 million claims and labeled fewer than 400,000 of them as merit resolutions. This means that HR professionals and their lawyers have spent time and money defending 1.6 million claims that the EEOC found to have no merit. Clearly, employers need to figure out a way to avoid claims not just defend. One cannot avoid claims, however, without being on top of the law and the EEOC’s priorities. In this session Barry Hartstein, an EEOC insider, provides updates on the law and the EEOC’s direction.

Barry Hartstein
, Shareholder, Co-Chair, EEO and Diversity Practice, Littler

The politics of labor and employment– where are we, where are we going?

LAW8 Tuesday, March 26 3:00 – 4:15pm
Moderated by Dave Sherwyn

There are few areas of government that are more affected by elections than labor and employment law. The Secretary of Labor, the make-up of the NLRB, the Commissioners of the EEOC, and the leaders of the DOL make a huge mark on the labor and employment law and regulations regardless of Congressional action, or lack thereof. In this session a former NLRB member, a former Deputy Secretary of Labor and the President of Local at Unite Here discuss where we are and where we are going.

Bonus Law Roundtable

LAWA Monday, March 25 2:30 – 3:45pm

Here is an opportunity to learn about the hottest issues percolating in the labor and employment law space. If you are looking to take an active deep dive and get into the pine needles with the experts, this is the session for you.

*Limited to the first 25 attendees

Bonus Law Roundtable

LAWB Tuesday, March 26 1:30 – 2:45pm

Here is an opportunity to learn about the hottest issues percolating in the labor and employment law space. If you are looking to take an active deep dive and get into the pine needles with the experts, this is the session for you.

*Limited to the first 25 attendees

Plenary Sessions

Women in Leadership

PLEN1 Monday, March 25 8:30 – 9:45am
Moderated by Debbie Brown

A recent Fortune article noted, “While the world is evolving, women are still lagging behind when it comes to leadership roles in business.” This concern is particularly salient in the hospitality industry, where women occupy a disproportionately smaller share of high-ranking positions. In this session, a panel of distinguished women will share their experiences and discuss the ways in which they have addressed a wide range of challenges that have helped them achieve their professional goals.

50 Legal Tips in 50 Minutes

PLEN2 Monday, March 25 10:15 – 11:30am
Moderated by Harry Katz

Leading hospitality attorneys will take turns presenting concise, practical tips for HR professionals on critical employment and labor law issues such as class actions, wage and hour compliance, gender bias, social media, micro-bargaining, and more. Learn what you need to know to stay on top of the broad and ever-changing legal landscape – all in one high-energy session. Fasten your seatbelts…

What Kind of Voice on Workplace Issues do Todays’ Workers Want?

PLEN3 Tuesday, March 26 9:00 – 10:15am
Moderated by Harry Katz

This session will look at evidence regarding what the current workforce is looking for with regard to voice, complaint procedures, and representation at the workplace. Do they want unions, prefer affinity groups, or are they satisfied with the voice and complaint mechanisms management is already providing?

HR Tips & Trends

PLEN4 Tuesday, March 26 10:45 – 12:00pm
Moderated by Bruce Tracey

In this fast-paced session, you will learn how our esteemed panel of industry professionals addresses a wide array of current HR challenges. Panelists will discuss their approaches for responding to current and medium-term challenges, and share ‘best practice’ insights and implications for staffing, employee development, performance management, engagement and retention, metrics, employment branding, culture, diversity and inclusion, total rewards, and much, much more.

Human Resource Practices in Franchise Hotel Properties

PLEN5 Wednesday, March 27 9:00 – 10:15am
Moderated by Bruce Tracey

This session will examine whether franchise properties make use of different HR practices as compared to properties managed by corporate entities and if so, how differences in HR practices affect the bottom line. Speakers will include an academic expert who’ll report on new findings from a major hotel chain that includes franchise and corporate managed properties, and executives who have franchise and corporate experience.

HR Executive Summit

PLEN6 Wednesday, March 27 10:30 – 11:30am
Moderated by Bruce Tracey, Dave Sherwyn

This session offers a unique opportunity to learn from the strategic and function-specific discussions held in board rooms with owners and senior executives in the hospitality industry. Our panel of highly experienced hospitality executives and legal experts will discuss, debate, agree and, agree to disagree, on several perplexing HR topics that hospitality companies deal with each day. This simulated executive meeting will probe the significant challenges facing the industry, currently, as well as the root causes of some of these complex issues. You will leave the session with alternative perspectives, as well as prescriptive insights for both long-range planning and tactical decision making.