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Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action at an Elite Brazilian University

New research by Assistant Professor Evan Riehl shows that affirmative action can have benefits for students from disadvantaged backgrounds but also unintended spillover effects that negatively impact a university’s other students.
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Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action at an Elite Brazilian University

Besky Awarded NSF Grant to Co-Direct Cornell-Led Project

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A Cornell-led project team – with Global Hubs partners in India, the U.K, Ghana and Singapore – has received a two-year $250,000 design grant from the National Science Foundation to bring more comfortable days and nights to homes everywhere.
Ahmedabad India
Besky Awarded NSF Grant to Co-Direct Cornell-Led Project

Cookie Day: ILR’s Sweetest Tradition

Catherwood Library’s 23rd annual Cookie Day features hundreds of locally sourced cookies, with triple chocolate added to the lineup this year, and cartloads of free books.
Students at the 2023 Cookie Day
Cookie Day: ILR’s Sweetest Tradition

“Humble Leader” Celebrated

The Thomas P. Golden Courtyard was dedicated to a cherished ILR colleague whose extraordinary leadership advanced employment, equity and societal inclusion for people with disabilities.
Golden Courtyard fountain
“Humble Leader” Celebrated

Latest Research

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Doellgast Research Offers Insight into AI Protections for Workers

Taking lessons from Germany and Norway, Professor Virginia Doellgast demonstrates how different tactics can be used to protect workers from algorithmic management and AI technology abuses.
Artificial Intelligence Conscience
Doellgast Research Offers Insight into AI Protections for Workers

Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action at an Elite Brazilian University

New research by Assistant Professor Evan Riehl shows that affirmative action can have benefits for students from disadvantaged backgrounds but also unintended spillover effects that negatively impact a university’s other students.
Different colored pegs in a group
Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action at an Elite Brazilian University

Climate Change Threatens Fashion Industry

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Extreme heat and flooding are threatening key international apparel hubs, with four countries vital to the fashion industry facing losses of 1 million jobs and $65 billion in earnings by 2030, according to two new reports out of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University.
Textile workers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Climate Change Threatens Fashion Industry

Recipients Can Recognize – And Correct – Positive Bias

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Those who benefit from racial profiling and other types of favoritism are more likely to recognize it and take corrective action if their attention is drawn to the victims of that bias, according to new research by Associate Professor Emily Zitek.
A business man running while a business woman is jumping hurdles
Recipients Can Recognize – And Correct – Positive Bias

Researchers Prefer Same-Gender Co-Authors, Study Confirms

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Researchers are more likely to pen scientific papers with co-authors of the same gender, according to research by Y. Samuel Wang, assistant professor of statistics and data science.
An abstract image of a gender divide.
Researchers Prefer Same-Gender Co-Authors, Study Confirms

Keller Research Wins Best Paper

The Academy of Management’s Careers Division has named a paper co-authored by an ILR associate professor as best published paper.
JR Keller
Keller Research Wins Best Paper

ILR in the News

See all media hits

ChatGPT provided better customer service than his staff. He fired them.

The Washington Post
Virginia Doellgast, professor of employment relations and dispute resolution, discusses the potential impact of AI technology on the workforce.
ChatGPT provided better customer service than his staff. He fired them.

What it might mean for patients if 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers go on strike

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Working with fewer employees wouldn't be easy, according to John August, director of health care labor relations." From the outside looking in, it's easy to say that it's not going to be that disruptive," he said. "The reality is, it's extremely disruptive."
What it might mean for patients if 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers go on strike

More Parents Are Paying Their College Kid's Credit Card Bills

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Professor Ronald Ehrenberg says, “With improvements in financial aid programs, many student loan burdens are lower and parents understand that there is less need to save funds to help students pay off loans.”
More Parents Are Paying Their College Kid's Credit Card Bills

For Journalists

Cornell University ILR School

Reporters and ILR experts connect hundreds of times every year to bring understandable knowledge about complex work, labor and employment issues to the public. Providing perspectives on international, national, state and regional news, our faculty's expertise is wide ranging. Unions, economics, HR, inequality, conflict resolution, disability, health and safety, labor history, workplace behavior and labor law are among our topic areas.

Founded in 1945 as the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, we are known today as the ILR School.

Key Research and Expertise Areas

  • Criminal Justice Employment Initiative – improves employment opportunities for people with criminal records by designing and delivering legal employment training to close information gaps, implement best practices and integrate job seekers with criminal records into the workforce.
  • Disability Employment – employer training, student transition to adulthood, U.S. disability statistics, ADA, autism in the workplace. Our Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability advances knowledge, policy and practice to enhance equal opportunities for all people with disabilities.
  • Dispute Resolution – management and labor, employment contracts, corporations, negotiations, mandatory arbitration. The Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution teaches practical skills for use in the workplace and beyond.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion – workplace issues, inequality, gender/racial bias, stereotyping and inequality. Many of our academic and outreach activities address DEI.
  • Employee Relations – workplace practices, workplace culture, engagement, health care industry, innovative practices.
  • Future of Work and Gig Economy – workplace technological change, organizational change, temp workers, on-demand platform workers, history of capitalism. Our Institute for Workplace Studies and Worker Institute are among ILR resources for future of work and gig economy expertise.
  • Human Resources – employment policies, benefits, training, motivation, creativity, job creation, turnover, performance, well-being, entrepreneurship, star employees, virtual work, leadership, layoffs, talent, HR strategy, analytics, leadership, job quality, career building, absenteeism, strategy. The Cornell Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies focuses on research and best practices.
  • Immigration – immigrant worker rights, DACA, immigration and workplace law at the subfederal, federal and International levels, effects of temporary immigration status and worker legal mobilization.
  • International Economic Policy – global labor markets, human rights, state-labor relations in China, China urbanization, labor standards in global supply chains.
  • Labor – organized labor, labor law, collective bargaining, private/public sector unions, union leadership, labor history, labor relations, NLRB, low-wage work, green jobs, labor contracts, gendered workplace, migrants’ social movements, call centers, health and safety. The Worker Institute addresses many aspects of labor.
  • Labor Economics – labor market analysis, pay trends, wages, gender wage gap, wage inequality, economic history.
  • Labor Law – labor rights, employment law, ethical governance of workplace technologies and employment discrimination. Our Labor and Employment Law Program merges law and social science research to provide perspectives.
  • Workplace Analytics and Big Data – staffing, algorithms, Bayesian statistics, statistical theory, methods and analysis, health care industry. ILR is home to the Labor Dynamics Institute.
  • Workplace Behavior – creativity, influence, psychological entitlement, culture, consent, substance abuse, leadership, organizational change, group dynamics, health and safety.
  • Workplace Sexual Harassment – economic consequences of sexual assault and harassment, statistics, prevention education.

Tip Sheets

Biden and Trump hold competing, but different events in Detroit 

September 26 2023
President Biden plans to join striking autoworkers today, marking the first time a sitting president has visited a picket line. This is one day before former President Donald Trump also goes to Detroit to hold his own event— showing how political the UAW strike has become.  Ileen DeVault, professor of labor history, says Biden’s participation on a UAW picket line signals that the administration feels the union is raising valid issues. Kate Bronfenbrenner, an expert on union and employer organizing and bargaining strategies, says Biden and Trump are holding competing, albeit very different, events in Detroit.

How a 'just' EV transition hinges on a looming labor strike 

September 14 2023
The United Auto Workers is threatening to strike against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, if contract agreements aren’t reached with the automakers by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. Among the union’s demands is that it represents workers at 10 electric vehicle battery factories. Ian Greer, who has studied the EV transition in Germany where worker rights and collective power as union members has played a key role, says the looming UAW strike represents a critical moment for the future of U.S. EV manufacturing and whether the U.S. EV transition will preserve high-quality working lives for EV factory workers.

As Covid funding expires, ‘fundamental flaw’ in childcare industry remains 

September 5 2023
States are trying to find ways to keep child-care centers afloat after billions in pandemic-era funding is set to run out this month, prompting worries that facility closures could impact workforce participation and limit children’s access to early education. Cathy Creighton, director of the Buffalo Co-Lab, co-authored of a 2022 report on New York State’s child care industry.

Unwanted advances: consent researcher, feminist philosopher on Luis Rubiales

August 29, 2023
 within the Royal Spanish Football Federation have asked Luis Rubiales to immediately resign over an unwanted kiss he gave to player Jenni Hermoso after Spain won the Women’s World Cup. Vanessa Bohns, social psychologist and professor of organizational behavior, says downplaying the position Rubiales put Hermoso in is consistent with previous research on consent.

UAW bargaining leverage different from UPS-Teamsters negotiations

August 23, 2023
Like other sectors, workers in the auto industry are strengthened in their bargaining position because the economy is strong, and auto companies are making solid profits. They also have a new leader in Shawn Fain who ran for office on the grounds that he is going to be tougher than the previous leaders of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Professor Harry Katz says the UAW’s position is different from other recent contract negotiations such as the UPS-Teamsters deal.

Will the summer of strikes spread to the Detroit Three?

August 9, 2023
Following the landmark deal between UPS and the Teamsters, attention on “hot labor summer” now shifts to talks between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Detroit’s biggest car companies. Under new leadership, the UAW says it is determined to win historic compensation upgrades after losing ground to inflation and substandard contracts signed since the Great Recession. Art Wheaton, director of labor studies, says the initial contract proposals exchanged between Stellantis (Fiat-Chrysler parent), and the UAW do not bode well for a quick deal.

NLRB reverses Trump-era workplace rules, but creates loophole for employers

August 3, 2023
On August 2, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took steps to strengthen worker protections under federal labor law by reversing a Trump-era NLRB’s approach to so-called “civility rules”. Assistant Professor Desirée LeClercq says the reversal is a step in the right direction, but still does not make it safe for workers to organize

UPS-Teamsters deal a victory for labor, collective bargaining

July 25, 2023
UPS has reached a contract deal with the Teamsters union, averting strike. Union members will now vote to ratify the deal, which includes across-the-board raises for all workers, a new paid holiday, as well as new heat and safety protections. Art Wheaton serves as director of labor studies at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) and says the deal amounts to a big win for labor. Professor Ileen DeVault says the victory sends an encouraging signal to other labor unions, while Professor Harry Katz adds that the Teamsters got a solid settlement because they have a lot of strike leverage.

UPS labor contract outcome will set tone for logistics sector workers

July 13, 2023
Contract negotiations between the United Parcel Service (UPS) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters fell apart last week, raising the possibility that 340,000 members could strike when their current contract expires on July 31. Patricia Campos-Medina is an expert on workplace and labor issues and the executive director of the Worker Institute. She says contract talks with UPS could have spillover effects with other workers in the logistics sector.

Will artificial intelligence solve the ‘productivity paradox?’ 

April 25, 2023
As AI-equipped products such as Bard or ChatGPT aim to become a part of everyday life, a natural question many have is—how will AI impact jobs. Professor Louis Hyman argues that, like previous technological advances, AI offers potential spur innovation, while also making workers more productive, and is more likely to free up workers to do more challenging and important work. At the same time, Hyman notes, AI can also be used to automate existing jobs and exacerbate inequality. 

Truly independent redistricting vital to avoid 4th decade of special master-drawn maps 

April 20, 2023
The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission is set to vote on the final Assembly map proposal and decide whether it should be sent to the legislature for approval. Russell Weaver, is an economic geographer with Cornell University’s ILR School Buffalo Co-Lab. He says that in order to avoid another decade of court-appointed special masters drawing the state’s legislative boundaries, it is essential to develop a truly independent redistricting process.

Biden child care order a step in the right direction, but still not enough  

April 18, 2023
President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Tuesday containing more than 50 actions aimed at advancing free preschool, expanding care for children and improving the work life of caregivers. Cathy Creighton, director of the Buffalo Co-Lab, says that because Congress hasn’t acted to make changes, or increased resources for child care, it has fallen to states to address a problem that requires large investments of public resources. 

Solutions are ready, and available to fix the LA school strike  

March 21, 2023
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a union representing 30,000 Los Angeles school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians and other support staff started a three-day strike Tuesday, effectively stopping classes at hundreds of schools in the nation’s second-largest school district. Lee Adler is an expert on education and academic union issues.

‘A rolling hazard to any community’: Industry expert calls rail safety a national problem  

March 6, 2023
A second major derailment of a Norfolk Southern train occurred near Springfield, Ohio on Saturday. While no hazardous materials were contained in the wreck, the incident has renewed questions about rail safety, just over a month after the East Palestine derailment. Art Wheaton is an expert on transportation industries.

Cornell Expert: Tesla’s actions at Buffalo plant raise red flags 

February 16, 2023
Tesla fired over 30 employees, including several leaders of a unionization campaign, a day after they announced plans to organize a Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 plant in Buffalo. Cathy Creighton is director of Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations Buffalo Co-Lab and a former field attorney for the NLRB.

Legislation to block rail strike misses ‘biggest sticking point’

November 29, 2022
Transportation industry expert, Arthur Wheaton comments on Biden administration and congressional plans to avert a railroad strike next month. 

Musk's Twitter a ‘case study on how not to treat employees'

November 18, 2022
As Twitter faces an employee exodus, professor of human resource studies Rebecca Kehoe says "Twitter is a case study for other companies in how not to treat employees in a company’s difficult times."

Starbucks worker walkout ‘adds pressure, draws public support’

November 17, 2022
Starbucks workers at more than 100 U.S. stores are planning to strike for Red Cup Day, one of the company's busiest days. Cathy Creighton, director of the Buffalo Co-Lab at Cornell’s ILR School, explains how increased pressure from Starbucks Workers United will help the workers' cause.

Biden faces enforcement challenge with new contractor emissions requirement 

November 10, 2022
The Biden administration has proposed new rules requiring major federal contractors to publicly disclose greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks and to establish targets for reducing emissions that are in compliance with the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Arthur Wheaton, a transportation industry and supply chain expert, says the new requirements will encounter pushback and that enforcement and data verification will be big challenges for the administration.

Economic outlook for holiday spending – is a recession in store?

November 2, 2022
Inflation is on consumers’ minds and is expected to have an impact on holiday shopping this season. What’s in store for the economy? Erica Groshen, senior economics advisor, shares four economic scenarios that could develop as we head into the holiday season.

October jobs report: Growth likely, but threats come with Fed interest increases

November 1, 2022
On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release employment figures for the month of October. Tips are provided by Erica Groshen, senior economics advisor, is a labor statistics expert. She was also the former commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Russell Weaver, an economic geographer with Cornell University’s ILR School Buffalo Co-Lab.

Experts skeptical Starbucks will bargain in good faith, stalls just the start

October 26, 2022
Contract negotiations between Starbucks and union workers have already stalled. The latest issue, Starbucks refusing to resume bargaining if the union allows workers to join meetings remotely. The following Cornell University experts are available for interviews. Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research and a senior lecturer at Cornell’s ILR School, is an expert on union and employer strategies in organizing and bargaining. Cathy Creighton, director of the Buffalo Co-Lab at Cornell’s ILR School, previously worked for the NLRB, as well as with dozens of labor unions in the Buffalo, New York region.

NYC pay transparency law could help – and hinder – employees

October 20, 2022
Starting November 1, New York City employers will be required to disclose minimum and maximum salaries for job openings. Tae-Youn Park, associate professor of human resource studies in the Cornell ILR School, examines how employment policies and practices, such as compensation, affect both employers and employees. He can discuss how the pay transparency law will narrow gender and racial pay gaps and how the change could impact companies.

New Biden labor rule ‘essential step to improve basic rights’ for workers

October 11, 2022
The U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a proposal that would make it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute, is a policy expert on workplace and labor issues. She says a federal rule is an essential step in improving standard rights for workers.

DACA remains on life support after Fifth Circuit decision

October 7, 2022
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a legal challenge to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program must go back for a new review by a lower court.  Shannon Gleeson, professor of labor relations, law and history at the ILR School, studies how U.S. policies impact immigrant workers. 

September jobs report: Expect growth, early signs of economic stall

October 6, 2022
On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release unemployment figures for the month of September. Russell Weaver, an economic geographer with the ILR School's Buffalo Co-Lab, says while Friday’s BLS data is expected to show job growth, it is also likely to illustrate signs of forthcoming economic slowdown.

NYC new redistricting ‘offers opportunity to empower residents’

September 22, 2022
New York City’s redistricting commission is set to release a revised version of proposed boundaries for City Council districts after a preliminary map in July drew criticism for breaking up communities of interest and not protecting minority communities covered by the Voting Rights Act. Russell Weaver, an economic geographer and director of research at the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab, says the redistricting serves as an opportunity to create fair and sensible plans for the collective interests of neighborhoods and communities – instead of politics and incumbency protection.

Failure to prevent rail strike could be ‘catastrophic’ for US business

September 13, 2022
The looming possibility of a national railroad strike has businesses nationwide concerned. Arthur Wheaton, expert on transportation industries – including trains, plans and automobiles – and director of labor studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says a rail strike by freight railroad workers on Friday would impose serious consequences and could hurt almost all U.S. business sectors in a short amount of time.

Labor and hospitality experts consider implications of historic CA fast food law

September 8, 2022
A coalition of restaurant owners have filed a referendum request to temporarily block California’s new law that gives more power to fast food workers. Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute, says labor unrest in the service economy will not go away until workers are remunerated with fair wages and working conditions.

August job report: ‘Economic tea leaves difficult to read’

August 30, 2022
On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release unemployment figures for the month of August. Erica Groshen, senior economics advisor at Cornell, is a labor statistics expert. She was also the former commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and has written extensively on how economies can recover from recessions. She can speak on unemployment rates and trends in the labor market.

Labor expert on EV transition: Workers missing from discussion

August 29, 2022
As the transition to electric vehicle production and adoption ramps up the U.S., with companies like Honda and LG linking up to produce battery factories, and lawmakers enacting policies to speed the transition away from combustion engines, labor expert Ian Greer can speak to the impacts such changes will have on workers.

Labor Day 2022: RTO mandates, unionization motivation, economic impacts for workers 

August 23, 2022
A group of ILR labor experts are available to weigh in on return-to-office policies and mandates, the increase of union organizing and strikes, how current economic conditions are impacting workers and more.

Dodger Stadium strike vote a powerful opportunity for union | Cornell Chronicle 

July 13, 2022
Concession workers at Dodger Stadium have threatened a strike ahead of next week’s All-Star Game festivities. Ariel Avgar, professor of labor relations, law and history, says timing in labor relations is essential. 

To the bargaining table: Work ahead for newly unionized workers 

April 12, 2022
Workers voted to form unions at all three of Ithaca’s Starbucks, making it the first city to have all its locations unionized. Cathy Creighton, director of the Buffalo Co-Lab, previously worked for the National Labor Relations Board, as well as with dozens of labor unions in the Buffalo region.

Future of labor faces fundamental shift after Amazon union vote

April 5, 2022
Now that Staten Island Amazon warehouse workers have voted to form a union, what comes next? Cornell ILR experts Adam Seth Litwin, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Patricia Campos-Medina and Harry Katz discuss next steps and larger impacts of the first successful union attempt at Amazon.

Amazon Staten Island union vote beginning of broad push for reform

March 24, 2022
Starting Friday, workers at the largest Staten Island Amazon warehouse will begin casting ballots on whether to form a union. If they vote to organize, they will form the first-ever Amazon union in the United States.  Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute, says the Staten Island union vote is just the beginning of efforts to reform Amazon, and even with anti-union tactics thrown at them, these workers are committed to fighting to gain a voice for the essential work they perform as part of Amazon’s global supply chain.

Disney walkouts a lesson in corporate responsibility

March 21, 2022
In response to Disney’s handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, employees have been participating in daily walkouts with a planned full-day walkout for Tuesday. Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute, says labor actions like the Disney walkouts are effective because they shine a light on the failures of corporate America to lead on critical issues – like the opposition of discrimination against LGBTQ+ community.

Surging metal prices should spare car buyers’ wallets — for now

March 8, 2022
The war in Ukraine is driving up the price of metals used to manufacture cars, putting pressure on carmakers who are already reeling from the current supply-chain crisis. Arthur Wheaton, director of labor studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and an expert on the automotive sector, says while costs associated with the manufacturing and distribution of vehicles are rising, drivers aren’t likely to foot the bill unless metal costs continue to rise for more than six months.

Cornell experts on war in Ukraine, global ripple effects 

March 1, 2022
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been met with severe economic sanctions from Europe and the United States that will have ripple effects throughout the global economy. 15 experts from Cornell University, including Erica Groshen provide expertise on the conflict and its implications. 

USWNT agreement will give other female athletes confidence

February  23, 2022
A new settlement will give members of the US Women's National Team $24 million in payments from U.S. Soccer – much of which is back pay that acts as an admission that compensation for the men's and women's teams had been unequal for years. Emily Zitek studies the sources and consequences of psychological entitlement, stereotyping and discrimination in various domains, and factors that affect people’s participation and performance in sports.

NYC vaccine policy could impact public worker morale, workload

February  17, 2022
Several thousand New York City public workers are expected to lose their jobs following Friday's deadline for workers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Rebecca Kehoe, associate professor of human resource studies, says mass firings can lead to resentment by remaining employees who feel as though they are penalized by having to take on a heavier workload to accommodate for the reduced workforce.JR Keller, assistant professor of human resource studies, has done research on whether and when businesses benefit by rehiring former employees.

California tailpipe rules to push innovation as automakers face costs

February  16, 2022
The Biden administration is taking steps to restore California’s authority to set its own auto emission rules for cars and trucks — standards that have historically been stricter than those set by the federal government. Arthur Wheaton, an expert on the automotive industry, says allowing California to lead in setting tight tailpipe emissions standards will push innovation in the auto industry and the expansion of electric vehicles – despite added costs and complexities for automakers.

Mexico avocado ban: Prices to rise as trade tensions increase

February  16, 2022
The U.S. has temporarily suspended all imports of avocados from Mexico following a verbal threat made to U.S. safety inspectors. Desirée LeClercq is a professor of employment law and an expert on labor provisions in trade agreements. She says given the current climate, we may see Mexico continue to obstruct U.S. investigations which will require the U.S. to balance its inspection priorities and consumption demand.

India EV battery swapping policy unlikely to gain widespread traction

February  1, 2022
India announced it will implement a new policy for electric vehicle battery swapping to encourage the sale of EVs. Swapping out a depleted battery for a fresh one is faster than the required charging time. Arthur Wheaton, an expert on the automotive industry and director of labor studies, says the Indian government will need a heavy hand for battery swapping to work, and that the concept isn’t likely to work beyond limited situations – in part because major car companies don’t share battery technology..

How to beat burnout in the New Year

December 10, 2021
As we look to the New Year and a “new normal” version of work-life balance, many people are looking for ways to rest and reset. Vanessa Bohns, a social psychologist and professor of organizational behavior, says there are ways – starting with intentional rest and recovery – to recalibrate after nearly two years of a pandemic-induced, always-on work mindset.

Brewing workplace democracy: Starbucks union vote major moment for labor activism

December 8, 2021
On Thursday, votes from Starbucks workers at three stores in and around Buffalo, New York on whether to unionize will be tallied. If they vote to organize, it will establish the first-ever unionized locations of the chain’s thousands of U.S. stores. Cathy Creighton, director of ILR’s Buffalo Co-Lab, previously worked for the National Labor Relations Board as well as with dozens of labor unions in the Buffalo region. She says the Starbucks campaign is a prime example of how U.S. labor law is designed to put business ahead of workers’ requests to organize. She recently wrote an op-ed on the efforts to unionize at the Buffalo, New York Starbucks locations.

NYC vaccine mandate likely to avoid legal challenges

December 8, 2021
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that all private sector employers in New York City will be required to implement a vaccine mandate by Dec. 27, effectively requiring any person working in the city to be vaccinated. The move comes as President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors was blocked by a federal judge in Georgia. Risa Lieberwitz is a professor of labor and employment law and academic director of the Worker Institute.

Biden green goals attainable, but electric vehicle purchasing moves ‘at glacial pace

December 8, 2021
President Biden signed an executive order requiring the federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050. The administration is committing to boost purchasing of electric vehicles for its federal fleet, to retrofit federal buildings and to switch to renewable energy sources for its electricity. Arthur Wheaton, an expert on the automotive industry, says this commitment is attainable, but that political hurdles could remain a challenge, and that federal purchasing of electric vehicles is moving “at a glacial pace.”

Omicron variant may delay return to in-person work

November 29, 2021
Nations around the world are trying to keep the new omicron variant at bay. Among other strategies, officials recommend following established best practices, including measures to reduce density in certain spaces. Bradford S. Bell, professor in strategic human resources and director of ILR’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, says employers may walk back plans for workers to return to the office as concern over the omicron variant grows.

Migration treaty violations, trade central to U.S.-Mexico-Canada summit

November 18, 2021
President Joe Biden will meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House this week to discuss the continued flow of migrants over the U.S.-Mexico border, trade, labor and other issues. Shannon Gleeson, professor of labor relations, law and history, studies how U.S. policies impact immigrant workers. She is also a signatory to a letter urging President Biden to create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as part of economic and infrastructure packages.

End of 2021 will see more supply chain issues, food insecurity 

November 17, 2021
The global supply chain has been put under extreme stress throughout the pandemic causing major disruptions for businesses and consumers as we enter a busy season for businesses in all industries. Art Wheaton is a workplace and industry education specialist and specializes in the auto and aerospace industries.

Confusion, frustration await foreign travelers to US 

November 8, 2021
As the U.S. reopens international borders to foreign travelers, airlines are bracing for congestion as the new rules are rolled out – this in addition to staffing issues that have caused operation complications for some carriers recently. Arthur Wheaton, an expert in airline industries, says the new requirements to travel internationally will bring frustration for travelers and an increased likelihood of conflict and confrontation.

Starbucks has ‘reason to be worried’ ahead of union vote 

November 8, 2021
Starting Wednesday, workers at three Starbucks coffee shops in and around Buffalo, New York will have four weeks to vote on whether to unionize. If they vote to organize, they will form the first-ever Starbucks union in the United States. Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research, is an expert on union and employer strategies in organizing and bargaining in the global economy. She says Starbucks has reason to be worried with Workers United leading the unionizing efforts.

Cornell labor experts on strikes surging across the US

November 4, 2021
Thousands of U.S. workers across numerous industries have participated in strikes and other labor actions this fall. The Cornell-ILR Labor Action Tracker provides a comprehensive database of strike and labor protest activity across the U.S. and these Cornell experts are available to speak to the increasing labor protest activity.

Fed tapering could spur investment, increase labor demand

November 4, 2021
On Nov. 3, the Federal Reserve announced it would begin reducing the pace of its monthly bond purchases, a step toward more normal monetary policy. Erica Groshen says tapering should raise long-term interest rates and that could increase demand for labor.

John Deere management ‘overestimated power’ in union negotiations

November 3, 2021
Workers at Deere & Company have rejected a contract proposal negotiated by their union for the second time, further extending their strike. Professor Harry Katz says workers have more bargaining power now and management at Deere have overestimated their power in the negotiations.

Unions have ‘role to play’ in enforcement of Biden’s vaccine mandate

November 2, 2021
The Biden administration’s mandate that federal contract workers and workers at private-sector businesses be vaccinated against Covid-19 has stirred protests across the country. Patricia Campos-Medina says while labor unions play a role in negotiating what the consequences are for non-compliance with the mandate, unions members who oppose the mandate for political considerations may have to make the hard choice between their job and personal beliefs. 

Unvaccinated NYC firefighters put public at risk

November 1, 2021
Enforcement of New York City’s vaccine mandate for uniformed service providers begins today. Lee Adler says the city’s uniformed service providers are potentially risking reputational damage and the high number of unvaccinated firefighters will likely result in service limitations.   

Staten Island Amazon union filings shows 'lack of experience'

October 26, 2021
Amazon workers at four warehouses on Staten Island have filed a petition to form a union. Kate Bronfenbrenner says filing with only 30 percent of workers shows a lack of experience and likely won’t bode well for the campaign.

Expert list: Biden readies wind for long-term growth

October 14, 2021
​​​​Lara Skinner is the director of the Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative and an expert on labor and employment issues related to sustainability, climate protection and clean energy. Skinner can comment on job creation that will emerge as a result of prioritizing wind development — both in the construction phase as well as through longer term manufacturing facilities.

Alaska pollock customs dispute exposes US trade system flaws

October 12, 2021
​​​​A customs dispute at the U.S.-Canada border is threatening America’s supply of Alaska pollock – the key fish used for fish sticks and fast-food sandwiches – and raising concerns of permanent disruptions to the seafood supply chain. Desirée LeClercq is an expert on labor provisions in trade agreements. She says the recent dispute exposes flaws in our trading system including outdated legislation meant to protect U.S. ship owners and operators.

Southwest disruptions mirror global supply chain issues,

October 12, 2021
Over the long weekend, Southwest Airlines cancelled over 2,000 flights, causing major disruptions to travel plans for thousands of passengers. Arthur Wheaton, an expert in airline industries, says while the problems at Southwest Airlines mirror the supply chain issues facing the globe, they have not handled the situation very well, reducing consumer trust.

Vaccine mandate may usher in unpredictable staffing shortages

September 29, 2021
Hospitals and nursing homes in New York are bracing for the possibility that the statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers could lead to staff shortages when it takes effect today. Ariel Avgar is an associate professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and associate director with the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution. His research focuses on the impact of conflict on employees and employers.

NYC delivery workers laws just ‘the floor’ of what’s needed

September 23, 2021
Today, the New York City Council is likely to pass a package of legislation that will set minimum pay and improve working conditions for app-based delivery workers. Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says the protections expected to be approved today are needed, but much more must be done.

Healthcare worker vaccine mandate may jumpstart local efforts

September 22, 2021
Adam Seth Litwin, says because frontline caregivers are in such high demand, the healthcare sector may need to rely on prevention instead of treatment.

Foreign visitors ‘critical to survival’ of US hospitality industry

September 22, 2021
The U.S. will start easing travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated against Covid-19 in November. Chekitan Dev and Ian Greer weigh in on how the loosened restrictions will impact to the tourism industry in the U.S. as well as what foreign travelers may encounter upon arrival.

Amazon starting pay increase good for workers, comes with ‘big challenges’

September 14, 2021
Amazon recently announced an increase in the average starting wage for their workers to $18 per hour. The following Cornell University experts weigh in on what this change will mean for workers, managers and the broader industry. Diane Burton, human resources professor and director of the Institute for Compensation Studies, says while raising wages is great for employees it can cause challenges for managers including how to pay for the wage increase and how to handle morale issues from wage compression. Tae Youn Park, human resources associate professor, says although higher wages are better, many workers are looking for more in a compensation package including flexible schedules, childcare or education tuition support, and paid leave opportunities.

Infrastructure plan needs training, long-term assurance of jobs

September 9, 2021
As President Biden continues to promote his infrastructure bill, concerns are rising as the U.S. faces a shortage of skilled workers to fill the positions needed in construction, transportation and energy. Art Wheaton, workplace and industry education specialist at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations says as long as there are long-term assurances of jobs, training and apprenticeship programs will aid in filling those positions.

How to effectively ask a colleague to mask up at work

September 1, 2021
Vanessa Bohns, associate professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University’s ILR School, offers the following suggestions for how to make–the potentially tricky–request more effective.

Student face masks add layer of protection as school year begins

September 1, 2021
Cornell University experts – including Russell Weaver, Nellie Brown, Susanne Bruyère – weigh in on masking and social distancing for grades K-12.

Labor Day 2021: How COVID-19 transformed work

August 27, 2021
A host of Cornell University labor experts are available to weigh in on the increased focus on workplace safety, gig economy growth, unemployment and employee shortages, climate jobs, social justice at work and more. 

 Uber, UK union deal may have global ramifications of labor rights

May 27, 2021
Maria Figueroa, director of labor and policy research at Cornell University’s Worker Institute, says this development in the U.K could have global influence on labor law reforms that benefit gig workers. 

Labor disputes take center stage as US, Mexico and Canada talk trade

May 14, 2021
Desirée LeClercq, is a professor of employment law and an expert on labor provisions in trade agreements. She spent seven years at the ILO, where she advised various governments and the EU on how to draft and implement their trade agreements’ labor chapters. 

Biden's EV pitch gives auto industry a vital boost to all-electric goal

May 14, 2021
Art Wheaton, an expert on the automotive industry at ILR, says car companies alone can’t achieve all-electric fleets in the next two decades without federal investment.  

McDonald's anti-harassment training could lead to backlash

April 14, 2021
Vanessa Bohns, associate professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University, studies social influence and the psychology of compliance and consent. She says that sexual harassment training by McDonald's must be combined with other initiatives to be effective.   

With semiconductor shortage, Biden faces 'billions in manufacturing stoppages'

April 12, 2021
Arthur Wheaton, an expert on the automotive industry at the ILR School, says demand for semiconductor chips among automakers is only going to increase as more electric vehicles are introduced into fleets, and that it may lead to “billions in manufacturing stoppages.”

Target's commitment to Black-owned business reflects GenZ expectations

April 9, 2021
Tony Byers, diversity and inclusion programs director at the ILR School, says of Target's commitment to Black-owned businesses that GenZ "seemingly have higher expectations for corporate commitment to social, economic, and environmental change."

March jobs report to show New York recovery lags behind

April 1, 2021
Russell Weaver, economic geographer and director of research at the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab, says while the March jobs report is poised to show continued signs of economic recovery, New York state is still lagging behind the rest of the nation.

Biden's offshore wind goals 'exactly what US needs'

March 30, 2021
Lara Skinner is the director of the Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate Initiative and an expert on labor and employment issues related to sustainability, climate protection and clean energy. She says the Biden administration’s goal to build a large offshore wind industry demonstrates his commitment to tackling climate change and creating high-quality jobs for Americans.

TikTok anti-bullying efforts will drive behavior change

March 10, 2021
Vanessa Bohns, associate professor of organizational behavior Cornell University’s ILR School, says TikTok’s efforts should have a positive impact on improving the online community.

In embracing hybrid work, Salesforce sees clear cost savings

February 10, 2021
Salesforce, a leading cloud-based software company based in San Francisco, announced this week that it would allow its employees to “work remotely part or full time after the pandemic.” Bradford S. Bell says that Salesforce is not alone in suggesting hybrid work arrangements in the long term. He adds that such decisions carry important cost-saving and other benefits for companies with a significant real estate footprint, like Salesforce.

Bitter economics, lofty promises underpin farmers protests in India

December 2, 2020
Protests are spreading in India, where farmers are rallying against new agricultural laws that they say will undermine their livelihood and benefit big corporations. Sarah Besky, associate professor in the ILR School at Cornell University, studies labor relations with an emphasis on farming and the tea industry in India. She is available for interviews about the economic dynamics underlying the current protests.


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Who We Are

  • Communications Director
As a news reporter and/or editor, Mary Catt worked at the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Syracuse Herald-Journal, Syracuse Post-Standard, Times Herald-Record and Reading Times. She was a stringer for The New York Times and wrote for Fodor's, Runner's World, USA Today and other publications. (315) 651-1168

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Julie Greco joined the ILR Communications and Marketing staff in June 2019 after 14 years in Cornell’s Athletic Communications office. As a critical member of the team focused on ILR’s internal and external communications strategy, Greco concentrates on the office’s storytelling, media relations and analytics work. (315) 559-3422

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