Research Recap: Legal analysis proposes new standards in the age of “Me Too”

Photo of a woman holding a sign that says #METOO

“We can Thank Harvey Weinstein for Doing What Congress and the Supreme Court Failed to Do”

Disciplines represented:

Labor relations, human resources, hospitality education, legal issues, ethics, organizational behavior

Schools/contributing organizations:

  • School of Hotel Administration
  • Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations


  • David Sherwyn, John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources and academic director, Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations, School of Hotel Administration
  • Paul Wagner, adjunct professor of law, School of Hotel Administration


The paper, co-authored by School of Hotel Administration professor David Sherwyn and adjunct assistant professor Paul Wager, delves deeper into a legal analysis of the issue of sexual harassment within the Me Too movement.

In recent news, sexual harassment has transformed from a workplace legal concept to a movement that transcends the law. The authors note that, because of this, the popular press have ignored or misstated the law, wrongly informing the public of their legal rights and responsibilities. This produces a culture of misinformation in which the authors attempt to rectify by explaining the laws that need to be understood and changed in order to fully eliminate the issue of sexual harassment, particularly in the workplace.

They ultimately argue that Congress needs to revisit the laws regarding sexual harassment and update them in accordance with what has been happening recently.

“…Our proposed standard will harmoniously incentivize employees and employers alike to report, prevent, and eradicate sexual harassment from the workplace. The conflicting incentives and confusing standards of the current law have repressed sexual harassment to the point creating the current Weinstein/Clinton/Trump monster.”

Publication information:

“We Can Thank Harvey Weinstein for Doing What Congress and the Supreme Court Failed to Do” was published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly 2018, Vol. 59(2), 174-188.

Read the full paper in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

—Written by Ashley Win, a student writer for the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business


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