Hello, Happy Fall!
I hope this monthly letter finds all of you safe and healthy! Fall is finally here and the kids are back in school. Halloween and Holidays are right around the corner. Thank you Louise Tausch for sharing your knowledge on all of the legal updates. Thank you all WCASHRM Members and Guests that attended.
I am so excited to hear Minnie speak at our September meeting. Minnie will cover Diversity in the workplace. Please register today. WCASHRM will schedule monthly virtual meetings in place of our in person meetings for the rest of 2020. Please contact Shayne King if you have a speaker interested. The virtual meetings have been a great success, and we appreciate our members and guests participation.
Please continue to help our community and children that are hungry by donating to Project Hope Food Bank. Many families are struggling to keep food on the table during this pandemic. Please don’t forget about the children unable to attend school & receive a warm meal.
You can also mail a monetary donation to: WCASHRM, PO Box 8, Hot Springs, AR, 71902.
It’s not too late to nominate a chapter member to serve on the Board and self-nomination is highly encouraged! We have several positions open and we would love for you to join us. Remember, this is your profession and your chapter, so serve it! Members do earn CE credits for volunteering. Email Kelli Burris at [email protected] with your nominations. As a reminder, Members will vote on the new Board at our September meeting.
Have a great day!
HR: Taking the Lead on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion! WITH MINNIE LENOX
THIS MEETING WILL BE HELD ON ZOOM AT 11:30 A.M. THE LINK WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS CLOSER TO THE MEETING.
There is so much happening around us and we must begin to have these difficult conversations; the ones that we usually avoid until something happens! Well, it has happened and we can no longer deny what has been there all along. Is systemic racism real or is it just someone’s imagination or opinion. Does the answer lie in diversity, equity and inclusion, and if so, have we achieved it?
This session will provide you with thought provoking questions you need to ask yourself as you re-evaluate your workplace. It is time for HR to take the LEAD!
MINNIE LENOX, a native of Hot Springs, attended the historic Langston High, Hot Springs High Indiana University and University of Oklahoma, She is the Director of Human Resources for the City of Hot Springs. She has written and conducted numerous workshops in Professional Development, Customer Service, Teamwork, Leadership in Today’s Workplace, Diversity in the Workplace, Sexual Harassment, Dealing with Negativity in the Workplace, You are Important-You are Needed-and You are Necessary, Drama Queens, Stress Management and Workplace Ethics. She has been very involved in the community, especially working with our youth, through various tutoring programs as the past Community Faith-Based Tutoring Liaison for the Hot Springs School District. Her hobbies include motivational speaking, conducting numerous training seminars, and writing, producing and directing various church plays, bowling, golfing and reading. She and her husband Lonell, a professional trainer/recruiter driver for Elite Transportation of New Jersey, have four children; and attends Union Missionary Baptist Church and is the Youth Education Coordinator.
1 hour SHRM PDCs and HRCI credit is approved.
WCASHRM is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.
The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.
ARORA EXISTS TO RESTORE LIVES–THROUGH THE LIFE-SAVING AND LIFE-RESTORING TRANSPLANTATION OF ORGANS AND TISSUE.
As the nonprofit, accredited organ procurement organization for Arkansas, ARORA works with hundreds of partners throughout the state–hospitals, medical professionals, law enforcement agencies, coroners and the Arkansas Medical Examiner–to maximize each opportunity for organ and tissue donation. Through the miracles of modern medical science, thousands of people’s lives are changed by this work every year.
$20.20 SHRM FOUNDATION DONATION
Please make a donation to the SHRM Foundation by giving at least $20.20 to the Foundation. If you pay via credit card on our website, WCASHRM will mail it on your behalf. If you want to pay directly to the SHRM Foundation, please be sure to list our chapter#467 so we get credit for your donation. Online at shrmfoundation.org/donate or by mail to the SHRM Foundation with a completed donation form. (Board members should donate $30/minimum annually.)
As a 501(c)(3) charity organization, the SHRM Foundation’s work is only possible through the generosity of others who believe in our vision build a work of work that works for all. Here are some of the Foundation's initiatives:
- Employing Abilities @Work: the SHRM Foundation's newest initiative to drive employment for individuals with disabilities.
- Veterans at Work: the SHRM Foundation's commitment to empowering HR professionals to attract, hire and retain veterans.
The Aging Workforce: in 2013, the SHRM Foundation launched an initiative to challenge myths about older workers
Please join me in welcoming our newest member, Jennifer Hermann, PHR, SHRM-CP, who works at for Garland County in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
We would love to increase our membership! Encourage those you know in HR to join WCASHRM today by completing this application and submitting the appropriate dues. (Local dues are prorated so contact Tara for the current rate.) SHRM members are free when they designate WCASHRM (0467) has their primary chapter.
SHRM’s Together Forward @Work initiative is working with experts on important and urgent research regarding race in the workplace. Be a part of building a better, more equitable, workplace with SHRM: https://shrm.co/36c0o0
How to Talk About Race with Your Employees
The Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM's) recent report, The Journey to Equity and Inclusion, found a need for more awareness in the workplace about racial inequality. Significantly, almost half of Black HR professionals (47 percent) said they do not feel safe voicing their opinions about racial justice issues in the workplace, while only a little more than one-quarter of white HR professionals (28 percent) say the same. Black and white workers generally agreed, however, that discussions about race can be uncomfortable.
"But by thoughtfully cultivating these discussions and implementing what is learned, HR and other business leaders can guide our workplaces into a new era of honesty, respect, understanding and inclusion," said SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, in the report's foreword. Read the rest of the article: Creating a Safe Space at Work for Discussing Social Justice Topics
Companies Try a New Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Honest Conversations
Addressing Racism Starts with Having Hard, Respectful Conversations
It's Time to Talk About Race
Don't Be Silent: Expert Tips to Defuse Workplace Tensions
Tips for Discussing Racial Injustice in the Workplace
“Understanding race and race equity is a process,” says Lisa Brown Alexander, president and CEO of Nonprofit HR. “Most people are socialized around certain beliefs and perceptions, and it's not easy to unpack those overnight. So admitting that you're at the beginning is the first step. Admitting you don't know something is hard, but the kind of tenacity that you need to build your business is the same kind of tenacity you need for understanding race and race equity in today's climate.”
How Should You Be Talking With Employees About Racism? Entrepreneur | Jun 2020
It's easy to speculate about how you will lead and respond during a crisis. It's easy to talk about how you'll rise to the moment because a theoretical crisis—or a hypothetical one—is easier. But we are not in a theoretical time. This is not a moment of hypotheticals. The crisis is here, and your leadership moment is now. If you deem yourself a leader, you know this moment of global protests and the fight for equality doesn't exist in some vacuum outside your organization or outside your area of influence. You know you must lean in and own your power to lead now.
George Floyd And Racism: 5 Conversations Credible Leaders Must Have In This Moment Forbes | Jun 2020
No matter your racial, political, or other identity, these events are almost impossible to escape. In particular, millions of Black people and their allies are hurting. And these issues are not ones that organizations or their leaders — from CEOs at the top of the hierarchy to team managers on the frontline — can ignore.
U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism Harvard Business Review | Jun 2020
it's important to address the current events. Use this moment to reiterate company values, and to take a stand against racism and police violence. Make it clear that you are committed to making changes that promote equality, justice and fair treatment for all.
What managers should—and shouldn't—do to address this moment of racial reckoning CNBC | Jun 2020
Be prepared to understand how your own experience, because of your race and background, will shape what you bring to and take from the conversation.
Talking about racial inequality at work is difficult—here are tips to do it thoughtfully CNBC | Jun 2020
World-wide protests against racism and police brutality, sparked by the death of George Floyd, have shown the consequences and high cost of a workplace culture that lacks accountability. Creating a culture of accountability requires leadership that is ready to listen. Without a “listen-up” culture that protects employees from retaliation, organizations can’t expect their employees to speak-up.
3 Steps to Create a "Listen-Up" Culture of Accountability Navex Global | Jun 2020
The National Museum of African American History & Culture today released Talking About Race, a web portal designed to provide free educational resources and tools from scholars, activists, historians, and more with the goal of teaching everyone how to have conversations about race and racism.
The African American History Museum Wants to Help You Talk About Race and Racism Washingtonian | Jun 2020
Several Antiracist Books Are Selling Out. Here's What Else Black Booksellers and Publishers Say You Should Read Time | Jun 2020
Social Justice and Liberation Centered Books, Websites and Articles Inclusive Therapists
8 anti-racist classes and workshops to take Well + Good | Jun 2020
Get conversation starters around racial equity and inclusion to help you take action in your workplace at Together Forward @Work.
NEW U.S. DOL GUIDANCE ON TRACKING TELEWORKING EMPLOYEES' WORK HOURS
With the expansion of telework arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has seen the need to address a much more common issue facing employers: telework. On August 24, 2020, the DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2020-5. FAB 2020-5 clarifies employers' obligation to exercise reasonable diligence in tracking teleworking employees' hours of work. In a telework or remote work arrangement, the question of the employer's obligation to track hours actually worked for which the employee was not scheduled may often arise. While FABs are not law, they do provide insight into the enforcement perspectives of the DOL.
Per FAB 2020-5, if an employer knows or "has reason to believe" that work is being performed, the time must be counted as hours worked. In other words, an employer is obligated to compensate employees for work it has reason to believe is being performed even if the employer did not want the work done and has a rule against doing the work. FAB 2020-5 further states that an employer is required to exercise "reasonable diligence" to acquire knowledge, whether actual or constructive, regarding employees' unscheduled hours of work.
For example, an employer can exercise "reasonable diligence" by establishing a reasonable process for an employee to report uncompensated work time; provided, however, that the employer does not implicitly or overtly discourage or impede employees for reporting work time. If an employee fails to report unscheduled hours under such a procedure, the employer is generally not required to investigate further to uncover unreported hours.
Notably, the DOL states that employers are not required "undertake impractical efforts," such as sorting through or cross-referring employees' non-payroll records to determine whether its employees worked hours beyond what they reported (time-stamped emails, text messages, etc.). When an employee fails to follow reasonable time reporting procedures, he or she prevents the employer from knowing its obligation to compensate the employee, and an employer is not liable for any such "off-the-clock" work.
Now is a good time to review and assess whether your timekeeping policy/procedure is sufficient in light of the DOL perspectives set forth in the new FAB. Contact an attorney with our Firm to discuss best practices for trying to keep your company compliant in today's changing work environments.
Mandatory Vaccination Policies in the Workplace
As employees gradually return to work after months of pandemic-related shutdown, employers are being faced with the challenge of providing a healthy working environment for any on-site personnel. One way to keep employees healthy is making efforts to reduce the risk of transmission of respiratory illnesses in the workplace. While a vaccine for COVID-19 is still under development, some employers may be asking whether they can implement a mandatory COVID vaccination policy to reduce the occurrence of at least contagious respiratory illness in the workplace. Some employers already have policies in place related to other vaccines, such as influenzas. Now is a good time to assess whether your workplace should revise its current stance on mandatory vaccines.
According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance pertaining to pandemic preparedness in the workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act, originally issued in 2009 in response to the H1N1 virus and updated in March 2020 after the initial spread of COVID-19, employers may lawfully implement a "mandatory" flu vaccination policy, subject to exceptions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). An employee may be entitled to an exemption from a mandatory vaccination requirement based on an ADA disability that prevents him or her from taking the flu vaccine. The employer may be required to grant the employee a reasonable accommodation, unless doing so would place an undue hardship on the employer. Similarly, under Title VII, once an employer receives notice that an employee's sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance prevents him or her from taking the flu vaccine, the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation unless it would pose an undue hardship on the employer. Under Title VII, an undue hardship is defined as "more than a de minimis cost" (more than trivial/minimal) to the operation of the employer's business, which is a lower standard than under the ADA.
Subject to these two exceptions, however, employers may otherwise implement a mandatory flu vaccine policy for its workplace. Businesses must proceed cautiously with regard to any policy enforcement, particularly with respect to consideration of a religious exemption under Title VII. The EEOC has filed several lawsuits against employers with mandatory flu vaccine policies where the employer did not accommodate an employee's religious belief in objecting to receiving the flu vaccination or where the employer did not consider other possible accommodations.
With Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicting that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available by late 2020 or early 2021, employers may also want to begin considering policies related to COVID-19 vaccinations. While, like flu vaccinations, mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies will likely be generally lawful, such a requirement could place employers in conflict with their workers, given that some may have concerns about the speed at which the vaccine is being developed. Employers must balance concerns related to the pushback from employees regarding mandatory vaccinations and the prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks by implementation of such policies.
Generally, employers should consider educating employees on the benefits of the vaccination and encouraging employees to voluntarily receive the vaccine by making it convenient. Employers could make it free to employees, offer to it at work, or pay employees for the time spent getting the vaccine. However, there will likely be certain environments in which employers have no choice but to mandate COVID-19 vaccination, such as meat-processing facilities that have experienced outbreaks due to the close proximity of workers or hospitals where employees have frequent contact with at-risk populations. In those circumstances, due the inevitable lack of long-term health data on the vaccine, it is important for employers to look to guidance from public health professionals as they monitor impacts and performance of inoculation.
As more information becomes available, employers should keep their employees informed in an effort to gain widespread acceptance of the vaccination, making employees less nervous about the vaccine and more likely to voluntarily receive it. This is a very unique time in the modern workplace, and balancing the legitimate concerns of a workforce with implementing reasonable safety measures will be delicate.
Bruce Cross | Legislative Director
Congratulations to Angela Boring on earning her SHRM-SCP. Amid a few challenges during this crazy time of COVID-19, including her testing date being rescheduled a couple of times, Angela was finally able to test in August. We are all very proud of you!
If anyone else has obtained their certification, please let us know so that we can acknowledge you too. Send a message with which certification you received to [email protected]
EXAM WINDOWS AND FEES
The application window for the Winter Testing Session is now open.
Early-Bird deadline is October 16, 2020 and Standard deadline is December 1, 2020. Testing is to be completed anytime between December 1, 2020 - February 15, 2021.
In response to COVID-19, on June 1, 2020, SHRM began offering the option for exam applicants to test from home, through live remote proctoring. You can learn more by checking out the SHRM website.
SHRM Members save $100 on exam fees.
WHY SEEK SHRM CERTIFICATION?
Earning your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential makes you a recognized expert and leader in the HR field—and a valuable asset to your organization, keeping you and your organization more competitive in today's economy. This professional distinction sets you apart from your colleagues, proving your high level of knowledge and skills.
The WCASHRM scholarship is awarded to one individual and is based on a variety of factors, including academic performance, demonstrated leadership, human resource related experience and/or extracurricular activities, career goals and overall presentation capabilities. To apply for the scholarship, you must complete the application in full. If more space is needed than allotted on the application, please feel free to attach additional pages.
DEADLINE to mail or e-mail completed applications: October 1 (for Spring) or April 1 (for Fall) of each year to:
P.O. Box 8
Hot Springs, AR 71902
Email: [email protected]
Click here for the Scholarship Application
Help our community and children that are hungry by donating to Project Hope Food Bank. Many families are struggling to keep food on the table during this pandemic. You can donate on the Project Hope website or you can also mail a monetary donation to: WCASHRM, PO Box 8, Hot Springs, AR, 71902, and we'll mail the collected donations on our chapter's behalf.
Employers Hesitant, Confused Over Payroll Tax Suspension
U.S. employers have not rushed to offer their workers a suspension of Social Security payroll taxes through the end of the year. Some are waiting for additional guidance that may clear up lingering confusion or protect employers from the obligation to pay deferred taxes of employees who leave the job.
IRS Guidance Allows Workers’ Payroll Tax ‘Holiday’ for Employers
The notice mentions no penalties for noncompliance
On Aug. 28, the IRS issued Notice 2020-65, allowing employers to suspend withholding and paying to the IRS eligible employees' Social Security payroll taxes. Companies that suspend collection of employees' payroll tax would collect additional amounts from workers' paychecks from Jan. 1 through April 30 next year to repay the tax obligation.
DOL to Revise FFCRA Leave Rules in Light of Court Decision
Check state and local laws for additional requirements
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) plans to update its rules for workers who need to take coronavirus-related paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
For the latest news and advice on handling COVID-19 in the workplace, visit SHRM’s Coronavirus Resource Center, as well as our updated list of articles SHRM has published on the pandemic.
Medicare Part D Annual Notice Due (Before Oct. 15)
Prior to each year's Medicare Part D annual enrollment period, plan sponsors that offer prescription drug coverage must provide notices of creditable or non-creditable coverage to Medicare-eligible individuals.
Federal Judge Strikes Down Major Parts of DOL’s Joint-Employer Rule
A federal judge in New York invalidated substantial portions of the DOL's joint-employer rule. When issued earlier this year, the rule narrowed the definition of "joint employer" under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
2021 Projected Health Plan Costs
A few weeks ago, Stephen Miller, CEBS, wrote an excellent SHRM article on projected health plan costs for 2021. Mr. Miller referenced a new survey conducted a few months ago by the nonprofit Business Group on Health (BGH). The survey garnered 122 large employers offering coverage to more than 9.2 million employees...Read More: https://www.dbsquared.com/2021-projected-health-plan-costs/
Upcoming Events: Bruce Johanson will be hosting a webinar covering Driving Optimal Results through Individual/Team Performance-Based Incentive Compensation Plans on September 17, 2020. You can get more info and register by clicking here: