April Showers bring May Flowers & COVID Vaccines bring us together again! It’s exciting to see things getting back to normal, albeit slowly, but we are getting there. Can’t wait to travel again and see everyone in person at the ARSHRM Conference!
Wayne shared some great advice at our March Meeting. As HR professionals’, our processes are changing daily. Thank you, Wayne for helping guide us in the right direction.
The fabulous Minnie Lennox will speak on Diversity in the workplace this month. If you have not had the opportunity to hear Minnie, go to WCASHRM.ORG and Register Today
SHRM TUNE in TUESDAYS - a brand-new digital series of interactive episodes airing live the second Tuesday of each month. Sign in using your SHRM login credentials or create a new account to get access to upcoming episodes and past recordings.
Our next WCASHRM meeting is April 27. See you then!
HR: STEPPING OUT ON UNCHARTED PATHS!
WITH MINNIE LENOX
April 27, 2021 | 11:30 A.m.
VIRTUAL - LINK WILL BE EMAILED CLOSER TO THE EVENT.
We will explore the paths that HR has taken and look at ways to navigate these uncharted paths ahead. There is a “Paradigm Shift” taking place right before us. Look at today’s world events: they are affecting our workplaces, especially our employees. HR is being uniquely positioned to do some amazing things like help to undo systemic inequities that have become so embedded in our workplaces for generations. HR has a voice and it needs to let go of that fear of conflict, because it will happen, but evaluate and educate all about the facts surrounding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Are you ready to accept the challenge to move into this arena?
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.
One hour of SHRM PDC & HRCI is pending.
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.
A true American success story, Alliance Rubber Company owes its beginning to the ingenuity of one man – William H. Spencer, who left his Franklin, Kentucky home in 1904 at the age of 13. Traveling by rail to seek adventure, he found himself in Alliance, Ohio in 1917 with less than $3, and began working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Six years later on March 7, 1923, he obtained a few Goodyear inner tubes and cut the bands by hand in his basement where he founded Alliance Rubber Company. In those days, newspapers were blocked and thrown in the general direction of the porch. After seeing the Akron Beacon Journal blowing across lawns, he persuaded them and the Tulsa World to try wrapping them with a band. He went on to pioneer other new markets for bands, agricultural and industrial applications as well as a myriad of other uses.
After almost a century, Alliance is still a family owned business with a rich and distinctive American heritage. What started as a simple, practical, and reliable solution for everyday life has been transformed by our 150 Alliance Rubber Company team members into a multi-faceted collection of more than 2,000 products and tools designed for “Holding Your World Together.” Our associates make the difference in our brand. Their attitude and passion for quality of customer service shines. Over 60% of the Alliance Rubber Company team has been with the company for over five years, enabling us to make some of the world’s best banding products at our manufacturing facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
MONTHLY SPONSORSHIPS OPPORTUNITIES
Would you like to have a captive audience of human resource professionals? WCASHRM holds a meeting on the last Tuesday of each month featuring a luncheon speaker on a topic critical to our day-to-day success. The opportunity to sponsor our monthly luncheon is an exclusive opportunity within your particular industry or service. As a sponsor of our monthly meeting you receive:
- Logo on the WCASHRM website for 1 month with link to sponsor's website
- Logo and recognition in Monthly Newsletter and Meeting reminders
- Recognition in Social Media Events and Thank you Post after the meeting
- Email Blast to membership (optional) (Content provided by sponsor)
- Five minute presentation at beginning of monthly meeting
- Recognition by the chapter president at the meeting
- When we resume meeting in person, these benefits are included:
- Vendor Table to display products at the event
- Lunch for 2 company representatives
Member companies: $75
You can register online with the option to pay by credit card or by check. Please note the month you are wishing to sponsor. Then, please email the [email protected] with your Organization's website address, description and logo in JPEG, BMP, PNG or TIF format. Newsletter deadline is the first of each month.
Click on FULL CATALOG TO PAY.
Each month, we're giving away a $25 gift card to members who make a donation via our website.
You can also make a donation directly to the SHRM Foundation - just be sure to select chapter#467. For $30, you can become a member of Team Empower and support the Foundation's mission to lead positive social change impacting work, workers and the workplace. Donations make these Foundation programs possible:
Veterans at Work: the SHRM Foundation's commitment to empowering HR professionals to attract, hire and retain veterans.
Getting Talent Back to Work: Helping employers confidently hire individuals with a criminal background.
Employing Abilities @Work: SHRM Foundation's initiative to drive employment for individuals with disabilities.
Rachel "Nikki" Skinner, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Stuttgart, AR
Tracey White, Cobalt Aero Services, Hot Springs, AR
Did you know WCASHRM membership is Free? If you are a SHRM member and designate WCASHRM as your primary chapter, your membership with our organization is FREE! The membership application is available here.
WCASHRM values you and helps you meet your professional goals. Benefits of being a WCASHRM member include:
- Virtual meetings are free for members.
- An opportunity to network on a monthly basis with local HR professionals.
- Regular legislative updates in the industry, community, state and federal levels.
- Recertification credits at our chapter meetings and annual Managers’ Seminar.
- Monthly topics that are relevant and of concern to Human Resource professionals.
- Monthly newsletters with information relating to the chapter, SHRM and HR industry.
- Participation in local workforce readiness activities.
- Certification study groups.
- The opportunity to post jobs at no cost on our website.
Call or 501-624-2172 or email if you have any questions.
Tara Mauk Arthur | Membership VP
CERTIFICATION REIMBURSEMENT AND TESTING SPONSORSHIP
The chapter will reimburse up to $400 for four (4) chapter members, who successfully pass their certification testing annually. The reimbursement is available to chapter members who are national SHRM members and their employment does not pay for their certification testing. Applications will be accepted after successful exam results.
In addition, the chapter purchased one (1) Learning/Prep Kit that can be utilized by the chapter members preparing to test for certification. If you are planning to test for certification this year and are interested in applying for the reimbursement or you are interested in studying getting certified, please contact [email protected]
You can download the scholarship form here.
New OSHA Program Targets COVID-19 Compliance
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a new National Emphasis Program focusing on COVID-19. The program became effective upon issuance and will remain in effect until March 12, 2022. Visit SHRM’s OSHA Program Targets COVID-19 Compliance Express Request.
The American Rescue Plan Act's COBRA Premium Subsidy in Effect
The federal government will pay 100 percent of COBRA insurance premiums for laid-off workers and covered relatives from April 1 through Sept. 30, 2021, allowing them to stay on their company-sponsored health plan.
Congress Approves Extension of Paycheck Protection Program
Carefully review information on how you can apply for funding
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application period was set to close on March 31, but Congress approved a 60-day extension to May 31. The PPP helps struggling businesses with fewer than 500 employees keep workers employed during the COVID-19 crisis by providing loans that are forgivable if certain criteria are met.
ARPA’s Changes to FFCRA Take Effect
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) makes several modifications to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including an extension of the payroll tax credit, a reset of the paid-sick-leave clock, the addition of qualifying reasons to take leave and more.
April is Celebrate Diversity Month, started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. By celebrating differences and similarities during this month, organizers hope that people will get a deeper understanding of each other.
April is Autism Awareness Month, established to raise awareness about the developmental disorder that affects an individual's normal development of social and communication skills.
April 1: Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), the Christian holiday commemorating the Last Supper, at which Jesus and the Apostles were together for the last time before the Crucifixion. It is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter.
April 2: Good Friday, a day celebrated by Christians to commemorate the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. It is recognized on the Friday before Easter.
April 2: World Autism Awareness Day, created to raise awareness of the developmental disorder around the globe.
April 4: Easter, a holiday celebrated by Christians to recognize Jesus’ return from death after the Crucifixion.
April 7-8: Yom HaShoah, Israel’s day of remembrance for the approximately 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
April 12-May 11 (sundown to sundown): Ramadan, an Islamic holiday marked by fasting, praise, prayer and devotion to Islam.
April 12: Hindi New Year.
April 13: Equal Pay Day, an attempt to raise awareness about the raw wage gap, the figure that shows that women, on average, earn about 80 cents for every dollar men earn. The date moves earlier each year as the wage gap closes. Equal Pay Day began in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity as a public awareness event to illustrate the gender pay gap.
April 14: Vaisakhi (also known as Baisakhi), the celebration of the founding of the Sikh community as the Khalsa (community of the initiated) and the birth of the Khalsa.
April 16-17 (sundown to sundown): Yom Ha’Atzmaut, national Independence Day in Israel.
April 20-May 1: The Festival of Ridvan, a holiday celebrated by those of the Bahá’í faith, commemorating the 12 days when Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet-founder, resided in a garden called Ridvan (paradise) and publicly proclaimed his mission as God’s messenger for this age.
April 21: Ram Navami, a Hindu day of worship and celebration of the seventh avatar of Vishnu (Lord Rama). Devotees typically wear red and place extravagant flowers on the shrine of the God.
April 22: Earth Day promotes world peace and sustainability of the planet. Events are held globally to show support of environmental protection of the Earth.
April 23: St. George’s Day, the feast day of St. George celebrated by various Christian churches.
April 23: The Day of Silence, during which students take a daylong vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment.
April 24: Lazarus Saturday, a day celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy to commemorate the raising of Lazarus of Bethany.
April 24: Armenian Martyrs’ Day recognizes the genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey.
April 25: Mahavir Jayanti, a holiday celebrated by the Jains commemorating the birth of Lord Mahavira. It is one of the most important religious festivals for Jains.
April 28: Ninth Day of Ridvan, a festival of joy and unity in the Bahá’í faith to commemorate the reunification of Bahá'u'lláh’s family, and by extension the unity of the entire human family the Bahá’í faith calls for. It permeates the symbolic meaning of the Ninth Day of Ridvan.
April 29-30 (sundown to sundown): Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday marking the day of hillula of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
Watch for More Information Later this Spring!
Governor Asa Hutchinson announced last week, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted effective immediately. The Friday, Eldredge & Clark labor and employment attorneys have put together some much needed guidance in the form of frequently asked questions to help business owners understand how this affects their place of business and current requirements set for employees and customers.
Q. As a business/employer, can I still require my employees and/or customers to wear a mask after the Governor drops the mask mandate?
A. Yes, and you likely should.
- The CDC has released guidance for vaccinated individuals. Click here to read.
- These guidelines include continuing to wear masks in public spaces, including the workplace.
- The CDC guidance also says that employees should continue to follow the protocols of their individual employers.
- Additionally, new OSHA workplace guidance provides many suggestions, mirroring the CDC’s guidance. Click here to read.
- The new OSHA guidance emphasizes the use of masks and recommends that employers provide all workers with face coverings.
- The OSHA guidance provides: “Workers who are vaccinated must continue to follow protective measures, such as wearing a face covering[.]”
- The OSHA guidance is advisory in nature but comes with a warning that employers have a general duty to keep their workplace free from recognized harms that cause death or serious physical harm. The guidance aims to abate the risk of these harms.
Q. What if an employee refuses to wear a mask citing Constitutional grounds, no directive in place, disability, etc.
A. Employers generally may require employees to wear masks while at the workplace even if there is no state mandate. If an employee claims a medical condition or disability, the employer should engage in the interactive process to determine if there is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The most common accommodations include working from home, moving the employee to a position or location where he/she does not interact with other individuals, or offering wearing a face shield.
Q. What are the legal ramifications of NOT requiring masks?
A. There are a few things you should be aware of in terms of legal ramifications and responsibility:
- In order to receive immunity under the Governor’s AR Executive Order, an employer must follow CDC and OSHA guidelines. Thus, not requiring masks may strip you of immunity.
- Not requiring masks may make you susceptible to an OSHA investigation.
- The OSHA General Duty Clause requires employers to provide their workers with a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm. COVID-19 and risk of exposure to COVID-19 are considered recognized hazards. An employer could be subject to an OSHA investigation if accused of violating this general duty.
- Not requiring masks may make you liable for unemployment claims
- The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently ruled that quitting a job where the employer failed to undertake COVID-related precautions was not considered unreasonable. Thus, employees may be entitled to unemployment benefits if they quit because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at the workplace. Keener v. Dir., Dep't of Workforce Servs., 2021 Ark. App. 88 (2021).
- Additionally, on February 25, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor released guidance that expands workers’ eligibility for federal unemployment insurance. This means that workers will be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if their regular unemployment benefits were denied because the employee refused to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite because they were not in compliance with coronavirus health and safety standards. In some cases, workers may be retroactively paid from the beginning of the PUA program.
- If employees are operating under a collective bargaining agreement, there may be a clause that could be triggered if the union believes they are working unsafely.
Q. If all employees have been vaccinated, do they have to wear a mask?
A. The current CDC guidance recommends vaccinated individuals wear masks in public places, including the workplace. This guidance may change, so stay tuned for more updates.
Q. If the statewide mask ordinance goes away, are local ordinances still in effect and have to be followed?
A. As announced at his press conference, cities and localities will be permitted to implement their own mask mandates.
- Even if there is not local mandate in place, businesses may institute or maintain a mask requirement for employees and customers while on their property. As discussed above, we encourage businesses to maintain a mask requirement consistent with current CDC and OSHA guidance to limit any potential liability.
- We expect more guidance from the State on the lifting of the mask mandate and will continue to provide updates.
Q. Any recommended signage for businesses that will still require masks?
A. Signage that communicates that masks are required for entry may help combat any claims of discrimination or arbitrary enforcement. Signage should be visible at each entrance, and ideally, readable from a distance of several feet to help prevent congregating at entrances.
Member Company, Express Employment invites our membership to attend a FREE virtual leadership training event on April 21. It is also approved for 2 credit hours with SHRM, HRCI, CPHR and HRPA. Here is the link for more information and registration: https://www.expresspros.com/expresstalks/