SHRM Responds to the 2015 State of the Union Address


January 20, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In the 2015 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama highlighted policies that will directly impact the workplace and wellbeing of both employers and employees. In response, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the largest association representing human resource professionals, shares its position on these important policies.

Overtime Eligibility: SHRM opposes an expansion of overtime eligibility because it could have the unintended consequence of moving potentially millions of employees from salary to hourly. The loss of exempt status for many otherwise-exempt employees could limit career opportunities and prevent employee advancement. Most notably among SHRM’s concerns is the impact on workplace flexibility. Changes to the overtime regulations would limit workplace flexibility for both employees and employers.

Paid Leave: The president’s call for a federal sick leave mandate is the wrong approach to ensuring that workers have time off. Mandates limit employer flexibility and stifle workplace innovation and creativity, which are the hallmark of effective and flexible workplaces. As an alternative, SHRM is committed to expanding voluntary workplace flexibility initiatives, including paid leave and flexible work arrangements, and welcomes further dialogue on proposals to encourage greater employer adoption of these initiatives.

Affordable Care Act (ACA): HR professionals continue to implement the ACA’s requirements, but not without challenges. SHRM strongly supports efforts to ease the law’s impact on both employers and employees, such as modifying the definition of a full-time employee as it relates to the coverage mandate.

For more information about SHRM Advocacy, visit

Media: For more information or to request an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management​
Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.


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