HR Issues Update

Public Policy News for the HR Professional

Mar 4, 2016
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Overtime Update 

SHRM A-Team Member Participates in California Roundtable on Overtime 
California SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team) member Mariann Stopyra, SHRM-SCP, Senior Director of Human Resources at Children’s Hunger Fund, was invited by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) to testify today,  March 4, at a small business roundtable in his district in Simi Valley, California on the impact the Obama administration’s efforts to revise the current overtime regulations will have on California  employers. Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, was also in attendance at the roundtable, indicating the level of concern this action is raising among lawmakers in Congress. [ More ]

EEOC Update

SHRM Responds to Commission’s Proposed Guidance Changes on Retaliation
On Feb. 24, SHRM submitted comments to the EEOC on its proposed changes to revised guidance on retaliation, which was last updated in 1998. Retaliation is the most frequent violation reported to EEOC, comprising nearly 43 percent of private-sector charges in FY 2014. [ More ]

SHRM 2016 Employment Law & Legislative Conference 

T-Minus 10 Days and Counting!

As our nation prepares for a key election year in 2016, the SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference kicks off on March 14 and will provide members with the latest information and tools to analyze the impact that proposed and pending workplace laws and regulations will have on your organization this year. Visit conferences.shrm.org/legislative to review the impressive program lineup and list of confirmed keynote speakers for the event. Need additional incentive to join over 500 of your HR friends in Washington in a few months? Review our list of reasons to attend the conference and commit to making a difference by planning to attend our HR Day on the Hill planned for March 16.

HR Tidbits of Interest

Pay Data Collection—The EEOC has proposed changes to the EEO-1 form that employers with 100 or more employees (50 or more if a federal contractor or subcontractor) file annually to report the race, ethnicity and sex of their employees by EEO-1 job categories. Under EEOC’s proposal, beginning in 2017, employers would also be required to submit data regarding employees’ hours worked and W-2 earnings within 12 designated pay bands. SHRM will be testifying on the efficacy of the proposal and its impact on HR at an EEOC hearing on March 16 and will submit comments on the proposal, which are due April 1, 2016.

Mandatory Paid Leave for Federal Contractors—The U.S. Department of Labor has issued proposed regulations to implement President Obama’s Executive Order requiring federal contractors to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave to employees each year. The proposed rules also delineate who is entitled to leave, when leave can be used, how it’s carried over, and how employees are to request the leave. In addition to the employee’s own health care needs, the proposal allows for the use of the paid leave for a variety of purposes including caring for an employee’s child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or an individual with whom the employee has a close, familial-like relationship, and for purposes related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. SHRM will submit comments on the proposal’s impact on HR by the March 28, 2016, due date.

Senate Panel Reviews High-Skilled Immigration – Last week, on Thursday, Feb. 25, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest held a hearing titled “The Impact of High-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Workers”. SHRM and our affiliate, the Council for Global Immigration, submitted a statement for the record recognizing the value of high- skilled immigration to the U.S. workforce. In addition, we noted in our statement that high-skilled foreign worker programs can help grow our economy and spur job creation in ways that benefit all Americans. As it relates to immigration reform talks, we urge Congress to continue to support and expand the H-1B program.

Multi-Employer Pension Plan Reforms—Earlier this week, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to re-examine reforms made to the multi-employer defined benefit pension system in late-2014. The hearing focused on the impact of the changes, particularly the proposed reduction in benefits to plan participants in the Central States Pension Fund. This fund is the first retirement plan that has applied to the Department of the Treasury for relief under the reform measures. SHRM has supported the changes made to the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), as it allows employers to take actions that could ensure their retirement plan remains solvent. SHRM joined other industry stakeholders in a letter of support to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) outlining the difficult yet necessary reforms made to the multi-employer pension system.

FREE Workflex in Health Care Guide Now Available—Looking for strategies to make your health care organization more effective and flexible? When Work Works’ latest Workflex Guide can help! Workflex and Health Care Guide: From Forced Flexibility to Effective Schedules is for employers in the health care industry who want to rethink how they approach workplace flexibility for doctors, nurses and other staff tied to the 24-hour, hands-on, high stakes work of saving lives. It offers several case studies, practical advice and tips on how to use workflex to rethink schedules, reduce and/or more efficiently reallocate administrative tasks, and apply the mission of well-being to patients and employees. It’s your go-to resource for making work more flexible and effective.

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