Volunteer Leaders Converge on Capitol Hill to Talk Health Care and Overtime

Dec 22, 2015
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On Nov. 19, SHRM mobilized nearly 400 HR professionals on Capitol Hill to share the HR perspective on a range of workplace issues face-to-face with lawmakers during the 2015 SHRM Volunteer Leaders’ Summit (VLS) Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

A key component of the annual VLS event, Advocacy Day offers SHRM volunteer leaders the unique chance to protect and advance the profession by letting their members of Congress know, in person, how pending workplace legislation would directly affect them as HR professionals. In particular, the two timely issues discussed with lawmakers and their staffs during this fall’s Advocacy Day meetings included federal efforts to repeal the excise “Cadillac tax” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and forthcoming changes to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.

Following a preparatory public policy briefing by SHRM’s Government Affairs team on Thursday morning, HR advocates from almost all 50 states canvassed Capitol Hill to meet with their respective House and Senate lawmakers and staffs to share personal stories about how these legislative and regulatory issues will directly impact HR, employers and employees in their communities. In a SHRM Advocacy Day record, participants met in-person with approximately 50 representatives and 20 senators on Nov. 19! Describing personal experiences and testimonials about how legislation and regulations will impact the workplace face-to-face with an elected official is invaluable to truly affecting policy makers' understanding of these workplace issues.

Yet on Nov. 19, HR professionals not only walked the halls of Congress to amplify HR’s voice: they also took to social media to express their views on workplace policy, generating more than 4,300 messages on Twitter! Be sure to visit #SHRMLead for inspiring and memorable experiences and photos from their involvement in making a difference on behalf of the profession. In addition, for those who could not join their fellow advocates in Washington, D.C., during Advocacy Day, HR leaders from across the country were able to send e-mails to their members of Congress echoing SHRM’s Advocacy Day messages on labor and health care issues as part of a “Virtual Hill Day” effort.

Not Already One of the 8,000+? Register NOW to Join the Ever-Growing SHRM A-Team! 

HR leaders continued to raise the visibility among lawmakers of the HR profession during the Nov. 19 Advocacy Day. Because of their effort, congressional offices are much more aware of the public-policy challenges confronting HR professionals, as well as how these policies can truly impact their constituents. However, it is critical that the HR community remains engaged and serves as an ongoing resource to lawmakers as they consider changes to existing workplace laws and develop new policies to meet the needs of an evolving workforce. That’s why SHRM encourages HR professionals to join ranks with their peers and register now to join the SHRM A-Team.

For more information on how to get engaged in member advocacy or the A-Team, contact Meredith Nethercutt, SHRM’s senior associate for member advocacy and director of the A-Team, at Meredith.Nethercutt@shrm.org.

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