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Advocacy Team (A-Team) member Lisa Ponder, J.D., SHRM-SCP, testified on behalf of SHRM on Tuesday, March 23, before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections at a hearing titled "The Need for More Responsible Regulatory and Enforcement Policies at the EEOC." Ponder, vice president and global HR director at MWH Constructors Inc. of Broomfield, Colo., was testifying for the first time before Congress and became the fifth SHRM A-Team member this year to appear as a witness before the 115th Congress.
In her prepared statement, Ponder noted the long-standing, positive working relationship SHRM has with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and applauded its mission to ensure that employees have equal opportunity to work in environments that are free from discrimination. She also noted the significant role the commission has played in educating employers to help ensure that they are utilizing effective practices to prevent discrimination and addressing it appropriately whenever found. In addressing the backlog of discrimination complaints, Ponder stated that SHRM recommends the Commission consider the use of more mediation and nonbinding settlement conferences. From SHRM's experience, these resolution methods allow for a fair and expeditious process for both the employee and the employer.
The bulk of Ponder's testimony, however, focused on the concerns SHRM continues to raise on the revised EEO-1 report as illustrated in its comment letters to the EEOC and Office of Management and Budget regarding the EEO-1. In the testimony, Ponder cited many SHRM concerns with the data collection tool, its privacy protections and overall capability to determine pay discrimination. SHRM again requested that the Commission not move forward with the implementation of the revised EEO-1 Report. Finally, Ponder asked in her testimony that the Commission reexamine the wellness rules to provide ultimate clarity on what is allowable for wellness plans under the Affordable Care Act.
View an archived video of the hearing.
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