SHRM A-Team Member Testifies on Workplace Leave Policies

Patrick Brady By Patrick Brady December 8, 2017
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On Dec. 6, SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team) member and volunteer leader with Missouri SHRM Angela Schaefer (pictured at right), SHRM-SCP, VP of human resources with Safety National, testified on behalf of SHRM before the House Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The hearing focused on workplace leave policies and the opportunities and challenges facing employers and working families.

In her testimony, Schaefer discussed the existing patchwork of 40 different state and local paid-sick-leave laws, as well as outdated workplace rules that impede greater employer adoption of more flexibility and paid-leave options for employees. The solution she offered is SHRM-developed H.R. 4219, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, which would allow employers the option of following a federal framework if they voluntarily offer an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) workflex plan to include a federal standard of paid leave and flexible work options for all employees.

In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) stated that "Innovative paid-leave policies are not only an important tool for businesses to attract and retain the best employees, but they also give workers across all business sectors the ability to create a better work/life balance." He later emphasized that the existing paid-sick-leave laws create challenges for employers. "The mandatory nature of these laws deprives businesses of the freedom to craft individualized policies to best address the needs of their employees," he said.

SHRM looks forward to working with members of the House Education and Workforce Committee on this critical issue and to advancing the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, which will expand paid leave and workplace flexibility options for all employees.

Get Social! Learn how to express your support for the Workflex in the 21st Century Act (#WorkFlexBill) on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook.

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