shrm members in front of NY state capitol building

State Affairs

SHRM and its affiliates advance workplace policy in state legislatures and localities across the country, from workforce development and employment regulations to diversity and inclusion initiatives.  

We are committed to advancing impactful workplace policies in state legislatures across the country, with direct advocacy efforts in California and New York. 

SHRM State Policy Priorities

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automated Employment Decision Tools

States and local governments are shaping the legislative and regulatory landscape on AI usage in the workplace. SHRM is committed to collaborating on meaningful policy solutions that advance responsible AI development that supports, rather than stifles, innovation. By 2025, we expect that 50% of human resources (HR) departments will be using AI. Given the speed at which technology is changing the workforce and economy, employers must work with policymakers to address relevant ethical considerations, ensure transparency and avoid biases.

According to SHRM President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., HI (human intelligence) plus AI equals ROI (return on investment). SHRM believes that by harnessing the potential of AI, our members will create more dynamic, inclusive and productive workplaces. According to SHRM’s 2024 Talent Trends: Artificial Intelligence in HR report, the top three areas where AI supports HR-related activities are: recruitment, interviewing and hiring (64%); learning and development (43%); and performance management (25%).

coworkers collaborate over phones and tablets

Pay Transparency and Equity

Pay transparency is gaining momentum as a significant workplace issue, including more state and local laws that require employers to disclose salary ranges. SHRM believes that while pay ranges are an important consideration, they are only one component of compensation and do not reflect important aspects of workplace culture or growth opportunities. SHRM will work collaboratively with policymakers to ensure employers have the flexibility to base pay decisions on their unique business practices while also ensuring everyone is equally compensated based on their work. 

A comprehensive approach to improve equity includes education about the compensation process; engagement with compensation specialists and HR professionals; and flexibility to leverage one’s talent through personal advocacy and allyship. Policymakers must look at the unintended consequences of pay equity policies that stifle the ability of highly compensated workers to negotiate on their own behalf.

construction worker man crosses arms posing for camera

Skills-Based Hiring

SHRM research found that 26 percent of HR professionals reported that some of the individuals hired by their organization in the last year required new skills to fulfill new job duties. SHRM supports policies that look beyond traditional hiring practices, which often emphasize specific degrees and experiences, and support skills-based hiring principles. This approach broadens the talent pool, uncovering overlooked talent, such as veterans, military spouses and those without a four-year college degree.

Employers should clearly outline the different career paths available in the organization and the skills and experience required at each level, while employees must be encouraged and given opportunities to pursue these positions. This approach is particularly effective in bolstering retention efforts, an important business consideration at a time when well-qualified applicants are in short supply.

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Interstate Mental Health Compact Agreements

Interstate compacts, or contracts among states, allow professional counselors and psychologists licensed and residing in a compact member state to practice in other compact member states. Interstate mental health compacts are critical to bridge the care gap through telemedicine. SHRM advocates that states join the Counseling Compact and PSYPACT interstate compacts to expand access to workplace mental health through telehealth

father working from home supporting wife and child

4-Day (32-Hour) Workweek

A mandated, universal 32-hour workweek does not account for organizational capacity, resources or other aspects of the modern world of work. Organizations are already well-suited to shape organizational culture to adjust to the needs of their workplaces by voluntarily offering benefits like flexible start and end times, remote work opportunities and compressed workweeks. Importantly, these solutions empower both businesses and employees to thrive in a dynamic work environment without creating undue compliance or administrative burdens.

a man and woman with their dog sitting in the back of a pickup truck in nature

Paid Leave

Without a viable federal paid leave option on the horizon, more states are looking to join the 13 states and the District of Columbia with paid family and medical leave programs. To increase meaningful access to paid leave and reduce compliance burdens, SHRM advocates for Congress to consider adopting SHRM’s Paid Leave Principles — a voluntary insurance market that allows employers to fund paid leave benefits by tapping into pooled resources. For states considering adopting or changing their current plans, SHRM looks forward to working with them to ensure any new law functions to benefit workers and employers.

State legislatures and local governing bodies play a critical role in influencing the landscape of workplace policy. As the trusted authority on all things work, SHRM actively shapes state and local workplace policies to foster a more prosperous and thriving workforce across the country.

Emily M. Dickens, J.D., Chief of Staff, Head of Public Affairs, and Corporate Secretary


shrm members advocate in front of state capitol

Learn More About SHRM’s 2024 State-Level Policy Priorities

Learn more by downloading SHRM's state-level policy one-pager or by contacting SHRM Government Affairs at