Workplace Advocacy Workplace Equity Workplace Immigration

HR Policy Briefing 10/20/20


SHRM’s #HRVotes Campaign

SHRM has launched #HRVotes, a new campaign to help elevate the voice of HR. As we approach Nov. 3, SHRM wants to ensure that everyone has access to the resources and information necessary to vote on Election Day.
By visiting SHRM’s #HRVotes webpage or by texting HRVotes to 52886, you can:

  • Check your voter registration status.
  • Find your polling location.
  • Learn about the candidates running for office in your district.
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The 2020 election will shape the future of workplace policy. It is essential to encourage others to participate in the election process and vote on Nov. 3. Share #HRVotes on social media, and tag @SHRM and @SHRMAdvocacy. Visit or text HRVotes to 52886 today to access voter resources.

2020 Presidential Debates Workplace Policy Word Search: Join Us One Last Time

Throughout the 2020 presidential and vice presidential debates, we have seen workplace issues emerge. Back by popular demand, we invite you to join us for our third and final round of SHRM’s Workplace Policy Word Search on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 9 p.m. ET to see how the candidates discuss these important topics.

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Download the Workplace Policy Word Search.
  • Find the words while you wait for the debate to start.
  • Watch the presidential debate.
  • Check the box every time a workplace-related word in the search is mentioned during the debate.
  • Share your completed word search with SHRM by e-mailing a photo to [email protected], tweeting your photo to @SHRMAdvocacy, or tagging us on FacebookInstagram or LinkedIn.

Follow @SHRM and @SHRMAdvocacy during the debate to learn more about workplace issues.

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Update on SHRM Engagement: Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

Many SHRM members expressed concerns regarding implementation of Executive Order 13950. In response, SHRM has engaged in meaningful dialogue with the administration, seeking clarity and offering the expertise of our more than 300,000 members, many of whom are experts in diversity, equity and inclusion training.

The administration has since provided greater insight into its intentions through the release of FAQs and public comments made by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. We are encouraged by these actions and remain steadfast in our commitment to work with the agency and the administration to ensure that all employers can implement effective diversity, equity and inclusion training without fear of running afoul of the law.

Rather than calling for the rescission of the executive order at this time, SHRM views this as an opportunity to work with the Department of Labor and implementing agencies to inform and shape the final guidance and rulemaking to ensure that the executive order will be applied in a manner that recognizes the importance of workplace training programs.

We will provide updates with developments in future editions of the HR Policy Briefing.

SHRM Resumes Sponsorship of Intern and Trainee J-1 Visa Programs

On Oct. 1, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against President Donald Trump’s June 22 nonimmigrant visa ban. If your organization had to postpone J-1 visa trainings and internships, please contact SHRM for guidance on resuming programs.

The injunction does not apply to all sponsors. Per the court order and Oct. 9 Department of State guidance, only the plaintiffs to the case and members of the plaintiff associations may resume J-1 visa sponsorships. SHRM is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the case plaintiffs. If your organization used to sponsor J-1 programs through a different organization but your sponsor is not covered by the injunction, SHRM can help provide an immediate sponsorship.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also announced a proposal to tighten criteria for the H-1B visa program. If you have an H-1B candidate who will not be eligible under the new rules, the J-1 visa might be a solution. While J-1 (cultural exchange) and H-1B (temporary work) visa programs are different, J-1 is often a viable professional development alternative for your overseas employees who do not qualify for H or L visas.

SHRM is designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor training and internship programs for U.S. employers in four occupational categories:

  • Management, business, commerce and finance.
  • Science, engineering, mathematics, architecture and industrial occupations.
  • Public administration and law.
  • Information media and communications (trainee programs only).

These programs can help foster cross-cultural connections and innovations within your organization by having foreign talent train alongside their U.S. colleagues. Reach out to SHRM to request a consultation, or contact Gennady Babankov, exchange visitor program manager, at [email protected].

USCIS Announces Premium Processing Fee Increases Effective Oct. 19

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will increase fees for premium processing effective Oct. 19, as required by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, which was signed into law on Oct. 1. The act includes the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which requires USCIS to establish and collect additional premium processing fees and to use those additional funds for expanded purposes.

The USCIS premium processing service allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days. The fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, has increased from $1,440 to $2,500 for all filings except those from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to request H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for petitioners filing Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500.

Any Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 must include the new fee amount. If USCIS receives a Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 with the incorrect filing fee, the Form I-907 will be rejected and the filing fee will be returned. For filings sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.

The new law also gives USCIS the ability to expand premium processing to additional forms and benefit requests, but USCIS is not yet taking that action. Any expansion of premium processing to other forms will be implemented as provided in the act.

For more information on USCIS processes, please visit

Rep. Rodgers and SHRM Foundation’s Wendi Safstrom Discuss Disability Inclusion in the Workplace

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., joined Wendi Safstrom, executive director of the SHRM Foundation, today to discuss disability awareness in the workplace during SHRM’s INCLUSION 2020 virtual conference. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and 75 years of recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. 

While strides have been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure that people of all abilities have the same opportunities to participate in all aspects of life—including on the job. The conversation outlined ways HR professionals can be vocal champions in creating more equitable and inclusive workplaces for individuals with disabilities.

CHCI Launches ‘Here to Lead’ Podcast

SHRM is a sponsor of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) Here to Lead podcast—a new series that features interviews with policy experts, public officials and business leaders on important issues affecting Latino communities and our nation, including education, health and economic mobility.

You can listen to the podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

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CNBC @Work Summit Focuses on Key Practices for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

On Oct. 6, Emily M. Dickens, SHRM chief of staff, head of government affairs and corporate secretary, moderated an executive discussion on key practices employers can implement to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces. She was joined by SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, and Dantaya Williams, CHRO for Raytheon Technologies, for this important conversation as part of the CNBC @Work Summit.

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Dickens and Daymond John of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ to Discuss Workplace Inclusion

On Oct. 21, as part of SHRM’s INCLUSION 2020 virtual conference, Dickens will join Daymond John, star of ABC show “Shark Tank” and founder and CEO of FUBU, for a critical discussion on effecting change in the workplace, as well as addressing workplace diversity, equity and inclusion challenges through an entrepreneurial lens.

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Advancing Workplace Issues in 2020

SHRM is proud to be working with several organizations to highlight workplace issues in 2020. They include AARP, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, Fakhoury Global Immigration USA PC, Fratelli Group, Mylan, NAICU, Palladian Hill Strategies, Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Tulane University Law School.


Taylor Keynotes Pan-Africa HR Conference

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, was the opening keynote speaker for the Pan-Africa HR Conference, held virtually Oct. 12-17. During his speech, Taylor discussed the role of HR professionals during the pandemic, remote work, innovation, and upskilling and reskilling, among other timely topics.

Watch the speech on SHRM’s YouTube channel.

Visit SHRM’s Election Resources Center

SHRM’s Election Resources Center, updated regularly, helps inform you and your organization about the candidates’ platforms, current federal and state races, and the remaining debate of the 2020 election cycle, including:

  • Get Out the Vote resources to elevate the voter voice through the ballot box, as well as information about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting elections in your state and how you can vote safely.
  • An overview of the presidential candidates and their platforms as they relate to workplace public policy.
  • Insights into the 2020 congressional and state gubernatorial races.

SHRM believes in the power of policy, not politics, to support solutions that benefit workers and the workplace—regardless of party affiliation.

Visit the SHRM Election Resources Center to stay informed and ready to vote on Nov. 3. The 2020 elections will shape the future of workplace policy. Now more than ever, the voice of HR must be heard.

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SHRM Highlights HR Resiliency

HR professionals have played a critical role in leading their organizations through some of the toughest workplace challenges they’ve ever faced. Public officials now need to hear from HR professionals about how they are adapting to new challenges, adjusting business practices and providing innovative solutions for the world of work.

We want to hear from you. Tell us how your organization has been resilient.

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