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HR Policy Briefing 2/2/21

New Members of Congress Appointed to Committees with Workplace Jurisdiction

Congress has begun its 117th session with Democratic majorities in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. With the new legislative session underway, SHRM is working with several committees of jurisdiction in both chambers that have direct influence over workplace policy.

U.S. House of Representatives

In the House, lawmakers have received their new committee assignments, and many newly elected lawmakers will now help shape workplace policy on the following key committees:

  • Ways and Means
  • Small Business
  • Education and Labor
  • Judiciary

Representatives Kevin Hern, R-Okla., Carol Miller, R-W.Va., and Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa., are the newest members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Representatives Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis., Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., Young Kim, R-Calif., María Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., and Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, are the newest members of the House Committee on Small Business.

Representatives Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-N.M., Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis., Bob Good, R-Va., Diana Harshbarger, R-Tenn., Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Kathy Manning, D-N.C., Mary Miller, R-Ill., Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, Lisa McClain, R-Mich., Frank Mrvan, D-Ind., Burgess Owens, R-Utah, Victoria Spartz, R-Ind.,and Michelle Steel, R-Calif., are the newest members of the House Education and Labor Committee.

Representatives Cliff Bentz, R-Ore., Dan Bishop, R-N.C., Cori Bush, D-Mo., Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis., Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Burgess Owens, R-Utah, Deborah Ross, D-N.C., Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., are the newest members of the House Judiciary Committee.

Below are some of the newest members of the House who sit on key committees of jurisdiction:

U.S. Senate
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a power-sharing agreement last week. With the new deal in place, Schumer and Democrats can move forward with setting up committee chairs, ranking members and a process for legislating.

The last time there was an evenly split Senate was in 2001, where then-Senate Republican leader Trent Lott and Democratic leader Tom Daschle brokered an agreement that gave Democrats a slight advantage in controlling the chamber. According to McConnell, this agreement will look similar to that 2001 deal. In the meantime, we are closely monitoring new committee assignments.

Key Senate committees that stand to impact workplace policy include:

As the legislative process begins in the 117th Congress, new coalitions of lawmakers are also beginning to emerge, such as the Common Sense Coalition: a member-driven group in the Senate comprised of lawmakers who are committed to finding common ground on many key policy issues facing the nation. The counterpart to the Common Sense Coalition is the Problem Solvers Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

SHRM is keeping a close eye on the 16 Senators forming the bipartisan Common Sense Coalition. These moderates are aiming to ease the gridlock and will be influential in the negotiations of the next COVID-19 relief package and throughout the legislative process.

Republican Senators in the Common Sense Coalition

  • Susan Collins, Maine
  • Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
  • Todd Young, Indiana
  • Mitt Romney, Utah
  • Shelly Moore Capito, West Virginia
  • Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
  • Jerry Moran, Kansas
  • Rob Portman, Ohio

Democratic Senators (including those who caucus with Democrats) in the Common Sense Coalition

  • Joe Manchin, West Virginia
  • Angus King, I-Maine
  • Mark Warner, Virginia
  • Dick Durbin, Illinois
  • Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire
  • Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire
  • John Hickenlooper, Colorado
  • Mark Kelly, Arizona

The heart of SHRM’s “policy, not politics” mantra is the belief in our ability to find consensus when we bring all sides to the table for critical discussions of issues impacting work, workers and workplaces. Learn about SHRM’s current policy priorities and how you can elevate the voice of HR by visiting SHRM’s Advocacy website.

It’s ‘State of the State’ Season

In state capitals across the country, governors are giving their “State of the State” addresses. Governors will take this opportunity to share their vision for the year with their constituents, outline COVID-19 recovery efforts and highlight their policy priorities. The SHRM Government Affairs team monitors these speeches to identify opportunities for SHRM members to share their expertise and engage on workplace policy issues.

Here is a list of upcoming State of the State addresses:

  • Feb. 2—Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey
  • Feb. 3—Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
  • Feb. 3—Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo
  • Feb. 8—Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee
  • Feb. 10—West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice
  • March 2—Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
  • April 12—Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards

SHRM Member Advocacy Spotlight:
Maryland SHRM Virtual Advocacy Day

On Jan. 22, the Maryland SHRM State Council hosted their first fully virtual Advocacy Day. Maryland SHRM members learned about the top workplace policy issues in Maryland, best advocacy practices for engaging with their state lawmakers, and conducted advocacy meetings with their state lawmakers.

Maryland SHRM members advocated for the Peace Orders Workplace Violence Bill (HB0289/SB0105), which would provide employers seeking a peace order to protect an employee and others in their organization from an imminent threat of harm while at the workplace.

“Due to the partnership with Maryland SHRM and SHRM, we were able to turn an unusual pandemic situation into a productive Virtual Advocacy Day. SHRM’s Action Center then mobilized the A-Team to make it easy for all of our members to use their voices.”

— Greta L. Engle, vice president of employee benefits, USI Insurance Services

Webcast: North America Workplace Developments in 2021 and Beyond

On Feb. 4 at 12 p.m. EST, SHRM will host, in its role as chair of the North American Human Resource Management Association, an important webcast on how the immigration landscape in North America has evolved and how HR professionals can navigate changing policies. This informative discussion will delve into ways HR leaders can navigate these changes to recruit and retain top global talent.

Join HR panelists Gabriela Garcia, senior vice president of human resources for PepsiCo Mexico, Leon Rodriguez, former director of U.S. Customs and Immigrations Services and partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and TJ Schmaltz, chief people and legal officer for Westminster Savings Credit Union of Canada, for a virtual panel discussion on immigration policy, access to global talent and labor market trends in North America.

This webcast has been approved for 1 PDC toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification. A program code will be provided at the end of the webcast. Register here.


SHRM, WFPMA and BCG Launch Creating People Advantage Study

SHRM joined the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA) and the consulting firm BCG to launch a study on people trends in organizations across the globe. The survey will be published in June 2021. Participants will receive a copy of the final report, with highlights of the findings and insights on global trends in the profession available on the WFPMA and SHRM websites for download. HR professionals need not be part of SHRM to join the study—the survey is open to HR professionals around the world.

Please consider participating in the survey and sharing the link with other members of the HR community in your networks.

The People Profession in 2020

SHRM has partnered with the World Federation of People Management Association, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and the Australian Human Resources Institute to publish a study of professionals in the HR and people professions across the globe. This study, released in late January, explored the meaningfulness of work and how global HR professionals view their careers, as well as the structures and characteristics of the organizations in which they work.

SHRM and Holland & Hart Host Webcast on Immigration Policies

With the start of a new presidential administration and Congress, employers are focused on potential new immigration policies, such as comprehensive immigration reform and H-1B visa changes. On Jan. 27, Emily M. Dickens, head of government affairs for SHRM, joined Roger Tsai, partner at Holland & Hart, LLP, for an informative webinar on what the immigration climate may look like under President Biden’s administration.

Dickens and Tsai discussed the realities and administrative burden currently experienced by HR professionals, as well as the importance of the business community’s perspective on immigration reform and the need to access top global talent, especially individuals educated in the U.S.

Video Highlights Groundbreaking SHRM Research

In a new video, SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., Chief Knowledge Officer Alex Alonso, Ph.D., and members of the SHRM Research team highlight what they learned from SHRM’s proprietary research studies conducted in 2020. The video outlines SHRM’s knowledge leadership in a critical year for work, workers and workplaces, and encourages members to contribute to the HR profession by participating in 2021 research.

HR Resiliency: Equity in the Workplace

As we continue to elevate work, workers and workplaces, we cannot overlook the important role HR professionals play in building diverse, equitable and inclusive work environments. Last year, SHRM launched Together Forward @Work, a call to action to address racial equity in the workplace. In addition to providing tools and resources, we are compiling examples of organizations who are leading with innovation to create inclusive cultures that provide opportunity for all.

We want to hear how you are championing change in order to create better workplaces. Share your story about how you and your organization have taken steps to create equitable and inclusive workplace cultures.

Make Your Voice Heard: Join Us at SHRM Workplace Policy Conference 2021

As a strategic HR leader, you can use your voice to help forge a future for better workplaces and a better world.

With a new Congress and administration in place, it is your moment to be a leading advocate and HR professional who shapes the future of workplace policy. Invest today in a can’t-miss opportunity to become an even more powerful advocate for your company, your career and the HR profession: The SHRM Workplace Policy Conference 2021.

The Workplace Policy Conference 2021 will be hosted entirely online. Your comprehensive virtual experience features:

  • Exclusive meetings with members of Congress.
  • Insights on workplace policy trends and implications for the workplace.
  • Opportunities for strategic relationship building with HR peers, professionals and policymakers.
  • Persuasive communication tools and strategies crucial to making your voice heard.
  • And much more!

Advancing Workplace Issues in 2021

SHRM is proud to be working with several organizations to highlight workplace issues in 2021. They include Fratelli Group, NAICU, Palladian Hill Strategies, Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Viatris.

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