HR POLICY BRIEFING 3/2/2021

SHRM Will Influence Global Policy for Women in the Workforce in 2021

SHRM has been named a member of the B20 Special Initiative on Women’s Empowerment and will be represented by Emily M. Dickens, chief of staff, head of government affairs and corporate secretary. The Special Initiative will collect input from all B20 Task Forces and Action Councils to foster the empowerment of women, and to encourage gender diversity in all economic and social sectors. The Special Initiative will elevate targeted recommendations and advocate them to the G20 Leaders and other public and private organizations, institutions, and groups of interest.

Join SHRM, UN Women and the IOE for Webinar Celebrating International Women’s Day

Women have made great strides over the past few decades. They are filling more seats in government and business positions and making impactful contributions to the workplace. Building a more equitable and inclusive workforce is critical to drive sustainable economic development and to create a world of work that works for all.

On March 8 at 12:30 p.m. ET, join SHRM’s Emily M. Dickens, SHRM India CEO Achal Khanna and high-level speakers from UN Women and the International Organisation for Employers for a timely and important discussion on empathy and women in the workplace in celebration of International Women’s Day. Register here.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Equality Act 2021

On Feb. 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act of 2021, in a vote of 224-206. SHRM submitted a letter to the House expressing strong support for the goal and intent of the legislation and hopes more clarity and guidance will be provided to employers, especially small and mid-sized businesses—those most negatively impacted by the pandemic.

SHRM has long encouraged fair and consistent employment practices and policies. In 2008, SHRM was the first employer organization to publicly support legislation to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. We believe that employees should be evaluated based upon their ability to do the job, not on characteristics unrelated to job performance. To that end, SHRM is committed to combatting all forms of discrimination in the workplace, and we look forward to working with the U.S. Senate to strengthen the Equality Act as it moves through the legislative process. Visit advocacy.shrm.org to learn more about SHRM’s workplace equity policy priorities and more insight on the Equality Act.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Passed by U.S. House of Representatives

On Feb. 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, H.R. 1319 by a vote of 219 to 212. The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the legislation as early as this week to meet the March 14 deadline to extend expiring emergency benefits. It’s important to note that the House-passed legislation included a provision to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, despite the ruling by the Senate Parliamentarian that the proposal fails to meet rules of reconciliation.

There were discussions that Senate Democrats might seek an alternative route to raise the minimum wage through changes to the tax code, such as by eliminating tax breaks for large companies that pay employees less than $15 per hour. However, given the short window for legislative activity, it’s not likely a proposal will be included in the current package.

Read SHRM’s summary of the employer provisions included in the House-passed proposal. The provisions that we anticipate will remain in the final package are:

  • Extensions to the pandemic-related unemployment provisions created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to Aug. 29.
  • Extensions to the tax credits for employer-provided paid sick and family leave established under Families First Coronavirus Response Act to Sept. 30.
  • An extension of the CARES Act employee retention credit through Dec. 31.

SHRM will be monitoring the legislation as it moves through the Senate and will provide an update with developments in the next issue of the HR Policy newsletter.

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SHRM Releases New Research on COVID-19 Vaccine and the Workplace

As HR professionals and business leaders look to build a workplace where employees feel safe despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision of when and how to return employees to the office has been a pressing challenge. With vaccines for COVID-19 becoming available, business leaders and HR professionals will confront a new set of issues that may make the decision more complicated.

New research released by SHRM shows many organizations plan to encourage employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, yet a significant number of U.S. workers say they are unlikely to get vaccinated. Sixty percent of workers will probably or definitely get the vaccine once it becomes available to them, while approximately 28 percent would still choose not to get the vaccine, even if it meant losing their jobs. For more information on SHRM’s COVID-19 research, tools and resources, visit shrm.org/futurework.

SHRM Member Highlights Importance of Advocacy

Tracey Keefe, SHRM-SCP, senior manager of human resources at World Wind and Solar in Tehachapi, Calif., recently spoke about her SHRM advocacy experiences and why advancing smart workplace policies is critical.

“Advocacy is important to me because employment should be an ongoing, healthy conversation between employers and employees. It’s important that we in human resources help our lawmakers to understand how best to enable those conversations so that organizations and individuals can thrive at work.”—Tracey Keefe, SHRM-SCP

President Biden Revokes Proclamation 10014

On Feb. 25, 2021, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation revoking Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020, which was titled “Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak.” President Biden revoked the proclamation, stating:

“It does not advance the interests of the United States. To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here. It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world.”

The president’s revocation of Proclamation 10014 is a step in the right direction in clearing out the backlog of family-based immigrant visa holders who were unable to enter the United States. However, the revocation does not rescind provisions in Proclamation 10052 that would allow certain employment-based visa holders and nonimmigrant visa holders (H-1B, H-2B, J interns and L visa categories) to enter to the U.S. On Dec. 31, 2020, Proclamation 10052 was extended until March 31, 2021.

SHRM believes U.S. employers should have access to global talent while protecting U.S. workers, and supports policies that ensure employers have access to visas to recruit, hire, transfer and retain top talent. SHRM will continue to monitor the implementation of the proclamation.

Save the Date: Join SHRM for Tune in Tuesdays on March 9

SHRM’s Tune in Tuesdays offers fresh perspectives from leading experts, curated news and solutions-based insights focused on all things work. The March 9 program, airing at 2 p.m. ET, will feature a two-part episode highlighting both Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and Women’s History Month. The episode will kick off with a 15-minute update from the SHRM Foundation featuring remarks from Executive Director Wendi Safstrom.

Thereafter, SHRM’s Emily M. Dickens will be joined by Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard, senior vice president of business affairs at ABC News, and Elke Flores Suber, associate general counsel for Microsoft Corporation, for an important conversation about navigating professional transitions in the workplace. Register here today.

Governors Address Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The National Governors Association (NGA), a SHRM strategic partner, recently conducted a survey looking at challenges governors have faced and how they are addressing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) issues.

The approaches to addressing equity vary across the respondents. Twelve states are currently leading their efforts within a state agency or department. Additionally, governors are seeking legislation or issuing executive orders outlining the commitment to DE&I, establishing organization infrastructure and resources, developing strategic plans, or incorporating DE&I into an existing strategic plan. A “lack of expertise and training” and concerns of obtaining buy-in from stakeholders are among the challenges cited.

SHRM is constantly engaging with and providing resources to governors and state officials through targeted communications, programming and strategic partnerships. Please reach out to SHRM’s Director of Public Policy C. Mitch Taylor at mitch.taylor@shrm.org for more information.

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.

SHRM Foundation Launches 2021 Scholarships, Grants and Awards

Applications are now being accepted for the SHRM Foundation’s 2021 scholarships, grants and awards offerings, including several new awards focused on promoting equity and representation in the HR field.

The SHRM Foundation offers vital educational opportunities, training and resources to equip the next generation of HR leaders with the skills they need to take their career to the next level and make impactful changes in the workplace.

By offering certification, academic and professional development scholarships and grants to HR professionals and students, the program aims to position the HR field as a rewarding profession full of opportunity through different student and career experiences.

Awards such as the Workplace Policy Conference grant, undergraduate HR Exploration grant and Student Membership award are also open to nonmembers to draw awareness to the field of HR and solidify SHRM as the organization that can support them throughout their career.

In total, the SHRM Foundation offers more than $500,000 in awards that will support over 300 recipients, helping them achieve career success. If you have questions, contact Dr. Vernon Williams or visit the SHRM Foundation Scholarships, Grants and Award website.

SHRM and CDC Webcast: An Update on COVID-19 Vaccines and the Workplace

On Feb. 25, SHRM hosted experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who shared an overview and updates on vaccine distribution plans now and through the year, as well as considerations that the business community and employers must weigh in their efforts to create safe workplaces. The members-only webcast will be available on-demand through June here.

SHRM Certification has approved this webcast for one PDC toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification. A program code will be provided at the end of the webcast.

Join Us at the SHRM Workplace Policy Conference 2021

Do you want to influence workplace public policy? As a strategic HR leader, your voice is needed to help forge a future for better workplaces and a better world.

With a new Congress and administration in place, this 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.

NOW AN ALL-VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE

The Workplace Policy Conference 2021, taking place April 19-21, will be hosted entirely online. Your comprehensive virtual experience features:

  • Exclusive meetings with members of Congress.
  • Insights from policymakers on workplace issues on the horizon and how HR can be a resource.
  • Updates 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!

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 that 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.

SHRM to Sponsor Virtual Selma Bridge Crossing

This year, SHRM is a title sponsor of the 56th Annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The events will be held virtually March 5-7.  Registration for the events is free.

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.

As the Voice of All Things Work, SHRM pursues nonpartisan public policy to promote flexible, inclusive and equitable workplaces that help business thrive as talent is tapped, trained and empowered to reach its full potential. Policy not politics.


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