SHRM Joined White House, Treasury Officials to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccines, Incentives

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On May 6, as part of a SHRM members-only webcast, SHRM Chief Knowledge Officer Alex Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, joined Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team, and Tom West, deputy assistant secretary for domestic business tax in the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy, to discuss how HR can help lead the effort to vaccinate workers and federal tax incentives available to employers that pay employees to take time off to get vaccinated.

The discussion was followed by a Q&A, where Alonso and Amber Clayton, SHRM-SCP, reviewed questions sent to the SHRM HR Knowledge Center on how employers can encourage vaccinations, create effective health and safety policies, and craft HR strategies and practices for a post-pandemic world. View the members-only webcast on demand

SHRM Certification approved this webcast for 1 PDC toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification. A program code will be provided at the end of the webcast.

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SHRM Survey: Nearly Half of U.S. Workers Feel Mentally, Physically Exhausted by End of Each Workday

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, new research from SHRM highlights the psychological toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on employed Americans. As millions try to integrate their professional and personal responsibilities, 48 percent of U.S. workers feel mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the workday, while another 41 percent report feeling burned out from their work.

The survey on the mental health of U.S. workers more than a year into the pandemic shows burnout and symptoms of depression persist. Of note, working women reported experiencing burnout at significantly higher rates than men, and employees who telework often experience more depressive symptoms compared to those who don’t telework.

SHRM Government Affairs and the SHRM Foundation recently shared this new data with the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, and we look forward to partnering with Congress and the administration to advocate federal resources to prioritize mental health in the workplace.

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Taylor Testifies at EEOC Hearing on the Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Workers

On April 28, SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, joined the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a panel of experts for a hearing on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers, employers’ difficulties navigating potential employment discrimination issues, and future challenges the pandemic may present for employees and employers.

SHRM looks forward to continuing to work with the EEOC to enact policies that build better workplaces for a better world, for all.

Dickens Testifies on Compensation Equity

On April 29, Emily M. Dickens, SHRM chief of staff, head of government affairs and corporate secretary, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion as part of a virtual hearing titled, “Closing the Racial and Gender Wealth Gap Through Compensation Equity.”

Compensation equity is a timely and important topic for HR and workplaces across the country. SHRM research found 22 percent of organizations say they plan to conduct voluntary pay audits to proactively address any gender-related disparities in compensation. Watch the hearing here.


SHRM Volunteer Leader Testifies Before House Committee

On May 6, Maryland SHRM’s State Legislative Director Greta L. Engle, vice president of employee benefits for USI Insurance Services, testified on behalf of SHRM before the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress during a hearing titled “ Congressional Staff Capacity: Improving Staff Professional Development, Increasing Retention and Competing for Top Talent.”

The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress is tasked with improving Congress as a workplace, and SHRM was asked to provide testimony on trends in employee benefits pre- and post-pandemic. The hearing focused on retaining and recruiting congressional staff through competitive pay practices, professional development opportunities and benefit offerings.

SHRM advocates sit at the intersection of work, workers and the workplace. That is why SHRM urges policymakers to consider HR professionals, who comply with workplace laws every day and know the unique needs of the workplace and workforce, as a valuable resource. Watch the hearing here.

SHRM’s mission is to create better workplaces for a better world, and we stand ready to partner with Congressional leaders as they work to create a better workplace for their own workforce.

SHRM Weighs in on EEOC Conciliation Process

On May 5, SHRM submitted a letter to the U.S. House and Senate leadership expressing concerns with H.J. Res. 33 and S.J. Res.13, which would use the Congressional Review Act to disapprove the “Update of Commission’s Conciliation Procedures” finalized by the EEOC.

SHRM had previously submitted a comment on the EEOC’s proposed rule to update the conciliation procedures in November 2020.

SHRM believes the conciliation process is valuable because it provides employees, employers and the EEOC the opportunity to resolve disputes and prevent discrimination in the workplace while avoiding costly and drawn out litigation. Additionally, conciliation helps employers provide support for workers, while also resolving workplace policy and practice issues to create a better workplace for all employees.

Pennsylvania SHRM Hosts Inaugural Legal and Legislative Conference

On April 30, the Pennsylvania SHRM State Council hosted an exciting full day of learning with its first virtual Legal and Legislative Conference. Said SHRM volunteer leader Tiffany Bloyer, SHRM-CP, director of HR for Franklin County, about the conference:

“The event provided timely updates on the latest state and federal labor and employment law changes, including news from SHRM’s membership team, a “Washington Outlook” on imminent legislation and regulations, insights on business options for the COVID-19 vaccines, and a panel discussion on “Policy, Advocacy & Your Workplace” featuring Phyllis Hartman, president of PGHR Consulting; Jackie Poquette, director of HR for Westlake Plastics; Alex Halper, director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; and Jonathan Segal, J.D., partner at the Duane Morris Institute.

Over 400 people attended the sessions and had a chance to network with attendees via virtual networking! It was a great day full of learning!”

Biden Administration Introduces American Families Plan

President Joe Biden announced the third phase of his Build Back Better Plan—the American Families Plan (AFP). The AFP calls for a national, comprehensive framework for paid family and medical leave. In addition to the president’s proposal, 17 state treasurers sent an open letter to Congress supporting the call for paid family medical leave.

To date, nine states—California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington—have paid-leave programs. A handful of these states are among the signatories supporting a comprehensive federal program. SHRM advocates a voluntary, federal framework of paid leave, rather than a patchwork of state and local laws.

SHRM will continue to monitor the AFP and serve as a resource to Congress and the administration on issues impacting work, workers and the workplace, including flexibility and leave policies.

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SHRM Launches Global Talent Webinar Series

On May 5, the SHRM Government Affairs team debuted the SHRM Global Talent Webinar Series, a series of webcasts highlighting the latest news and insights on workplace immigration and global mobility. The first members-only webcast, “U.S. Workplace Immigration: A Brief History and Reform in the Biden Era,” featured a robust discussion with experts in immigration policy sharing their unique experiences and a brief history of immigration reform, as well as the developments to expect under the Biden Administration.

In line with SHRM’s nonpartisan approach of policy, not politics, this series provides an opportunity to learn about overcoming the pitfalls of partisan politics to create good policy.

The SHRM Global Talent Webinar Series consists of monthly panel discussions with experts in the field of immigration and global mobility. Stay tuned for the next webcast in this series in June, highlighting a discussion on the future of global mobility beyond the pandemic and the solutions necessary to ensure effective and efficient global business migration.

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New SHRM Survey Highlights Value of Workers with Criminal Records

New research released from SHRM, the SHRM Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute found the majority of HR professionals and business leaders in the U.S. believe individuals with criminal records perform the same or better than other hires in terms of job performance, promotion potential, dependability, retention and overall quality of hire.

The survey found:

  • 85 percent of HR professionals and 81 percent of business leaders believe workers with criminal records perform just as well or better in their jobs compared to workers without criminal records.
  • 66 percent of HR professionals indicated they would be willing to work with individuals who have criminal records—up from less than half who felt this way in 2018.
  • 68 percent of HR professionals and nearly half of business leaders said the fact their organization wants to hire the best candidate for a job regardless of criminal history played a very large role behind the decision to hire from this talent pool.

With a skills gap and unprecedented changes in the way U.S. businesses work and operate, employers are considering hiring from this untapped talent pool, which consists of the more than 1 in 3 Americans who have a criminal record.

The SHRM Foundation’s Getting Talent Back to Work platform and certificate program provide HR and organization leaders with tools, research and expert advice to hire and work with people with criminal histories.

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SHRM Launches ‘Now More Than Ever’ National Campaign

This week, SHRM launched the Now More Than Ever (NMTE) campaign, showcasing HR’s pivotal role in preparing organizations for the future of work.

The campaign includes two national TV spots featuring SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, showing that SHRM and the HR profession are key advocates and resources for breaking down barriers and creating better workplaces. A new website features resources, tools and insights for members in different stages of their careers.

Follow the hashtag #SHRMNMTE to join the conversation on social media.

Policy, Not Politics Apparel and Accessories Available at SHRMStore

SHRM has an unwavering commitment to focus on policy, not politics. We believe in our ability to find consensus when we bring all sides to the table for critical discussions of issues impacting work, workers and workplaces.

Together, we are championing policies that will help organizations and people thrive to create better workplaces and a better world.

Showcase your commitment to Policy, Not Politics, with a brand-new line of apparel and merchandise available for order at the SHRMStore. Get FREE SHIPPING on apparel and accessories when you shop at the SHRMStore through May 31.

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HR Resliency: 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.

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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