HR POLICY BRIEFING – 5/25/2021

Together Forward @ Work Presents New SHRM Blue Ribbon Commission Report on Racial Equality

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On May 24, we presented SHRM’s Blue Ribbon Commission report on racial equity. This landmark report outlines tangible actions and strategies businesses and HR professionals can employ immediately to create more equitable workplaces for all. Members can also access actionable insights and solutions to address racial inequity in SHRM’s DE&I Action-to-Change Toolbox

Additionally, the report previews SHRM’s new Empathy Index—a resource that will help organizations identify empathy gaps in their workplaces and create cultures where inclusion and equity are consistently at the forefront. SHRM also released Empathy: DE&I’s Missing Piece, a new research report that makes the business case for empathetic workplaces.

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.

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.

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SHRM invites you to join us as we cultivate a new era of civility, respect and policy solutions that support inclusive workplaces.

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SHRM Applauds House Passage of Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On May 14, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act by a vote of 315-101. The bipartisan bill would provide pregnant employees with important workplace protections while also making sure employers have clear and flexible options to ensure pregnant employees can remain at work for as long as they wish.

Prior to the vote, SHRM submitted a letter supporting the bill. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

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Research from SHRM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Explores Employers’ Investment in Training

Now more than ever, talent development strategies and investment in employees are critical for organizations to maintain a competitive advantage. However, gaps and challenges in training and development persist, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 26, SHRM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will release new research to provide insight to employers and others on the front lines of labor force training during “The Training and Development Landscape: Exploring Employer Investment, Challenges, and Innovation in Talent Development.”

The study examined the employee training benefits that organizations are offering, talent investment and workplace challenges that hinder innovative practices. Additionally, the research report highlights the appetite employers have for further talent investment and employer collaborations, as well as how employers view the role of government in facilitating these investments and relationships.

SHRM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that employers recognize the importance of strong talent investment and are open to further innovation, but many face barriers to expanding their offerings. There is a clear opportunity to pursue new public-private approaches to skill development that promote investment in employees, innovation and employer collaboration.

Register today

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SHRM Joins Amicus Brief Defending H-4 Visa Recipients

On May 7, SHRM joined a coalition of employers and business associations in filing an amicus brief that defends the legality of issuing temporary employment authorization to noncitizen H-4 visa holders (dependents of H-1 visa holders) in Save Jobs USA v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The ruling from the U.S. District Court District of Columbia has the potential to remove more than 90,000 H-4 visa recipients from the workforce should the court rule against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The amicus brief highlights the important role of H-4 visa holders in the U.S. workforce and the legal precedent that permits the DHS’s issuance of employment authorization to H-4 visa holders.

Joining the amicus brief is in alignment with SHRM’s Workplace Immigration and Workplace Equity policy pillars. SHRM believes the U.S. needs a modern workplace immigration system that allows employers access to top global talent while protecting U.S. workers.

Of the roughly 90,000 H-4 visa holders in the U.S., most are women, more than 60 percent have attained a master’s degree or higher, and 99 percent have at least a college degree. These individuals are a critical part of the talent pipeline and should be permitted the opportunity to contribute their skills, education and talent to a recovering U.S. economy.

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Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits Supplement and Labor Shortages

The American Rescue Plan extended until Sept. 6 a $300-per-week federal supplement to unemployment benefits, but some states are ending this early.

Approximately 11.7 million people are currently enrolled in emergency unemployment benefits programs such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for gig workers and the self-employed, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offers an additional 24 weeks of benefits.

While the number of unemployment claims are decreasing as the country reaches its lowest level of initial claims since March 2020, employers are reporting labor supply shortages. Some economists have pointed to enhanced unemployment benefits and expanded eligibility for benefits as factors contributing to these shortages.

As a result, some states are ending additional federal unemployment benefits early. To date, at least 21 states are ending access to federal benefits this summer before the program’s September expiration.

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Learn more about this important workforce development issue and your state’s response by visiting SHRM’s Advocacy website.

SHRM Launches New Executive Network

Now more than ever, human resource professionals play an integral role in our nation’s workforce, leading the charge to help organizations navigate a changing workplace. On May 19, SHRM launched the SHRM Executive Network, a private community catering specifically to the business and professional needs of HR leaders.

The SHRM Executive Network launched with the announcement of the new Executive Council, which met virtually for the first time May 25 and convenes CHROs from organizations including Microsoft, Mastercard and Chipotle to explore pressing workplace issues and elevate the HR profession. The Executive Council will provide insight on emerging business strategies and commission research to further shape the world of work as we know it.

The council’s efforts will inform the SHRM Executive Network as it supplies CHROs and HR business partners with a competitive advantage through access to thought leadership, proprietary resources and an elite network of global industry executives.

Visit shrm.org/executive to learn more.

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SHRM Joined HR Professionals Around the World to Celebrate International HR Day

On May 20, SHRM celebrated International HR Day, marking the occasion’s second annual celebration. International HR Day recognizes hardworking HR professionals around the world and was commemorated by World Federation of People Management Association (WFPMA) members worldwide.

This year’s theme was “HR Shaping the New Future,” describing the role of the HR profession in leading change to improve working lives and avoid slipping back into “traditional” ways of thinking and working. The theme implies that HR is leading a future that will be more inclusive, flexible and participatory and will benefit workers, organizations and society.

At SHRM, we’re proud to hold the WFPMA North America delegate board seat through our president and chief executive officer, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, who also serves as president of the North American Human Resource Management Association (NAHRMA). Our chief of staff, head of Government Affairs and corporate secretary, Emily M. Dickens, will serve as the WFPMA secretary general and NAHRMA delegate, and our chief knowledge officer, Alex Alonso, will serve as a NAHRMA delegate.

To celebrate International HR Day, SHRM hosted a luncheon for staff members featuring international cuisine. How did you celebrate International HR Day in your organization? Share your pictures to global.outreach@shrm.org.

If you have questions regarding SHRM’s global affairs work, please contact Karen E. Mitchell, director of global affairs.

SHRM Supports Jobs for America’s Graduates’ Affiliate Assistance Program

Last week, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) announced SHRM’s support of its Affiliate Assistance Program (AAP) through a generous donation.

In the last four decades, JAG affiliates, staff and specialists have helped more than 1.5 million of our nation’s most underserved youth overcome significant economic, emotional and academic challenges. The donation from SHRM will help cover the cost of the AAP, a 24/7 online service that will support JAG affiliate staff, specialists and household members.

“SHRM and JAG share a common goal: breaking down barriers to employment and creating brighter futures for all,” said Emily M. Dickens, SHRM chief of staff, head of Government Affairs and corporate secretary. “As we strive to create better workplaces for a better world, SHRM is thrilled to partner with JAG as they help the next generation overcome academic, economic and emotional hurdles.”

Sean Sullivan, SHRM’s chief human resources officer, added, “Ensuring that employees have access to timely and high-quality resources during a period of challenge and change is absolutely critical. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a major psychological and economic toll on Americans, HR professionals serve as the backbone of our country’s workplaces—working around the clock to provide support to employees and their families.”

Learn more.

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.

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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