SHRM21 Update: EEOC Officials Join Listening Session

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Charlotte A. Burrows and Commissioner Keith E. Sonderling will participate in a listening session at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021 (SHRM21) on Sept. 9 in Las Vegas.

The session, “The Future of Equitable Workplaces,” offers participants the opportunity to provide input on the EEOC’s priorities, including increasing in-person interactions with the public and the commission’s strategic plan for fiscal years 2022-2026. 

Prior to her appointment to the EEOC, Burrows served as associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked on a broad range of civil and criminal matters.

Sonderling was confirmed by the Senate last September after serving as the acting and deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Check out the SHRM21 conference schedule for more information and to register to attend, in person or virtually. 

EEOC Seeks Feedback on Reopening Field Offices

The EEOC is evaluating its next steps for returning staff to its 53 offices after conducting business almost entirely through telework since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission is accepting comments through July 29 on how to structure staff interactions with the public while ensuring safe working conditions.

Commenters are asked to share details about how telework has impacted the delivery of EEOC services during the pandemic and how the commission can most effectively engage with local stakeholders in the months ahead.

SHRM will be submitting comments based on member feedback. Share your thoughts at [email protected].

SHRM Research Shows Disconnect Between Job Seekers, Employers

New SHRM research reveals gaps between how employers and job seekers view the market for new employment.

Nine out of 10 employers surveyed by SHRM are struggling to fill open positions, and 73 percent of organizations say they’re seeing a decrease in applications for hard-to-fill positions. Employers (70 percent) also believe expanded COVID-19 unemployment benefits make finding workers harder.

At the same time, 42 percent of job seekers say they’re still unemployed because they have not had any responses from employers. Eleven percent of respondents say the expanded benefits made it possible to be more selective. Nine percent say they’re earning more through unemployment benefits than they would with a job.

One thing employers and job seekers agree on: The skills gap persists. Sixty percent of organizations say they can’t find applicants with the right skills, and 30 percent of job seekers say their skills don’t match available jobs.

To fill critical openings, 57 percent of employers are offering referral bonuses, 55 percent are hiring external or temporary workers, 44 percent are providing professional development opportunities to staff, and 43 percent are boosting pay. Download the full report

Promote Inclusive Workplaces for People with Disabilities

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the 15th anniversary of the formal alliance between SHRM and ODEP. Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turns 31 on July 26.

To commemorate these milestones, we are asking for reaffirmation of your commitment to inclusivity by pledging to build equitable workplaces that include people with disabilities. Here’s how your SHRM affiliate can participate:

  1. Take a picture of your SHRM affiliate signing the pledge and post it on the SHRM affiliate website and social media platforms.
  2. Utilize tools and resources found at to create a disability employment inclusion program for SHRM members.
  3. Share stories of disability employment and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts from members of your SHRM affiliate.

Sign the pledge today and help us lead the discussion on creating inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities.

Make Plans to Meet with Your Member of Congress

SHRM members will be meeting with their congressional representatives and district staff during the August recess.

Schedule a time with your representative or senator between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9 and let him or her know you and SHRM stand ready to offer subject matter expertise and thought leadership. This is your chance to build new and lasting relationships with the decision-makers who stand to influence workplace policy.

Want to get involved? Here’s how your SHRM affiliate can participate:

  1. Indicate your interest in participating by completing this form
  2. Download the SHRM Government Affairs In-District Advocacy Month Toolkit.
  3. Schedule a time for your meeting, event or site visit with your representative and senators between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9. Appointments will be scheduled by state legislative directors.

For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call (703) 535-6099.

SHRM Member Advocacy Spotlight: Janet Coplen

HR professionals sit at the intersection of work, workers and the workplace. As an advocate for the HR profession, you have a unique and valuable perspective on the changing world of work and how advocacy can make an impact with policymakers and in your workplace. See why advocacy matters to fellow SHRM member Janet Coplen of Enid, Okla., senior HR consulting partner with Dillingham HR.

“To be a voice against ‘big regulation’ so that employers can and will provide more boots-on-the-ground incentives, compensation and benefits to its population. We must do all we can to help existing companies and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit that this country is all about. We cannot let our voice go unheard.”

SHRM Government Affairs wants to showcase your advocacy experiences and how you are championing change to advance smart workplace policies. Complete this short survey.

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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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