EEOC Conciliation Reforms Reversed by Congress
President Joe Biden signed a resolution on June 30 withdrawing reforms to conciliation that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finalized under the previous administration.
The U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate June 24 in voting to reverse the reforms. The House passed the resolution by a vote of 219-210.
The goal of the conciliation rule was to better inform employers on the findings in conciliated cases and encourage them to resolve disputes voluntarily rather than in court. Under the reforms, the EEOC was to provide employers with “a written summary of the known facts,” among other information, when an employee files a discrimination charge.
The EEOC reforms were rescinded under the Congressional Review Act, which permits Congress to overturn rules issued by a federal agency and prohibits the agency from issuing a similar rule without congressional approval. In May, SHRM sent a letter to congressional leaders expressing strong concerns about the resolution to overturn to the rule.
SHRM21 Features EEOC Listening Session, More Government Affairs Activities
The SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021 (SHRM21), which is taking place in Las Vegas and virtually Sept. 9-12, will feature an EEOC listening session on Sept. 9.
Participants will have an opportunity to offer input and guidance as the commission develops the next five-year strategic enforcement plan on key workplace equity issues. The EEOC is interested in hearing directly from HR professionals on workplace enforcement and operational priorities as the agency formulates the strategic plan.
SHRM21 will include other activities led by the Government Affairs team, including convening a panel of international business and government leaders working toward positive change for women in the workplace during the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Look for more updates on SHRM21 in the days ahead.
SHRM Premieres In-District Advocacy Event
SHRM Government Affairs is calling on SHRM advocates to connect with their congressional representatives and district staff during the August district work period, more commonly referred to as August recess.
Next month, lawmakers will leave Washington, D.C., and return to their districts to meet with their constituents. Members of Congress need to hear from you directly about how your organization is overcoming challenges, adjusting business practices and providing innovative solutions for the world of work.
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.
SHRM Government Affairs will equip you with the tools and resources you need to schedule a successful meeting or a site visit with a member of Congress. Look for an e-mail in the days ahead with links to a district engagement toolkit and information on an interactive workshop to prepare for the August recess.
New Workplace, Mental Health Laws Take Effect in D.C. Region
Several new laws impacting the workplace and public health took effect in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., the minimum wage was increased from $15 per hour to $15.20 per hour, regardless of the size of the employer. In neighboring Montgomery County, Md., the minimum wage increased to $15 per hour for employers with 51 or more employees, $14 per hour for employers with 11 to 50 employees, and $13.50 per hour for employers with 10 or fewer employees.
Maryland is expanding services provided by the 211 Maryland mental health crisis call center following passage of the Thomas Bloom Raskin Act, which is named for U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin’s late son, Tommy, who died by suicide at age 25. The 211 system now provides 24/7 support through state-funded mental health counselors. Maryland residents can receive regular check-ins via phone, text message or chat.
Maryland also lifted emergency mandates and restrictions related to COVID-19. Workplaces, however, are still able to set their own mask-wearing policies.
In Virginia, accessible parking requests related to a disability will now be treated as reasonable accommodations. The commonwealth also expanded income limits for child care subsidies; granted employment law protections to domestic workers, such as chefs and cleaners; and expanded the scope of the Virginia Human Rights Act to protect workers from discrimination due to a physical or mental disability.
Make sure you know about all the changing laws and regulations in your city and state. Follow our State & Local Updates coverage.
SHRM Leaders Join USCIB Boards, COVID-19 Campaign
SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, was elected to the board of trustees of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). Emily M. Dickens, SHRM chief of staff, head of government affairs and corporate secretary, was elected to the USCIB board of directors.
Founded in 1945, USCIB is an independent advocacy organization promoting free trade and expanded market access for U.S. products and services abroad. Its membership includes more than 300 multinational companies, law firms and associations.
Dickens was also appointed to the Steering Committee of Business Partners of CONVINCE (BP2C), a global initiative launched by USCIB to empower a vaccine-literate public based on trust in science and a commitment to future COVID-19 vaccines and countermeasures.
BP2C is the private-sector arm of the CONVINCE (COVID-19 New Vaccine Information, Communication, and Engagement) network, which advances vaccine literacy and promotes vaccine acceptance. The mission of BP2C is to mobilize the business community to engage employers and employees to accept COVID-19 vaccines.
As the voice of all things work, SHRM continues to lead the global conversation on COVID-19 and work, workers and the workplace through evidence-based research and the latest news and updates related to COVID-19. SHRM collected members-only and publicly available COVID-19 resources especially for BP2C participants.
SHRM Member Advocacy Spotlight: LeLanie McCleskey
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 LeLanie McCleskey, a human resources manager from Fort Lupton, Colo.
“There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for advocacy in the workplace. HR must take on the concerns of employees and bring them to the forefront. It is extremely important for employees to see HR proactively listening, responding and seeking ways to make employees feel included in every moment of their workday. Not one employee should ever feel they don’t matter, are not part of the company culture or are not appreciated. HR must train its managers and supervisors to exhibit supportive behavior to send a message of inclusiveness to every employee.”
SHRM Government Affairs wants to showcase your advocacy experiences and how you are championing change to advance smart workplace policies. Complete this short survey.
ICYMI: SHRM Government Affairs Q2 Webcast
On June 29, SHRM Government Affairs hosted its second quarterly webcast of the year. Attendees received the latest insight from featured guest speaker Casey Wooten, House correspondent at National Journal, on policy that stands to impact work, workers and the workplace. Staff members from SHRM Government Affairs also provided workplace policy and regulatory updates, as well as showcased upcoming and ongoing campaigns and initiatives.
If you were unable to attend the event but still want to watch the discussion, you can access the program on demand.
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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