SHRM Provides Resources on Vaccine Mandate

On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced that all employers with 100 workers or more must require workers to have COVID-19 vaccinations or a weekly negative test result before coming to work.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to implement the vaccine requirement. SHRM has assembled resources to help prepare HR professionals for implementation of the ETS.

Veterans’ Hiring Preference Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

Late last week, SB 665, a veterans’ preference hiring bill supported by SHRM, was unanimously approved by the California Assembly and Senate and sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

SB 665 authorizes a private employer to establish a written policy to give a voluntary preference for hiring a veteran over another qualified applicant or employee. The bill aligns with and supports SHRM’s Workforce Development policy agenda and will allow HR professionals to assist returning veterans in gaining employment in California.

Earlier this year, state Sen. Tom Umberg contacted SHRM for guidance while drafting the bill. He discussed the bill with SHRM in this video.

For information, contact SHRM Director of State Affairs Jason Gabhart at [email protected] or 916-833-0462.

Texas Implements New Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws

On Sept. 1, two major sexual-harassment laws took effect in Texas.

SB 45 expands liability for sexual harassment to businesses that employ one or more employees and expands liability to individual managers. Previous Texas law applied to businesses with 15 or more employees.

The law also states that an employer will be liable for sexual harassment if the employer or the employer’s agents or supervisors know or should have known the conduct was occurring and failed to take immediate and appropriate action.

HB 21 extends the statute of limitations for sexual-harassment claims to 300 days. Prior to the enactment of the law, employees were limited to 180 days to file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission.

SEC Human Capital Management Disclosure Rule Expected in October

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) spring 2021 agenda included an announcement of proposed rulemaking in October 2021 related to human capital management “to enhance registrant disclosures.” 

Recent developments indicate that formal action may be coming soon. On Aug. 18, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said he asked staff to propose recommendations for the SEC’s consideration on human capital disclosure.

“This could include a number of metrics, such as workforce turnover, skills and development training, compensation, benefits, workforce demographics including diversity, and health and safety,” he said via Twitter.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

SHRM is helping HR professionals recognize Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by providing resources to support mental health and wellness in the workplace.

In addition, during the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021, held virtually and in Las Vegas, the SHRM Foundation and Psych Hub announced the creation of the Workplace Mental Health Ally Certificate program as part of the Foundation’s Workplace Mental Health and Wellness initiative

The initiative was launched to accelerate the movement to eliminate the stigma of mental health in the workplace, foster an organizational culture where workplace mental health can be discussed openly, and help organizations build a more complete approach to employee wellness.

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

EEOC Takes Questions at SHRM21

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Charlotte A. Burrows, (above, right) and Commissioner Keith E. Sonderling (center) discussed future commission priorities and took numerous questions from the in-person and virtual audiences during SHRM21.

A significant focus of the listening session was compliance with anti-discrimination laws during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the commissioners providing guidance on how employers should address work-from-home requests and other ongoing issues.

Closing remarks were provided by U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety.

Also at SHRM21:

  • The SHRM External Affairs team hosted a panel discussion titled “SHE-CESSION: Seizing the Moment to Lead Global Change for Women in the Workplace.” The discussion focused on building a more inclusive workplace that ensures no one is disproportionately impacted during a future pandemic or global crisis.
  • SHRM Advocacy Team members, including students from the University of Tennessee SHRM student chapter, gathered for a networking session with SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, and Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary Emily M. Dickens.
  • During the pre-show for the Opening General Session at SHRM21, SHRM External Affairs urged members of Congress to streamline and modernize health care benefits reporting obligations required by the IRS. More than 3,000 members participated in the call to action.

SHRM Chapters Meet Lawmakers Close to Home

SHRM’s Northwest Arkansas Human Resource Association Legislative Affairs Committee met with Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., (center, blue shirt) in his district office.

SHRM Georgia State Council and the Central Savannah River Area Chapter hosted a roundtable discussion featuring, from left, Ed Enoch with the SHRM Georgia State Council; state Sen. Harold Jones, R-Ga.; state Rep. Brian Prince, R-Ga., at top right, and Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga., at lower right. 

The Inland Empire SHRM chapter hosted a gender pay equity roundtable featuring U.S. Rep. Norma Torres, R-Calif.

Let us know about your affiliate’s plans to meet with members of Congress. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call 703-535-6099.

Mark Your Calendars: SHRM Government Affairs Webcast, Sept. 30

Join the SHRM Government Affairs team for our third quarterly webcast of the year Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. ET.

Discussion topics will include the latest workplace policy and regulatory updates, upcoming and ongoing SHRM GA campaigns and initiatives, and other important advocacy updates. 

Registration is open now, and more details will follow in the next newsletter.

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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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