March 2010


In This Edition

By Dave Furlan, PHR
GMA SHRM President Elect

Debate: Proposal Giving 16 Hours of “School Leave”

Throwing Water vs. Physically Striking – Not the Same

DOL Releases Model Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Notices

2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey

O.P.E.N. (Out Professional & Executive Network) Inc

GMA SHRM Professional Scholarship

Pay It Forward Membership Program

2010 Workforce Readiness & Diversity Committee Dates

GMA SHRM Member of the Month
- Laura Ingalls

April 7, 2010 - GMA SHRM HR Resource Group: Managing Leaves, Disability Issues and the FMLA and ADA

GMA SHRM Membership Poll

- Welcome New Members!

- In Transition

- What's Cool in HR

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

April 7, 2010 - GMA SHRM HR Resource Group
Topic: A Roundtable Discussion – Managing Leaves, Disability Related Issues & the FMLA & ADA
Location: M3 Insurance
Program Details

April 20, 2010 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox
Topic: HR’s Role in Leading and Coaching for Performance Beyond Evaluation
Location: City Center West
Program Details

This program is sponsored by GMA SHRM Gold Partner Right Management




Printable version


































2010 Corporate Partners

Gold Level
American Family Insurance
Boardman Law Firm
Career Momentum
Galaxy Technologies
The Payroll Company
Right Management
Wisconsin Rx

Silver Level
Lee Hecht Harrison
Venturini Business Consultants, LLC
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Cottingham & Butler Employee Benefits

Bronze Level
Melli Law, S.C.
Bunbury & Associates
Express Employment Professionals
QBE The Americas
Stark Company Realtors
Higgins Insurance Group
Edgewood College
The Alliance
Unity Health Insurance
UW Credit Union

Thank you!




Dave Furlan, PHR

 Fellow GMA SHRM members,

I’ve been a volunteer with GMA SHRM since 2002. I think I could qualify that as a long time. If a person would ask me why I’ve volunteered all those years, I could come up with answers like “I want to give back to the chapter” or “I want to serve our profession in some way.” While those answers are true, another reason has come to the surface over the past couple of years.

In a volunteer role, I can’t tell you the number of times I finish a meeting or come away from a GMA SHRM event or initiative with a great feeling of satisfaction. That satisfaction comes from both pride of accomplishment and working with fun and interesting people. And who doesn’t consider those two of the most important factors when it comes to a rewarding work environment? As a GMA SHRM volunteer, I have the opportunity to develop leadership skills and acquire experience in other areas, like marketing and finance, under a framework that allows a person to raise his or her hand and say, “I want to try that.” I also interact with individuals from different companies and backgrounds who have shown me many different ways to manage projects and get results.

As our chapter prepares for the start of another fiscal year this July, we must elect a slate of new leaders as our Board of Directors. If you know of someone (including yourself!) who exhibits the commitment to our chapter as a volunteer leader, then I strongly encourage you to make a nomination for a Board position. We are seeking individuals who want to use their skills and experience to make a difference. At the same time, I am certain each Board candidate will find great satisfaction in the work and excellent opportunities for professional development.

To nominate someone to the GMA SHRM Board of Directors, visit our nominations page at this link.

Speaking of professional development, GMA SHRM is again offering a $1,000 professional scholarship to eligible members, which can be applied towards qualifying conference attendance, certification, certificate programs, or degrees. Apply today - the deadline for submission is March 30. More information can be found on the GMA SHRM website.

As a reminder, mark your calendars for the 5th Annual GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference, taking place on May 11, 2010, at the Alliant Energy Center. This is an affordable and valuable opportunity to continue your development even within a modest budget. Look for our postcard in the mail soon or check our website for details in the coming weeks.

To your continued success,

Dave Furlan, PHR
President Elect

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Kari Lauritsen, SPHR

Dave Furlan, PHR
President Elect

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
Past President

John Komosa
Secretary Treasurer

Kris Schmitt
Director, Education & Development

Chris Berg Thacker, PHR
VP, Membership

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
Director, Government Affairs

Zach Penshorn, PHR
VP, Programming

Jake Siudzinski

VP, Marketing & Communications


Melissa Wieland
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity

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Debate: Proposal Giving 16 Hours of “School Leave”
Contributed by Jessica M. Kramer, Attorney, Kramer Law, LLC and Tammy L. Barden, Employee Relations Specialist, WPS Health Insurance

Introduction 2009 Assembly Bill 116, which is currently pending in the Wisconsin Legislature, would require employers that are subject to the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (“WFMLA”) (by virtue of having at least 50 permanent employees) to provide each employee with 16 hours, per 12-month period, of school conference and activities leave – leave that can be taken for school conferences or other activities at the employee’s child’s school, preschool, or daycare. The leave may also be taken to observe or monitor services being provided at a preschool or daycare. Unlike the main provisions of WFMLA, however, there is no length of service or other eligibility requirements an employee must meet to be eligible for the school conference and activities leave. As long as the employer meets the requirements to be subject to WFMLA, all of its employees get the benefit of the school conference and activities leave, including part-time and temporary employees.

Like other forms of leave provided under WFMLA, the proposal applies certain restrictions to the use of the leave, including limiting the use of the leave to activities that cannot be scheduled during nonworking hours, as well as allowing employers to require documentation of the reason for the leave. AB 116, with its recent amendments, is currently awaiting action by the Assembly. Upon passage by the Assembly, the Bill must head to the Senate, so final passage into law is not expected in the immediate future. You can follow the proposal and read its text here:

To finish reading the debate, click here .

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Throwing Water vs. Physically Striking – Not the Same
This is material extracted from a Legal and Legislative Update written by Robert E. Gregg, Boardman Law Firm
Commentary is contributed by Mike Leibundgut, Director, GMA SHRM Government Affairs

Two employees were disciplined for an altercation. The two got into a loud and profane verbal argument in the restroom. The 25 year-old threw water on the other and was suspended for this act. The 45 year-old swung and hit the 25 year- old and was fired for this act. The 45 year old sued for age discrimination, claiming the younger employee was treated more favorably. The court dismissed the case, finding the behaviors were not similar. The older employee’s behavior was more serious and deserved a greater level of discipline.

I guess no matter how old you are punching someone is going to get you fired…and you have no legal recourse to get your job back! Moral of the story, don’t punch people…

DOL Releases Model Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Notices
Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance Services, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services.

The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) extended the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP, now referred to as CHIP). The act will directly affect most employer-sponsored plans as it contains new rules that will allow states to subsidize premiums for group health coverage. CHIPRA also requires additional special enrollment rights, requires new notice and disclosure obligations and implements penalties for non-compliance.  The April 2009 changes broadened special enrollment rights, while new annual notice requirements are going into effect now.

New Model Notices Available Presently, thirty-nine states have Medicaid or CHIP premium assistance programs that are subject to the notice requirement, including Wisconsin.  Employers with group health plans in these states will be required to provide an annual notice to all employees, regardless of enrollment status, describing the program and its premium assistance opportunities.  Employers must distribute the notices beginning the first plan year after February 4, 2010.  For calendar year plans, the notices must be provided by January 1, 2011.  The Department of Labor (DOL) has a model notice available for download at:  

While the notice is not required to be provided in a separate mailing, it must reach all employees in a state with Medicaid or CHIP premium assistance programs. Plans may combine information to reduce administrative costs. Thus, employers may bundle this new notice with annual enrollment materials, provided that the materials are provided no later than the date determined above and that the materials are provided to all employees entitled to receive the notice. The notice should appear separately and in a way which ensures that an employee who may be eligible for premium assistance could reasonably be expected to appreciate its significance. 

Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI is the Director of Compliance Services for Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services and has worked in the insurance and employee benefits industry since 1986. Adam specializes in providing regulatory compliance and plan design services for health and welfare plans.

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2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey

Last year GMA SHRM partnered with Enetrix, a Gallup Company, to provide premier on-line surveys.  The 2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey is a comprehensive on-line survey that has the flexibility to produce reports based on revenue size, industry, type of ownership, and number of FTE’s.  The 2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey had over 100 companies of all sizes in the greater Madison area that provided salary information for more than 200 benchmarked jobs.  Our hope this year is to increase the number of participants.   Participating members receive a significant discount on the cost of the survey!

If you would like to participate, please go to  Select “Click Here to Register” on the right to create an individual and company profile and create your username and password. If an individual from your company has already registered for an account, they will need to grant you permission to enter and review data for your company. Select “Participation” and follow the steps to enter your survey data.

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O.P.E.N. (Out Professional & Executive Network) Inc.

Is the climate in your company welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees, suppliers, contractors and customers? Do LGBT employees have the opportunity to find and connect with LGBT co-workers and mentors? Can they safely disclose their family information in casual conversation with coworkers?

There are many LGBT leaders in the Madison community. But because we tend to look like other professionals and business executives, we have literally been "hidden in plain sight." Being invisible diminishes opportunities to lead and to learn from one another. It creates a sense of being alone in the universe. It leaves us unable to lead those most like us and less than we might be.

O.P.E.N. (Out Professional & Executive Network) Inc. is a new organization in the Capital Region that provides a forum for LGBT leaders to meet one another. Our hope is that O.P.E.N. will also become a resource for area businesses that want to enhance their understanding of and relationship to the LGBT community.

As this organization finds its voice in our community, as more and more leaders step forward to become a part of O.P.E.N. either as associates or allies, we intend to send a hopeful message to those who are still not able to be out at work and to those who want to build a future in the Capital Region.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has conducted a study examining the workplace climate for LGBT employees. (See They found that 51% of LGBT workers hide their identity at work. This means not taking a partner or a date to company functions, not displaying family photos, staying vigilant in order to avoid betraying oneself by pronoun usage. In many cases it means fabricating a false personal life. In short, staying closeted at work means you’re keeping your relationships from growing strong and your roots from growing deep.

Surprisingly the HRC study found that young people 18-24, gay men, people of color and those who work at larger companies are more likely to remain closeted. Those of us who are privileged to lead are stepping up to change these circumstances and encourage the leaders of tomorrow.

The consequences for businesses are great. Failure to fully engage the leaders of tomorrow will mean higher turnover, recruiting difficulty and decreased productivity. The impact on human resource professionals is substantial as well. Human resource professionals are often at the forefront when conflicts arise in the workplace. Do you feel confident when addressing issues of sexual orientation and gender identity?

In my experience, most businesses want to be an ally to the LGBT community, but don't know how to go about that. The people most able to advise may be either closeted or just hidden in plain sight. O.P.E.N. is positioned to help build the bridge between the Madison business community and its LGBT residents.

On April 28th, O.P.E.N. will hold a leadership training event where we will explore how cultural competence and cultural intelligence can improve understanding of our workplaces and personal challenges. This will be a great opportunity to network and dialogue with other Madison area professionals, to grow professionally and personally and to explore possibilities for civic engagement.

Later this year O.P.E.N. plans to survey its members to learn more about the workplace experiences of our local leaders. We would also like to survey human resource professionals in our Madison area businesses about their perceptions of the workplace climates for LGBT employees. Some overlapping questions can measure the differences between the perceptions of the LGBT community and the human resource professionals. In addition, we will want to ask you how O.P.E.N. can help you reach out to LGBT employees. I look forward to working with you to build a bridge between the LGBT community and area employers.

Marty Fox
O.P.E.N. Board of Directors

2010 GMA SHRM Professional Scholarship

The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM) has established a professional scholarship program encouraging continuing education in the human resources field. One $1,000 non-renewable scholarship will be awarded to a GMA SHRM member to support their professional development.

Click here for application instructions.

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Pay It Forward Membership Program

What is the Pay It Forward Membership Program? GMA SHRM provides active members who are unemployed at the time of their membership renewal a one-time opportunity to extend their membership for up to one year – at no cost. GMA SHRM believes this continued affiliation to our loyal members will help transitioning members stay current on the issues impacting the HR profession and provide them with the needed resources to assist them in their job search.

Click here to see if you qualify or to complete the request form.

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2010 Workforce Readiness & Diversity Committee Dates

 The Workforce Readiness Committee would like to announce their 2 new co-chairs, Kristina Kaker from Teamsoft and Jeff Westra from Herzing University. The committee meets at The Park Bank Support Center located at 1815 Greenway Cross. Please contact Jeff Westra at if you’re interested in volunteering or attending any of the following meetings.

Wednesday, May 5 th 8:00a.m. – 9:00a.m.

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April 7, 2010 – GMA SHRM HR Resource Group
Topic: Managing Leaves, Disability Issues & the FMLA & ADA

This session will include topics of discussion such as tracking intermittent leave, what to do when the employee is not ready to return to work after FMLA has been exhausted, integration of personal leave policies, the overlap of worker’s compensation with the FMLA or ADA, how to handle terminally ill employees, and other topics that are brought up in the session. 

To view more details or to sign up for this session, click here.  

GMA SHRM Member Poll

Do you have a burning HR question that you’d like to see featured on our GMA SHRM Member Poll? If so, please submit your questions to Jake Siudzinski at

GMA SHRM Member of the Month


Name: Laura Ingalls

Where do you currently work? Career Momentum

What is the focus of your position? Providing talent management solutions that are customized to maximize a company's greatest asset - their people. We partner with the organization and develop strategies ranging from talent selection, talent retention, succession planning, executive coaching and outplacement.

How long have you been in the Human Resource field? 20 years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? I have several but the ones that really stand out is developing young talent. I was fortunate to have a supportive employer that allowed me to implement an HR Internship Program. It was excellent exposure for them as they experienced all elements of an HR Generalist position. I am very proud of the interns because they all went on to be successful HR Professionals.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Don't take yourself too seriously. It has taken me a number years to work on this. But I can make my life really tense and not enjoyable when I am too serious. And I have to admit that I have made others miserable when I was in this frame of mind. Life is too short and it isn't worth getting all up tight. I am a very optimistic person and prefer to smile instead of frown. The people who work with me appreciate my positive energy. It helps to make them feel refreshed.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM? I value being part of an HR community. Throughout my career I have volunteered on committees and have met some great people. I really enjoy meeting new people and being able to contribute in whatever way I can. The saying is really right on - "You get out of it, what you put into it."

 If you’d like to be featured as the Member of the Month in an upcoming issue of HR InTouch, please e-mail Kate Karre at

GMA SHRM is LinkedIn

 Come join our GMA SHRM Chapter group on LinkedIn! What is LinkedIn? It’s a business-oriented social networking site that can be used to connect with friends (old and new), find or post jobs and get information. In order to join, sign in at and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapter.

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in January of 2010!

Stephanie Ball



John Becker



Nina Catterall

Staffing Specialist

American Family Insurance

Angela Galle

HR Generalist

Unity Health Insurance

Laurie Hammer

HR Assistant

UW-Madison Dept. of Surgery

Katherine Meyer

Director of Human Resources

Three Pillars Senior Living Communities

Mike Milsted


Right Management

Jenna White

HR Assistant

UW-Madison Department of Surgery

Scott Wieland

Benefits Agent

Murphy Insurance Group

Amanda Wilson


UW Credit Union

Rachel Wolf

HR Generalist

Sara Lee


In Transition

If you are a member who is in between jobs, or who is currently employed but seeking new positions or career paths, write us a brief description of your skill set, areas of expertise, what you’re looking for, etc. Send us an e-mail. We’ll publish your information in the next HR InTouch.

What’s Cool in HR in the Greater Madison Area?

What’s going on in HR in your workplace?

Have you…

  • completed a major project,
  • implemented something new,
  • managed a change,

Is there something…

  • your company/dept does really well,
  • interesting about your company culture
  • that makes your company an employer of choice

We want to hear about it! Share it with your HR colleagues in HR InTouch. Send us an e-mail


Movin' Up

Congratulations to Matthew Lechner who recently received his PHR certification.  Thank you Matthew for continuing to advance the HR profession .

Have you started with a new company? Has your organization recently promoted you to a new position? Or do you want to recognize a new person or promotion within your department? If so, we want to hear about it. Send us an e-mail, and we’ll publish your good news in the next HR InTouch!

HR InTouch Guidelines

Article Writing:

Do you have an interest in writing for the HR InTouch? We have an interest in learning more about your area of expertise!

Why should you volunteer? Top three reasons: 1) to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others; 2) to become more connected in the HR and Dane County communities; and 3) to contribute towards the advancement of GMA SHRM and the HR profession.

The first step is for you to choose a submission option: you can pre-submit an article to GMA SHRM at any time for us to use in any of the upcoming newsletters, you can sign up to write for a particular month, or we can put you on a list of people to contact in future months whenever we need articles.

Article length:

Because the HR InTouch is now in an online format, the size is flexible. The article should be engaging and hold readers’ attention. Include the core information in your article, and we will advise if it is too lengthy.


GMA SHRM is conscious not to allow solicitation through the articles, in an effort to protect the interests of our partners and members. The nature of the article should be educational (i.e., what are the business advantages of having a product like yours) or informational. Otherwise, if you truly are interested in advertising through the HR InTouch, you can work with our Marketing Committee. As a rule of thumb for article writing, if the submission relates to a for-profit event, or specifically markets your company (vs. your industry), it is an advertisement, and should be purchased. If it is a not-for-profit event that your company is hosting, or an announcement (i.e., a SHRM member recently joined your company), it is an acceptable addition to the HR InTouch content. If you have any questions related to the appropriateness of your submission, please contact us.

If you have questions, or to submit an article, contact GMA SHRM at .




Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818

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