June 2010


In This Edition

By Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

Bizarre Laws - Mixed Messages?

2009-2010 Legislative Session Ends; Spotlight on 2009 Wisconsin Act 290

Small Employer Tax Credit Available in 2010

The Benefits World is Changing. What is Your Company Doing?
2010 GMA SHRM Benefits Survey

Job Accommodation Network

HR Metrics That Matter - Guaging HR's Success and Demonstrating It's Value

Marketing Your HR Internship

July 20, 2010 Summit Topic: Have a Discrimination Claim? Now What?

Pay It Forward Membership Program

GMA Membership Poll

GMA SHRM Member of the Month

GMA SHRM is LinkedIn

- Welcome New Members!

- Movin' Up

- In Transition

- What's Cool in HR

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

June 15, 2010 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox - HR Metrics that Matter – Gauging HR’s Success and Demonstrating Its Value
Program Details

July 20, 2010 - GMA SHRM Summit - Have a Discrimination Claim? Now What?
Program Details


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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!



Kari Lauritsen, SPHR


I am so pleased to share that the 5th Annual GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference was a HUGE success! For those of you who joined us on May 11th I would like to thank you for supporting our chapter and hope you feel the conference was valuable both personally and professionally. We have continued to see the conference attendance grow each year and this year we reached a record 245 attendees! The conference continues to be a great local development option and also offers the opportunity to network with a large group of HR professionals from throughout the area.

I also would like to take the opportunity to thank the conference committee for their hard work and dedication to bringing our members such outstanding keynote speakers and breakout sessions. The committee members included Dave Furlan, Zach Penshorn, Missy Roth, Shaun Thompson, Nina Catterall, Heather Marr, Carrie O’Dell, Karen Krause, Corey Lenz, and Steve Mandell.

I am nearing the end of my term as President of the chapter and look forward to transitioning the position over to Dave Furlan. Dave has brought so much to the chapter in recent years and I am extremely excited to see what we will be able to accomplish under his leadership! I would also like to recognize the entire board of directors who have made our 2009/2010 year a tremendous success.

Cassy VanDyke the immediate Past President, Chris Berg-Thacker the Vice President of Membership and John Komosa the Secretary/Treasurer will all step off the Board of Directors at the end of June after serving 5 year terms on the team. They have made significant contributions to our chapter programs, service offerings, committees and leadership. My deepest appreciation for all they have done and continue to do to support our amazing chapter!

Kari A Lauritsen, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

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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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Bizarre Laws - Mixed Messages?

With all the talk about texting and driving, does it send the wrong message that many states, including WI, provide a service through the DOT to receive text messages about traffic conditions, construction, and emergency situations?  At least 22 states that ban texting while driving also offer some type of service via text messaging or Twitter.  (In WI, it is not currently illegal to text while driving.)

2009-2010 Legislative Session Ends; Spotlight on 2009 Wisconsin Act 290

Contributed by Jessica M. Kramer, Attorney, Kramer Law, LLC and Tammy L. Barden, Employee Relations Specialist, WPS Health Insurance

As you may have read or heard, the Wisconsin Legislature’s 2009-2010 session ended in April. That means, in short, that no more laws will be made until the 2011-2012 session begins in January 2011. The legislators are now gearing up for November elections and handling other matters in their home districts. Below, the Government Affairs Committee provides the GMA SHRM members with some insight on what happens to legislation that did not pass, as well as a summary of one piece of legislation that did pass that will likely affect the human resources community.

Click here to see the entire article.

Small Employer Tax Credit Available in 2010
Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance Services, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provides a tax credit to small employers that provide health care coverage to their employees and meet certain eligibility criteria.  Tax exempt employers are also entitled to the credit, but must follow special rules when calculating their credit.

Eligibility Criteria

Employers must meet three criteria to be eligible for the tax credit:

  • Must have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) for the tax year,
  • Employees’ average annual wages for the year must be less than $50,000 per FTE, and
  • Employer must pay the premiums under a “qualifying arrangement.”

When determining employer size, the IRS treats all employees of a controlled group or affiliated service group as a single employer.  The number of FTEs is calculated by dividing the number of hours for which an employer pays wages by 2,080. An employer should not count more than 2,080 hours for any single employee.  Employers are allowed to exclude seasonal workers from the FTE calculation who work less 120 days per year.  Employers may also exclude sole proprietors, partners, greater than 2% S-Corporation owners or greater than 5% owners of any other business.  If the FTE calculation results in a fraction, employers can “round down” to the next whole number.

Average annual wages is determined by dividing total FICA wages paid by the number of FTEs.  This amount is then rounded down to the nearest $1,000.

How to Calculate the Credit

The tax credit is a percentage of the premiums paid by the employer for each employee enrolled in a health care plan.  To qualify for the credit, the employer contribution must be at least 50% of the cost of the single coverage.  Beginning in 2011, in addition to paying at least 50% of premiums, employers must also contribute a uniform percentage of the premium for all employees.  Employee contributions made through a cafeteria plan are not counted as qualifying towards the credit. 

For taxable years 2010 through 2013, the amount of the employer premium payments that can count toward the credit is limited to the average premium for the small group market in the state (or in an area in the state) in which the employer is offering health insurance coverage.  State limits are published in IRS Rev. Rul. 2010-13. 

The maximum tax credit is 35% of the employer’s premium expense for tax year 2010 through 2013.  The credit will be enhanced in 2014.

For tax-exempt employers, the maximum credit is 25% of the employer’s premium contribution.  The amount of the credit cannot exceed the total amount of income and Medicare tax the tax-exempt employer is required to withhold from employees’ wages for the year plus the employer’s share of Medicare tax on employees’ wages.

The credit phases out based on the number of FTEs and average annual wages.  The tax credit is reduced if the number of FTEs is more than 10 and/or if average annual wages are over $25,000 per FTE. To calculate the reduction, employers must divide by 15 the number of FTEs over 10. For example if there are 19 FTEs, the reduction would be 9/15 or .6, multiplied by the original credit amount.  If the annual wages exceed $25,000, the reduction would be the amount of wages above $25,000, divided by $25,000.  For example if average annual wages are $40,000, the reduction would be 15,000/25,000  or .6, multiplied by the original credit amount.  If both FTEs and average annual wages exceed the 10 FTE or $25,000 threshold, employers would have to calculate reductions for both.  For example, an employer would add both the above reductions of .6 and .6 to reach a total reduction of 1.2, which would totally eliminate the credit in this instance. 

How to Claim the Credit

Employers can claim the credit on their annual business income tax return.  The credits will be general business credits that can be carried forward 20 years.  In future years, credits can be carried back up to 1 year.  Because the law was passed in 2010, credits for 2010 must be used for this year or carried forward. Tax-exempt employers need to wait for further guidance from the IRS before they can claim the credit, which will be in the form of a refund. 

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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The Benefits World is Changing. What is your Company Doing?

The 2010 GMA SHRM Benefit Survey  

You can now participate in the 2010 GMA SHRM Benefit Survey. This survey comes out every other year, so your input at this time is very important. The last day to enter your benefits information and be included in the report is June 25, 2010. The more organizations that submit information, the greater the accuracy of the results! Provide on-going value to your fellow Madison Area HR Professionals —submit your information today!

For more information about the benefits survey, click here.

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Job Accommodation Network
Contributed By Holly Bonnicksen-Jones, HR Director, MRA – The Management Association

The Americans with Disabilities Act and its amendments (and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act) require employers to seriously consider providing accommodations for employees with disabilities. Many employers concerned that accommodation costs turn to the Job Accommodation Network for ideas on cost-effective accommodation.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy since 1983, provides free consulting services for employers and rehabilitation professionals seeking local resources for workplace assessments and for device fabrication and modification. On JAN’s website is a Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) system designed to let users explore various accommodation options for people with disabilities in work and educational settings.  

JAN also offers the Employers' Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA, which is a summary of some of the most frequent accommodation issues and JAN's practical ideas for resolving them. As new information is available or new issues develop, the Guide is updated to reflect the changes.

Look to JAN’s website for information on ADA and the recent amendments, how to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants during the recruitment and selection process, related sample policies and procedures, and information regarding various adaptive devices.

You can reach JAN directly by calling 1.800.526.7234 or emailing them at jan@jan.wvu.edu. To access the JAN website, use the following URL: http://www.jan.wvu.edu.

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June 15, 2010 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox

Topic: HR Metrics that Matter – Gauging HR’s Success and Demonstrating Its Value

Being able to assess the success of your HR department is crucial to ensuring that you’re focusing on the right things to achieve great HR outcomes. These same metrics may also be crucial for demonstrating HR’s value to the company’s success. In this HR Toolbox session, you’ll learn about the value of focusing on and measuring HR outcomes rather than on processes alone and you’ll learn a variety of ways to measure whether or not your department is achieving these outcomes. Specific topics to be explored in this session include:

  • The importance of focusing on HR outcomes, not just processes when measuring HR’s success.
  • The value of defining a suite of HR metrics to guide improvement and to demonstrate HR’s value.
  • Methods for linking HR outcomes to the company’s strategic outcomes to maximize HR’s perceived value.
  • Practical tools for measuring such HR outcomes as: turnover, absenteeism, cost per hire, HR expense factor, human capital value added, and so forth.
  • Creating an HR Scorecard to provide a suite of metrics for demonstrating HR’s value and then tracking these results over time.

For more information or to sign up for this event, click here.

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Marketing Your HR Internship

Do you have an HR Internship you want to market directly to SHRM student members?

Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management sponsors three student chapters: UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater and UW-Platteville. Your internship information will be sent directly to student presidents of these chapters for announcement at their chapter meetings, and to be posted on the student chapter’s internship board. Please include the following information with your posting:

  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Job Location
  • Contact Name
  • Contact E-mail
  • Contact Phone
  • Position Description
  • Paid/Unpaid

If so, please e-mail your internships positions to Kris Schmitt at kschmitt@belllabs.com.

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July 20, 2010 GMA SHRM Summit
Topic: Have a discrimination claim? Now what?

Sometimes good hiring and workplace practices are not enough to avoid a discrimination complaint against your company.  This Summit will explore options available to the human resource professional for handling a complaint, both internally, with co-workers as well as management, and externally if a complaint is filed, with the various administrative agencies, and, potentially the media.  We will also discuss issues involved in assessing whether the company’s response should be settlement or a “no-holds-barred” defense. 

To learn more about this event or to register, click here.

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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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GMA SHRM Member Poll

Current Question: Given economic conditions and budget constraints, what is your organization doing for a summer company picnic?

Visit the GMA SHRM home page to participate in the 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 jsiudzinski@starkhomes.com.

GMA SHRM Member of the Month

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 KKarre@parkbank.com.

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 www.linkedin.com and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapter.

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Welcome New Members!

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

Frederick R. Baer

LT, Officer Programs

US Navy

Nancy Betz

Benefits Specialist

Care Wisconsin

Erin R. Blumer

Payroll/Personnel Specialist

The New Glarus Home

Susan M. DeCoster

HR Generalist

Oakwood Village

Meredith A. Karklus

Staffing Specialist

American Family Insurance

Jane Keller-Allen


WPS Health Insurance

Tara Klun


Oak Park

Aubree A. Martin, PHR

HR Generalist

Affiliated Engineers

Michelle Molzahn


Dane County Title

Jami L. Noble

HR Assistant

ACS , Inc.

Sara Pollock



John Ritchie, SPHR, MBA

HR Management

The Douglas Stewart Company, Inc.

Don Schutt


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Amy Small



Mark D. Sporle

Account Specialist

Midwest Labor Services

Celena Venturelli

Benefits Manager

Spectrum Brands

Roger D. Walker, Jr.

Commanding Officer

US Navy


Movin' Up

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!

In Transition

FREE Services for Human Resource Professionals in Transition

Lee Hecht Harrison is offering their services for FREE to SHRM members who have not been offered services by their previous company. Some of the services they are willing to provide are:

  • Assistance with a resume
  • Development of a marketing strategy
  • Practice Interviewing
  • Access to their proprietary database with tools to assist in your job search
  • Participation in weekly facilitated networking meetings

In order to learn more or to initiate services from Lee Hecht Harrison, please contact their Madison office at (608) 242-6740.

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



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 chapteradmin@gmashrm.org .




Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818
Web: http://www.gmashrm.org/

© 2004; Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc. All rights reserved.