By Sue Estes, GMA SHRM President
The beginning of summer is a time for transition for many of us. Some of you may have finished another semester of graduate studies, some of you may have had children graduating from high school or moving on to the next grade. Some of you may be transitioning to a new job or planning a great summer vacation from your current one. Several of you may have completed your PHR or SPHR studies and taken the exam. Whatever your transition in life this summer, it may cause you to stop and think about the past and your accomplishments, as well as your future plans.
Belinda Weber, our Immediate Past President, took a look back at GMA SHRM’s accomplishments of the past year in her last President’s Message. The newsletter deadline came before our first One Day Conference on May 23 rd, so I would like to add one more accomplishment to that list. Over 180 HR professionals participated in the event, proving to us that what was just a spark of an idea during the last Strategic Planning Session could become a fantastic reality.
I would like to thank VP of Programming, Anthony Dix (currently beginning his year as President Elect), Conference Chair, Vicki Kampmeier, Programming Committee Co-Chairs, Brandon Sanders and Kari Lauritsen, and the entire Programming Committee for their dedicated work on the Human Capital Conference. I hope you will join me in thanking them for all the volunteer time they put in to make the conference so successful. In addition, I would like to recognize Christopher Dyer with our Chapter Administrative team for all his work in ensuring that the logistics of the day ran smoothly.
GMA SHRM is going through a time of transition this summer as we begin our new fiscal year July 1 st. Leading up to this month has been Board succession planning, budget preparations, and our annual Strategic Planning Session.
As a result of our recent Strategic Planning Session, we have some exciting new initiatives for the year and further work to do on ideas generated last year. All of our plans are centered on our mission of “Serve the Professional. Advance the Profession”.
Some of the initiatives we are working toward include:
- E-Mentoring, using our GMA SHRM website as a way to connect members wanting to learn from their peers.
- Offering the LocalNet online to make connections easier for you when you have a question or need some input from a fellow member who is an expert on a specific subject matter.
- Finding ways to make sure GMA SHRM and HR Professionals are seen as a valuable resource to the local business community, such as providing subject matter expertise to the media, developing strategic alliances with our local Chambers of Commerce, and serving as an HR resource to other businesses in the community.
- Reaching out to the community by providing Workforce Readiness programs to area schools and organizations.
- Exploring potential philanthropic activities that could also provide a social networking event for our members.
It is also exciting news that GMA SHRM will be celebrating our 50 th anniversary in 2007! You will see many of our activities include recognition of this big event.
I look forward to serving GMA SHRM as your President and to a great year ahead. Hopefully when next summer rolls around we can once again look back on our accomplishments and transition to even greater things to come for GMA SHRM.
ERD and Personnel Records – What Your Company Should Know
By David R. Friedman, Friedman Law Firm
You may have recently read stories about EEOC’s updated form EEO-1 which requires businesses that employ 100 or more employees to file annually with the EEOC a breakdown of the company’s workforce by race and gender. For those companies with less than 100 employees you probably figure that you’ll never have to compile this type of data. Well guess again.
There are two possible scenarios where your company might have to compile such data. The first one is where a protected class applicant is denied employment and the second is where an existing protected class employee is disciplined or terminated. In either situation, the person most likely will file a charge with the Equal Rights Division of the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development.
As part of that investigation, your company will be asked to provide information about the number of people in various protected classes. Sometimes these requests are answered before the company has taken the time to thoroughly analyze the implications of releasing the information.
The agency’s request may be for information that the company has told its employees that it would not release. Your company may also have policies governing the release of this type of information to the public or other employees. The agency may be asking for the home address, phone number, race, national origin and gender of the employees. So if the company wishes to comply with this request, how does the employer gather such information?
The first thing to do is contact someone who has dealt with this matter before who can advise the company on how to proceed. There is no one right course of action as each situation requires its own response. Moreover, the company has to understand that once it supplies information to either a state or federal agency, the information becomes a public record.
If the request is for gender information, it is generally easy to identify the gender of your employees by visually observing the employees. But how do you determine someone’s race or national origin? For years attorneys and others have been counseling employers to be color blind - - to not gather information about the race or national origin of employees. Now you are being asked to gather information you do not keep. How does your company do this? The instructions for filling out EEO-1 provide some guidance.
These instructions indicate that a visual survey can be conducted. The instructions also say that an employee may be included in the group to which the employee appears to belong. If you gather information in this manner, will it be sufficient for the ERD? If the company decides to gather the information, care should be taken to separate this information from the usual personnel files.
Regardless of whether the information is gathered, ERD might still request personnel files for all of the protected class employees. Does the information have to be released? You may have told your employees that no one has access to the information in those files and Wis. Stat. §103.13 regulates employee personnel files. Once again the answer to this question depends on a variety of circumstances. You need to remember that once the information is given to ERD not only is it public, but the Complainant has a right to see the information.
As part of its investigation, the ERD may also request the pay rates and benefits provided to the employees. For competitive reasons, your company may not want this information to become part of an agency record that can be accessed by a competitor.
It is a tough decision for the employer whether to respond and give out information that the company might not have or does not wish to make public versus releasing the information in an attempt to convince the ERD there has been no violation. Only by reviewing all of the ramifications can the employer make a decision that is in the company’s best interest.
The opinions expressed or implied are those of the author and may not represent the official position of GMASHRM. This article is intended for general information purposes and highlights developments in the legal area. This article does not constitute legal advice. The reader should consult legal counsel to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.
Diversity Strategy and the Visually Impaired
The American Foundation for the Blind offers a free online video, A Hire Vision, supporting the reasons to include the blind and visually impaired in your diversity hiring practices. A Hire Vision interviews several blind and visually impaired workers and their colleagues in a variety of professions. It addresses the apprehension of hiring a person with a disability along with the realization that, once hired, everyone finds the work environment changes very little, if not improves. The video also looks at the perspective of both supervising visually impaired workers as well as being supervised by a visually impaired manager. Click here to launch the video from the AFB website.
New Web Features
By Cassy Van Dyke, GMA SHRM Director of Communications & Marketing
As the GMA SHRM member benefits increase, our networks expand, and we move forward with the fulfillment of our mission, we also continue to add to our member resources. Our chapter Web site, http://www.gmashrm.org, is one of our member resources that we’ve recently enhanced.
We have made several design improvements and functional upgrades to the site. Two new features in particular that I’d like to highlight are the surveys page and volunteer page.
GMA SHRM Surveys
As you may know, GMA SHRM, in partnership with QTI, conducts an annual compensation survey and a benefits survey every two years. We have added a new page to the Web site that highlights the details of each survey, including the number of participants, pricing information, how to participate in the surveys, and how to order them. This new feature can be found at http://www.gmashrm.org/website/surveys.shtml or by going to the home page and selecting “ Compensation and Benefits Surveys” from the left navigation bar.
GMA SHRM is able to provide the member benefits we do because of our many dedicated volunteers. Volunteering is a great way not only to contribute to the chapter, but also to benefit professionally and personally through networking and learning activities. We have added a function to the Web page that is similar to a job site and functions as a volunteer resource page. It lists the open volunteer positions within our chapter, a brief description of each, a description of the committee each position is associated with, and an “application” for you to complete if you are interested. The site also features the following volunteer resources:
- Why Volunteer?
- What's in it for me?
- What's in it for my organization?
- About Volunteering.
GMA SHRM has volunteer opportunities ranging from short-term tasks to positions with varying term or time commitments. If you are currently available to offer your time, talent, and expertise to our chapter, please visit http://www.gmashrm.org/website/volunteer_opportunities.asp or from the home page, navigate to “ Volunteer Opportunities” in the left navigation bar.
Stay tuned for highlights of additional Web features in upcoming newsletters. If you have any related questions or feedback, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome New Members!
GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in May.
Pamela S. Barnes
Human Resource Assistant
Kimberly K. Beck
Cottingham & Butler
Donna M. Beestman
Career Success Strategies
Cynthia K. Rhyner
Electronic Theatre Controls
Member Mixer, Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce, 4:30 to 6:00 pm, Terry Balding & Associates, 515 W. Main St., Sun Prairie. Refreshments provided. Web: http://www.sunprairiechamber.com/.
“Forward to Our Roots”, Monthly Meeting, Business and Professional Women of Madison, 5:30pm networking, 6:00pm dinner, DoubleTree Hotel, 525 W. Johnson St. Presentation by Jacqui Sakowski, BPW Madison President. Cost is $16. Web: http://www.madisonbpw.com/meetings.htm.
Chamber Café: Power Networking, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, 7:30 to 9:00 am, The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, 2275 Deming Way, Suite 180. Join Donna Gray, President of AwardsMall / Total Awards & Promotions as she shares some "power networking" and "power marketing" ideas for using contact management and handshakes, along with free PR, and other cost effective ways of non-media marketing to help your company's visibility and get your message "out there". Event sponsored by The QTI Group. Web: http://www.greatermadisonchamber.com/event_calendar/gmcc_events.php.
What’s Up Downtown? Breakfast Series, Downtown Madison, Inc., 7:45 to 9:00 am, The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St. July’s topic is a Madison Magnet panel discussion on Brain Drain. Event sponsored by Foley & Lardner LLP. Cost is free. Web: http://www.downtownmadison.org/programs/index.php.
Community Open House, Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Enjoy a free-guided tour of the building at 12PM, 1PM, and 2PM.
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
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.
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 email@example.com .