November 2008

In This Edition

By Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR,
GMA SHRM President

Most Significant Employment Law Change of the Year
By Bob Gregg, Boardman Law Firm

National Michelle's Law Goes Into Effect, Impacting Health Insurance Coverage
- By Adam Jensen, Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC

GMA SHRM Benefits Survey Now Available

November Chapter Summit: Cultural Diversity Conference

SHRM Foundation at Work for You
By Matt Stollak, PhD, PHR, St. Norbert's College

Save the Date: 61st Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition - New Orleans

Certification Study Groups begin in December!

- Community Events

- 2009 Marketing Opportunities with GMA SHRM

- 2010 State Conference Co-Chairs Announced

- Schedule of GMA SHRM Committee Meetings

- What's Cool in HR

- In Transition

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

- November 18, GMA SHRM Summit: Cultural Diversity Conference

- December/January Certification Study Groups

- World at Work Certification Course, March 3-5, 2009

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Cassy Van Dyke , SPHR,
GMA SHRM President
2008 Corporate Partners

Boardman Law Firm
Lee Hecht Harrison
Melli Law, S.C.

Fidelitec, LLC
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Right Management
UW Credit Union

Career Momentum
Edgewood College
Neider & Boucher, S.C.
Payroll Data Services
QBE Regional Insurance
Stark Company Realtors

Thank you!

GMA SHRM Members,

Our Member Welcome and Orientation on October 28 was a great success! We welcomed several new members and networked with some existing members as well. Thank you to all who attended and all who helped plan this event.

The great turnout at our Welcome event is one example of how we are continuing to move forward with our 2008 strategic initiatives, which are:

  1. Increase member satisfaction, engagement, and number of active members
  2. Grow membership - “ Membership Drive”
  3. Serve as an informational source to our members and the community in the area of HR Governmental Affairs
  4. Orient our new volunteers.

We have made great progress in these areas, but we also need your help. As we enter into the season of giving, we are asking you to give back and help support our chapter. There are a few ways that you can help:

  1. One of our primary goals this year is to increase our membership base, which is current ly at around 750 members. If you have a colleague or know of someone in the HR/business community who could benefit from the services that we offer, please invite them to attend an upcoming GMA SHRM event with you.
  2. We are also working on increasing our volunteer base. My personal thanks to the near ly 90 members who volunteer in our chapter. Our volunteers help us to continue to deliver top-notch services and products for our members.

For those that aren’t currently a volunteer, I encourage you to reach out to any one of our Board members for more information regarding our current volunteer roles. If you are an existing volunteer, I encourage you to reach out to a colleague/friend who may be interested.

  • Our chapter would not be what it is today if it weren’t for our corporate partners and sponsors. Thank you to all of our partners and sponsors. If you are a business owner, independent consultant, or represent a company who wants to help support GMA SHRM and in return receive great visibility throughout the HR community, please contact Dave Furlan at (608) 240-2569;

There are many ways to get involved, and I encourage you to give back in some way.

Last, but not least, I want to draw your attention to the 2009 programming events that are listed on our chapter website:

These offerings include strategic, tactical, formal and informal learning and networking opportunities. Mark your calendars today!

Thank you again for being part of such a great chapter.

Happy Holidays!

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR

Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
President Elect

Anthony Dix, SPHR, MBA
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

Dave Furlan
VP, Marketing & Communications


Melissa Wieland
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity



Most Significant Employment Law Change of the Year
By Bob Gregg, Boardman Law Firm

President Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act. It becomes effective January 1, 2009. This is perhaps the most significant employment law change of the decade. The Act significantly changes the scope of coverage. Most significantly, the Act:

  • voids several Supreme Court decisions on disability discrimination;
  • directs the EEOC to revise that portion of its regulations defining the term “substantially limits”;
  • expands the definition of “major life activities”;
  • provides that mitigating measures other than “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” shall not be considered in assessing whether an individual has a disability;
  • clarifies that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;
  • emphasizes that the definition of “disability” should be interpreted broadly; and
  • provides that an individual subjected to adverse employment actions because of perceived impairment will meet the “regarded as” definition of disability, unless the impairment is transitory and minor.

The “transitory and minor” language may mean that a transitory but non-minor short-term condition could be a disability. This could convert many FMLA situations into ADA conditions requiring accommodation beyond the FMLA period.

The new changes will undoubtedly result in test cases and judicial interpretation for the next few years.

Bob Gregg , a partner at the Boardman Law Firm in Madison, Wisconsin, has been professionally involved in Employment Relations and Civil Rights work for more than 30 years. He litigates employment cases. A recognized educator and trainer, Bob has conducted over 2,000 seminars throughout the United States and authored numerous articles on practical employment issues.

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.

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National “Michelle’s Law” Goes Into Effect, Impacting Health Insurance Coverage
By Adam Jensen, Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC

On October 3, 2008, the President signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the "Act") that included a provision known as "Michelle's Law,” named after New Hampshire college student Michelle Morse who couldn't reduce her course load while she battled cancer because she would lose her health care coverage. A number of states have passed versions of Michelle's Law in recent years.

What has changed?
This nation-wide version of the "Michelle's Law" student medical leave continuation amends both ERISA and the Public Health Service Act, so both fully-insured and self-funded health plans of private, governmental, and Tribal employers all must comply. The law extends group health plan eligibility during medically necessary leaves of absence for dependent children attending post- secondary educational institutions.

The law defines a "dependent child" as a group health plan beneficiary who:

  • is a dependent child of a plan participant or beneficiary, under the plan's terms; and
  • was enrolled in the plan, based on being a student at a post-secondary educational institution immediately before the first day of the medically necessary leave of absence.

The dependent child's treating physician must provide a written certification to the group health plan stating that the child is:

  • suffering from a serious illness or injury, and
  • that the leave of absence (or other change of enrollment, such as reducing course load,) is medically necessary.

The group health plan is not allowed to terminate coverage of a "dependent child" under the plan due to a "medically necessary leave of absence" before the earlier of:

  • the date that is one year after the first day of the medically necessary leave of absence; or
  • the date on which the coverage would otherwise terminate under the plan's terms.

Plans may offer leave that is more generous than the law requires.

When is this effective?
Changes affecting employer plans will go into effect for plan years beginning one year after October 3, 2008. For calendar year plans, this will be January 1, 2010.

What do employers need to do now?
Employers should review their medical plans now to add the new leave benefit to their plan in time for the effective date.

  Adam P. Jensen is a Senior Compliance Officer with Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC 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 and qualified retirement plans. He also advises executive clients on non-qualified deferred compensation issues. Phone: 608.240.2582 Email:


The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management and its survey partner, enetrix, are pleased to announce the release of the 2008 Benefits Survey! This new on line report compiles statistical ly meaningful benefit data from over 50 different GMA SHRM membership organizations in the Dane County area. A special thank you goes out to all our participating employers for their invaluable input and assistance in compiling this data.

Expanded Statistics in an Easy to Read Format!

Our new survey report breaks down the data by employer size and type of industry in an easy to read format. Expanded statistics range from traditional survey topics such as premiums, health insurance plan design, and retirement benefits to wellness, cost containment features, and PTO programs. The 2008 Survey provides HR Professionals like you with the authoritative data to evaluate and tailor a total compensation package that recruits and retains top talent in an increasing ly competitive marketplace.

To purchase this survey, just follow this link:!stmenu_template.main? and click on the Purchase option at the top of the page. Participating members receive a significant discount on the cost of this survey.

November 18, 2008 - GMA SHRM Summit

Topic: Cultural Diversity Conference
Sponsored by GMA SHRM and the City of Madison Equal Opportunities Commission's Employment Committee

Click here for more information.

SHRM Foundation at Work for You
By Matthew Stollak, PhD and PHR, St. Norbert’s College

As you can see below, the SHRM Foundation is putting your donations to good use:

New Effective Practice Guidelines Report Available

Human Resource Strategy, Adapting to the Age of Globalization
Globalization of individual companies and capital markets has changed the business landscape. To respond, companies must manage their assets as effective ly as possible­ especial ly their human assets. This report explores a variety of ways to adapt your overall HR strategy to the new realities of global competition.
Download your free report today.

Seeing Forward: Succession Planning at 3M
A new educational DVD from the SHRM Foundation. This DVD will be shared with Chapter Presidents after the National Leadership Conference. 3M is consistently recognized as one of the world’s most innovative and admired companies and one of the best companies for leaders and aspiring leaders. This DVD explores 3M’s outstanding succession planning and leadership development process.

To order the DVD, contact the SHRM Foundation.
Download the Discussion Guide (in PDF)
Download the Slide Presentation (in PowerPoint)


Retaining Talent

A new report from the SHRM Foundation
One of the most critical issues facing your organization today is how to retain the employees you want to keep. This new Effective Practice Guidelines report will help you to ana lyze and manage employee turnover. Learn how to develop an effective retention management plan.

Download your free report now .

Strategic Research on Human Capital Challenges
New SHRM Foundation research identifies biggest human capital challenges. In a survey of 526 C-suite executives, 75 percent identified succession planning as a significant challenge for their organizations. Other challenges include recruiting and selection, and retaining talented employees.

Read the full report
Download the executive summary
Read the press release

SHRM 61st Annual Conference & Exposition - Save the Date!

The SHRM 61st Annual Conference & Exposition will be held on June 28 – July 1, 2009, in New Orleans, at the Morial Convention Center. Tom Brokaw and Lee Woodruff have already been confirmed to be keynote speakers at this exciting and informative event! To learn more, visit:

Certification Study Groups Begin in December!

Click here to learn more!


Community Events

  • Boardman Law Firm is providing a complimentary seminar entitled Employment Law Update: Protecting Yourself in Times of Change. This is part of the “Bagels with Boardman” seminar series and will be held on Friday, November 7, 2008, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM in the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Please register by October 31, 2008! For more details, please click here.

  • UW-Madison is hosting the Careers Conference 2009: From Inspiration to Application to be held on January 26-28, 2009, at the Concourse Hotel in Madison. Keynote speakers will be Tama J. Kieves (honors grad from Harvard Law, best-selling author, sought-after national speaker, workshop presenter, and career coach) and Dr.John D. Krumboltz (Professor of Education and Psychology at Stanford  University, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science). For more information, visit Ear ly registration rates through December 15!


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2009 Marketing Opportunities With Society for Human Resource Management

Is your organization looking for strategies to promote its products or service to Madison-area HR professionals?  Then consider the many opportunities available through GMA SHRM. The Madison area chapter is one of the largest in the United States.  It is comprised of a diverse group of over 820 professionals representing more than 500 employers.  View our chapter's expanded marketing opportunities.

For 2009, our chapter continues to offer a variety of options for any size budget.  Some highlights include:

  • Annual opportunities including Corporate Partnerships and Membership Directory advertising for 2009. Click here to see the benefits of becoming a Corporate Partner.
    Sign up now through November 14 thto secure your spot!
  • Opportunities are available throughout the year on a limited basis (first come, first-served).  Click here to apply for one of these opportunities.
    • Web site advertising
    • E-blast sponsorship
    • Displays at meetings
    • Meeting sponsorship
    • Annual Human Capital Conference Sponsorship.  This annual, day long event in May is a great opportunity to reach local HR professionals.   To find out about special event sponsorships, click here

For the Corporate Partnerships and Membership Directory advertising, the chapter has contacted past participants and potential partners and advertisers by email throughout October and will follow up through into November on these time-sensitive annual opportunities. If your organization has not received the email about the 2008 marketing opportunities, please contact Melissa Roth or Shaun Thompson , Partnership Co-Coodinators.

We appreciate your consideration of these opportunities and look forward to another successful year with our corporate partners and advertisers.


2010 State Conference Co-Chairs Announced
By Theresa Dew, SPHR,
Conference Liason Director for WI SHRM

I am very pleased to announce the selection of the co-chairs for the 2010 WI SHRM State Conference. Please help me to congratulate: Cindy Cerro, PHR, from Total Water Treatment Systems in Madison; and Janine Diana, PHR, CCP, from OEC Graphics in Oshkosh. The Conference will be held in Appleton in 2010.

Amy Utzig , PHR, from Dane County, and Matt Stollak, PhD and SPHR, from St. Norbert College, are the Co-Chairs for the 2009 Conference in Wisconsin Dells.

For those interested, the process for selecting the other members of the 2009 Conference Committee will begin October 15 on  (Volunteers Tab). Please help recruit HR professionals to serve on the committee next year!

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Schedule of GMA SHRM Committee Meetings:

Programming Committee will meet on November 20. For that meeting, each group should bring a specific topic and potential speaker for all assigned programs. Our goal is to have speaker information and marketing materials for all programs ready for HRCI credit approval and marketing by January! We welcome you to join us at 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM at the Boardman Law Firm.

Marketing & Communications Committee will meet at Morgan Data Solutions on Friday, November 7, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM. New committee members are always welcome! Contact Dave Furlan at

Workforce Readiness Committee November 6 at the Park Bank Support Center from 8 am to 9 am.

Check the GMA SHRM Calendar of Events at :


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


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.

Movin' Up

Carrie Dushenski, PHR has taken a new position with Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin as an HR Generalist, moving from a manufacturing environment to the healthcare industry.

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.
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Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818

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