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Proudly Serving the Fox Cities of Wisconsin

  • 01 Oct 2018 12:07 PM | Anonymous

    A good summary of the important employment news you might have missed in this past month:

    ·         DOL issued new FMLA forms (but spoiler alert: same as the old ones, other than the expiration date)

    ·         DOL created two new websites – employer.gov and worker.gov to provide important, easy-to-use compliance information

    ·         NLRB issued a proposed rule about joint employers, requiring there to be direct control over the worker for a finding of joint employment.  For a summary of the update, check out SHRM’s article.

    ·         A “Tax Reform 2.0” measure passed the Ways & Means Committee and will head to the House for a vote, which would reduce compliance burdens and promote retirement savings.  SHRM has more details here.

    ·         IRS updated draft instructions for the 1095 and 1094s owed under ACA, though it appears to be minimal changes from last year.

    ·         A bill (HR 3798 Save American Workers Act of 2017) that would change “full time” under healthcare reform to 40 hours per week made it through the Ways & Means Committee.  SHRM reported that the House would likely vote on it the last week of September, but it didn’t make the cut in September.

    ·         There’s a new FCRA notice, which must be used after 9/21/18 for those providing rights and responsibilities notice after taking adverse action based on third-party background checks. Godfrey & Kahn provide a summary here.

    ·         Wisconsin was recently the focus of an enforcement surge by ICE, resulting in 83 arrests.  Check out this SHRM article about ICE raids and how those differ from an audit.

    ·         Have you (are you thinking about) instituting paid leave to get that new paid family leave credit under the tax reform bill?  IRS just issued some guidance on the credit.

    ·         DOL wants to remove patient lifts from the list of hazardous equipment a 16 or 17-year-old minor would not be allowed to operate.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is open for public comment for 60 days.

    ·         If you are in the hotel industry and use H-2B visas, DOL has new compliance tools for you (but is also ramping up investigations). 


    If you’re looking for an update on certain legislation, check out this tool from SHRM that tracks important employment legislation both at state and federal level.

    Don’t forget to check out the most recent case law update from WISHRM’s partner, BoardmanClark.


  • 24 Sep 2018 4:57 PM | Anonymous

     Ahh… the age old question – is equal fair?  My children are constantly reminded in our house that equal and fair are not necessarily the same thing.  Let’s take parental leave as an example. 

    As a mother with two children (and one of them a pretty traumatic birth), I certainly appreciate the argument that mothers should be entitled to more parental leave.  For starters, they have the whole medical incapacity thing that fathers don’t have.  But a recent EEOC settlement may have you second guessing that argument.

    Estee Lauder (probably best known for makeup and skin care products) had a paid parental leave policy, which went above and beyond what any law required them to provide.  New mothers were provided 20 weeks of paid leave for bonding.  In addition, the first 6 weeks back to work they could temporarily modify their work schedule, to help ease the transition to work.  Sounds pretty good…. Unless you are a new father.  New fathers were provided less paid time and were not provided the same temporary modified work schedule upon return. 

    EEOC filed a lawsuit against Estee Lauder alleging sex discrimination against males.  On July 17, 2018, Estee Lauder agreed to settle with the EEOC for $1.1 million dollars.  In addition, their parental leave policy provides the same 20 weeks of paid leave to all parents (though mothers get to start that bonding leave after their period of medical incapacity ends).  See EEOC press release here: https://www1.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-17-18c.cfm


     It turns out that EEOC says that bonding time does need to be equal to be fair.  If the organization wants to provide separate time to mothers because of medical incapacity, that’s certainly fine (assuming you provide similar leave to all those who are medically incapacitated from work).  But if you want to provide bonding time, you need to do that on an equal basis.

     So if you just offer STD, which pays for medical incapacity, then fathers are likely using PTO or taking unpaid leave following the birth of a child and that’s perfectly ok under Wisconsin & federal law.  But if you are being generous to offer paid leave benefits for bonding purposes, make sure you are clear what part of the benefit is for bonding (as opposed to medical) and that the bonding part is made equally available to any parent (even those not physically giving birth).

    We’d love to hear from you – do you offer paid parental leave (other than STD or allowing using of PTO/sick during FMLA)?


  • 21 Sep 2018 8:22 AM | Elaine Ruh (Administrator)

    Hi Members Fox Valley SHRM,

    I'm a business owner and Chair of the Board at B.A.B.E.S., Inc. Child Abuse Prevention Program in Appleton. B.A.B.E.S., Inc. has been serving our community for over 21 years by strengthening young families with young children.

     Our Strengthening Families Program reaches vulnerable families, provides support through respite care, education and counseling so child abuse and neglect does not take place, saving the next generation from negative effects.

     We have an upcoming team-building activity that some of your members may be interested in.

     On Sunday September 30, we will be taking a team of 30 volunteers to Lambeau Field to clean sky boxes (many hands make light work). In return, PMI, the marketing arm of the Packers organization will make a generous donation to B.A.B.E.S., Inc. Dozens of non-profits will be on site that same day and will benefit from similar donations.

     Attached is a flyer for distribution. Please help us continue our work. Questions are welcome. Lambeau.doc


     Thank you,

    Yvonne Kehl
    Autumn Hill, LLC
    Creative Communications

  • 19 Sep 2018 8:37 PM | Nykki Milhaupt (Administrator)

    Hey FVSHRM members-

    Want to get more involved with FVSHRM? Consider running for a position on our Board of Directors. In addition to the previously communicated positions, we are bringing back our VP - Professional Development.

    If you are interested in learning more about the position, please see the attached  job description. 

    VP of Professional Development.pdf

    If you would like to learn more about the application process and submit your name for consideration, please contact Nykki (nickolemilhaupt@uwalumni.com) before September 28, 2018.

    And remember, if a Board position may be too much of a time commitment at this time, we also have two standing committees (workforce readiness & member ambassador), as well as potentially adding a diversity committee.  Email us at foxvalleyshrm@gmail.com for more information on our committees. 

  • 09 Sep 2018 7:48 PM | Anonymous

    Busy with summer vacation in August?  Don’t worry – we got you covered.  Check out what you might have missed last month:

    ·         Senator Marco Rubio unveiled his “Economic Security for New Parents Act,” which would modify the Social Security Act to provide paid parental leave.  Read the high-level details from Senator Rubio here.

    ·         OSHA proposes to roll back its electronic recordkeeping, only asking employers for the 300A (and not the 300 or 301).  Check out this summary from Littler.

    ·         The IRS signed off on allowing 401(k) matching contributions to employees that pay down student loan debt.  Check out this article from ABRC for more.

    ·         DOL issued a round of new opinion letters, including the following:

      • Organ donors' qualification for FMLA leave
      • Compensability of time spent voluntarily attending benefit fairs and certain wellness activities
      • Application of the movie theater overtime exemption to a movie theater that also offers dining services
      • Application of the commissioned sales employee overtime exemption to a company that sells an internet payment software platform
      • Volunteer status of nonprofit members serving as credentialing examination graders
      • "No-fault" attendance policies and roll-off of attendance points under the FMLA
    • SHRM reports that H-1B denials and Requests for Evidence are on the rise. 

    o   Keep in mind that a new USCIS policy goes into effect 9/11 in which a Request for Evidence is not required first before denying certain visa applications, so less opportunity to provide follow up information.

    ·         USCIS reversed course on third-party placement of foreign students.  If you have foreign students working for you through a temp agency (or you work a temp agency that places foreign students), you’ll want to read this article from SHRM.

    ·         Federal contractors – check out these new directives from OFCCP:

    o   Protecting religious freedoms of businesses

    o   Focusing reviews to ensure equal employment opportunities

    o   Analysis of compensation practices

    o   Recognition programs

    o   Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative – this one could be huge, requiring annual submission of compliance with AAP obligations!

    Don’t forget to check out the most recent case law update from WISHRM’s partner, BoardmanClark.

    And if you’re looking for specific pending legislation on a specific employment topic – either at a state or federal level – check out SHRM’s tracking tool here.

  • 04 Sep 2018 8:14 PM | Elaine Ruh (Administrator)

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  • 20 Aug 2018 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    Network (net-work): interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career.

    Raise your hand if you love networking.  No, not one of you? Ok, I see a few hands. Don’t worry for those of you that didn't raise your hand, you’re not alone.  Networking, or the thought of meeting strangers face to face and making small talk, can be nerve-wracking.  But did you know that studies consistently show networking is the best way to find a new job, connect with similar individuals, and find a mentor?  Yet one in four people don’t network! 

    We all know that networking can greatly enhance who you know. And as we network, connections are made between people who have a need and people who have a good or service to fill that need.  Okay, but are you asking yourself these questions 'why should you care?'  Or 'what’s in it for you?'

    Here is how learning to love networking can benefit you:

            Increases your knowledge base.  Discussing issues with others expands your knowledge, it helps you find someone who knows the answer when you might be stuck, and gives you the opportunity to see topics from a broader perspective.

            Being in the right place at the right time.  “Luck” is the intersection of hard work and opportunity.  Networking leads to those opportunities – to have the chance to be considered even when that opportunity isn’t publically known, available, or you might not look like the right fit on paper

            Promotion.  The more people who know you, know your talent stack, and trust you - the better you’ll be. It'll help you to propel your career, business, or sales.  Word of mouth remains the best form of advertising.

            Self esteem.  According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once we’ve got food, water, and we’re safe - we crave relationships, friends, and esteem.  Putting yourself “out there” helps you feel better about your abilities, and gains those friendships and relationships.

    Ok, so what can you do?  First, assess whether you want to improve your network.  The theory of Dunbar’s Number says we can only hold 150 stable relationships - now is the time to examine the relationships you have currently. Are they bringing you the value you deserve?

    If you assess your network and decide you want to make changes - how can you make improvements? Start by making a goal to meet 3 new people and connect with them on an ongoing basis. To truly build a network, you need to work on those relationships. 

    (HR Pro Tip: Fox Valley SHRM meetings and other opportunities are a great way to start!  If a happy hours sounds appealing, watch for details on our event to be held at Houdini's Gastropub on September 11.)

    Other opportunities:

            Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce events

            Volunteering in our community (we're are throwing out an ask for anyone looking to help facilitate our SHRM certification study groups - we are still in need!)

            WI SHRM state conference

            FVSHRM supported mock interviews in our local High Schools

    As you are meeting new people, keep in mind that one of the greatest ways to build a relationship is to ask questions.  Before you know it, you’ll quickly be swapping information based on your talent and opening doors to new opportunities.

    We look forward to connecting with you!


  • 13 Aug 2018 3:48 PM | Nykki Milhaupt (Administrator)

    Are you curious what is on the horizon for FVSHRM? Take a look at our newsletter for our upcoming events, updates and announcements. 

    FVSHRM Newsletter - August.pdf

  • 08 Aug 2018 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    Note** This article originally is appearing in our newsletter, but with additional content and links below.

    Who has ideas that could make their workplaces better or more competitive?  I’m looking at you HR!  Ok, what have we done to make that difference?  I know we’re busy – we all have so many obligations.  And then there’s the fact that we’re each just one voice.  But why not you?  Who else is going to stand up and voice their concerns and make a change?    We can be that change.  SHRM, under the guidance of its new CEO, has expressed its bold new purpose, which includes advocating for our profession. 

    In an effort to make it just a little bit easier, over the next couple months when we return to programming, we’re going to try to bring local and state legislators to our meetings.  We want you to have a chance to meet them and hear from them about what workplace issues are important.  You can choose to engage at the meeting, or subsequently, or it may impact your choice as you head to the ballots in November.  Either way, we think this is a positive step in the direction of advocating for the HR profession and we’re excited to offer this opportunity. 

    As we look toward November, there are 2 important issues that Wisconsin SHRM has been advocating for recently, including remedying the conflict between federal and state FMLA, and getting a medical fee schedule for workers’ compensation medical claims.  On a federal level, SHRM’s position on nearly any workplace topic impacting employees can be found in their issue guide here. 

    SHRM has made educating yourself about the candidates running this fall even easier.  Check out the A-team’s election webpage here.  By simply typing in your zip code, you can find all the parties running for the Senate and House in your area, as well as our Governor race, and our state senate and assembly candidates. 

    For example, did you know there is a primary on August 14, 2018, to narrow the Republican candidates running for the seat occupied by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the Senate presently?  Ms. Baldwin will also run, but without any other Democratic challengers.  You can learn more about the 5 Republican candidates from the SHRM A-team tool, above.

    Let’s make our voices heard!


  • 31 Jul 2018 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    A good summary of the important employment news you might have missed in July:

    • SHRM released its 2018 Employee Benefits survey.
    • FMLA forms were extended another 30 days, with a current expiration of 7/31/2018.
    • DOL formally rescinded the Persuader Rule, which required public disclosure of relationships with labor relations consultants, including attorneys.  The rule was previously permanently enjoined in November, 2016, and never took effect.   SHRM has an article about the potential impact.
    • President Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker, which is intended to provide a national strategy for training and retraining workers for high-demand industries. 
    • USCIS issued a memo allowing its adjudicators to deny visa petitions without a requirement to try to correct the petition first, making it easier to deny petitions.  The guidance originally required USCIS to issue a Notice to Appear to anyone who filed a visa that was not lawfully present at the time of application, but that requirement has been placed on hold temporarily.  See Godfrey & Kahn’s article for the impact to employers.
    • On July 13, the DOL issued a field assistance bulletin addressing whether caregivers are independent contractors, but provides some guidance on how the DOL will view independent contractors since the prior guidance was rescinded. 
    • A bill introduced in the House has bipartisan support to require workplace sexual harassment training; provide a confidential tip line to EEOC; and require publically-traded companies to report settlements to the SEC.  Read a press release from the sponsor, Rep. Lois Franke (D-FL).
    • Before the House started its August recess, it took up several healthcare related bills.  Eleven different measures made it out of the Ways & Means Committee, but only two bills made it out of the House.  These measures would expand the way HSAs could be used.  The bill delaying the Cadillac tax has not moved forward, but SHRM advocates for it to be delayed (or eliminated).
    • SHRM-backed Workflex in the 21st Century Act bill got a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions on July 24.  Check out SHRM’s summary of testimony from SHRM CEO Johnny C. Taylor.  
    • The Senate passed a bill overhauling technical education; the House had passed its own version of the bill in 2017, so now either chamber needs to review the other’s version. 
    • The House Republicans introduced “Tax Reform 2.0.”
    • The 2019 proposed budget includes several provisions regarding immigration.

    Don’t forget to check out the most recent case law update from WISHRM’s partner, BoardmanClark.


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