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Proudly Serving the Fox Cities of Wisconsin

  • 22 Feb 2018 12:47 PM | Elaine Ruh (Administrator)

    Hey FVSHRM Members, 

    I normally do not write blog posts as I usually don't have anything fun or interesting to share. However, the experiences that I had in Madison yesterday for Day on the Hill were awesome and wanted to share with you if you were ever leaning on the fence to go.  I highly advise to go, at least once, just to experience it. 

    To keep it short as a summary; Day on the Hill is a chance for HR professionals to meet with our representatives and let them know our stance on bills that are sitting in committees before voting. 

    We have heard and read this in the past. It was a quick glance over, a zone out moment, a deleted email or tossed mailer.  You might be thinking, I already have politics in the work place, why would I invite myself to be thrown into even more. Another thought; I haven't been following any of the bills that are being discussed and I wouldn't know what to say to these people that I could meet with. Or I'm just one person, they won't care if I'm there or not. My thought was; me? Politics?  Good one!! But I was told just try it. It can't hurt! So I signed up and what a cool experience. 

    Kelly, Rebecca and I had a chance to sit down with our State Assembly Representative for almost an hour. What!? We were brought into his office and was met by a friendly staffer, Evan, who shook our hands through introductions and we started to have small talk discussions that were not awkward (he is human after all). Evan stated that he was going to send a quick text to Ron to join us as they were anticipating to meet with us! (Mind you that the Assembly was deep in their calendar of events and they were a busy group).  Ron walks in with a big smile on his face, shakes our hands and we sit in his office. We all did introductions and explained why we were there. Ron knew of the three bills we were looking to discuss and stated that he supported our stance. From there he asked us about more information we could provide that he could use on the floor before the voting. He actually listened to us! From there, he proceed to take us to areas of the Capital that are off limits to the public; the Parlor, the other side of the Assembly floor and the wing of the library.  (We couldn't wipe the smiles from our faces that we had the chance to see these areas). Ron politely excused himself as he needed to get back to the floor and that was it. Painless! 

    These meetings are so impactful as it will help me put a name with a face. The network has been established that if he needs help with examples for the HR bills that are in process, he can reach out to us and we can provide what he needs as best as we can.  

    This event for WISHRM was fun to see as different Chapters across the State were represented and we all were able to make an impact with our representatives. It felt pretty cool to be apart of the 60+ of us that were walking to the Capital at once, knowing we could make a difference. The State Capital knew we were coming and welcoming as Scott Walker wrote Day on the Hill attendees letter and that he was excited to have us there.  Fox Valley SHRM was well represented but we are looking to be the biggest Chapter at these events. If you hear about these events in the future, please take the 10 seconds to review the information and remember this blog. Anyone on the board and other members that have attended would love to see you there next year!

  • 15 Feb 2018 2:34 PM | Elaine Ruh (Administrator)

    February 12, 2018

    Dear Friends of the Wisconsin Fast Forward Program,

    This message is an invitation to a free informational grant application training session entitled Submitting a Successful Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) Training Grant. The goal of the training session is to increase applicants' understanding of the WFF grant application process, grant program goals, funding processes and information on what makes a successful grant application.  WFF is a business-driven initiative dedicated to improving the skills of Wisconsin workers so Wisconsin businesses can thrive.

    The training session is scheduled from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. You can attend in-person or online using WebEx.  Space is limited at the in-person session. Register now to reserve a seat.

    Training Opportunity: Submitting a Successful Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018

    1:00. – 2:30 p.m.

    Register to attend in-person or online (via WebEx):

    1. Go to http://dwdlearningcenter.wi.gov
    2. Enter you WFF application username and password (your Job Center of Wisconsin or UI password will work as well or you can create a new account)
    3. Search for "Submitting a Successful Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant"
    4. Locate the appropriate time and either "In-Person Session" or "WebEx Session"
    5. Click "Request"

    In-Person Training Session Location

    GEF 1 Room F305

    201 E. Washington Ave.

    Madison WI 53707

    The brief presentation will be followed by a detailed question and answer session, focusing on the key elements of submitting a successful customized skill training grant for our open grant cycle that closes on March 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

    If you have any questions, contact WisconsinFastForward@dwd.wisconsin.gov or me directly.


    Andy Heidt

    Program and Policy Analyst, WI Fast Forward



  • 01 Feb 2018 3:57 PM | Anonymous

    While our board brings you a monthly legislative report, highlighting new employment-law based proposals at the state and federal level, you may not find that information that relevant presently.  Point in case: to date, there have been 8,667 proposals made in Congress, of which about 327 have been employment-related.  Only a few of those are likely to become laws impacting you.  We do want you to be informed and understand when something is moving forward so you can make your voice heard and to that end, we’ll work on how to do that better.  But we also recognize there are plenty of other ways the HR profession is changed beyond these handful of laws created by Congress or the state legislature each year.  So, in an effort to try to capture that important detail to you and get it out in more manageable chunks, I’m proposing this monthly round-up.

    The intent is to link to other great articles and information providing a smorgasbord of things that could impact you and letting you choose what’s important to delve into further.  Like it?  Tell us about it – comment here or on our Facebook page.

    ·         Tax Reform - technically this happened in December, but since it was so close to the end of the year, I think some people missed the nuances.  Did you know the individual mandate for healthcare reform was repealed?  https://www.associatedbrc.com/Resources/Resource-Library/Resource-Library-Article/ArtMID/666/ArticleID/592/Tax-reform-bill-becomes-law


    ·         Cadillac Tax - For those beginning strategic planning for your benefits plan and how to avoid this tax, you should note the tax got kicked down the road another 2 years (delayed to 2022).  https://www.associatedbrc.com/Resources/Resource-Library/Resource-Library-Article/ArtMID/666/ArticleID/597/Breaking-news-on-the-Cadillac-Tax

    ·         DOL Internship Test – If you use unpaid interns (or want to), you may want to take a look at this:   https://www.theemployerhandbook.com/2018/01/8027.html#more-8027

    ·         Wage & Hour opinion letters – some obscure, but helpful opinions were resurrected by DOL, which may help your company: https://www.theemployerhandbook.com/2018/01/trump-dol-just-unearthed-bunch-employer-friendly-bush-era-opinion-letters.html#more-8033

    ·         Drug policy – The 7th Circuit sends a claim to the jury over whether a fire department used racial motive to decide whether to send a particular individual for alcohol testing https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/court-report-blood-alcohol-test-discrimination-claim.aspx

    ·         Work comp & staffing agencies  - can temporary workers you get from a staffing agency sue you for negligence, instead of claiming work comp?  Turns out yes (but only if they don’t make a work comp claim first) http://lindner-marsack.com/news/employers-who-utilize-temporary-or-loaned-employees-are-now-potentially-liable-for-third-party-claims-brought-by-an-injured-employee

    ·         Non solicitation – WI courts just found non-solicitation agreements must follow the same standards for non-competes (so reasonable in time, scope, and geography) http://lindner-marsack.com/news/wisconsin-supreme-court-declares-that-non-solicitation-of-employee-provisions-are-governed-by-the-same-wisconsin-statute-that-addresses-non-compete-provisions ; http://www.vonbriesen.com/legal-news/3618/open-season-on-your-employees

    What did I miss?  Let us  know by commenting below!


  • 17 Jan 2018 12:23 PM | Kevin Virobik


    Locating the best talent used to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack; now it's tough just locating the haystack!

    Collaborate to Succeed3 is a business-led discussion of best practices to attract, hire and retain talent in our tight labor market.

    We have a fantastic lineup scheduled from 8a-4p on Thursday, February 15th on the FVTC-Oshkosh campus prepared to provide you with timely tips.

    -- Do you view staff retirement as a cliff or a gentle incline with knowledge transfer points at each bend?

    -- Are you exploring a Learning Management System (LMS) or other model to develop internal talent?

    -- How are you developing youth to grow your business?

    -- Is storytelling part of your recruitment strategy?

    -- Are GenXers thriving in or leaving your business?

    Based upon participant feedback from last year's successful event, we've incorporated facilitated table discussion and networking into this year's agenda. The day is designed to be engaging and interactive -- come prepared to participate and to leave with knowledge you can use!


    Registration is at: http://collaboratingtosucceed3foxvalley.eventbrite.com


    Our registration deadline is February 9th. Don't delay -- space is limited.


  • 10 Jan 2018 8:16 AM | Elaine Ruh (Administrator)

    Give back to the HR profession and impact HR thought leadership by participating in SHRM’s 2018 Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Survey. This confidential survey will provide valuable information on how organizations address and respond to sexual harassment. Please take 15 minutes to complete this important survey!

    Why participate?

    • Share your voice: Contribute to the HR profession and SHRM's thought leadership efforts
    • Stay informed: Be among the first to access the final survey results which will be emailed directly to you as soon as they are available
    • Earn credits: Earn free professional development credit (see below for more information)
    • Win $: 50 participants will be randomly selected to receive a $10 Amazon gift card

    To complete the survey, please click on the link above or copy and paste the following URL into your web browser: http://shrm.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dgapJyeIOHFvKxT?Q_DL=0rhgdn04L2jnUs5_dgapJyeIOHFvKxT_MLRP_82f8n4fJ9zXJEm9&Q_CHL=email 

    If you are unable to provide information on this topic, please forward this email to a colleague at your organization who may be able to complete it.   

    Thank you in advance for sharing your time and expertise with us! 
    Karen Wessels, Researcher 
    Society for Human Resource Management 
    1800 Duke Street 
    Alexandria, VA 22314 

  • 08 Jan 2018 7:46 AM | Elaine Ruh (Administrator)

    Nearly everyone will be a caregiver at some point in life.And nearly everyone will need a little help providing that care.

    Family caregivers in Wisconsin provided 538 million hours of care – worth an estimated $7 billion – to their parents, spouses, partners, and other adult loved ones in 2013, according to AARP Public Policy Institute’s report, “Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.”

    Family caregivers report that the stress of their caregiving responsibilities affects their physical and emotional health, finances, and their jobs.  We also know that the majority of caregivers are women – many sandwiched between raising children and caring for elderly parents or other adults with significant disabilities, while holding outside jobs.  Here are a few statistics:

    • 55% of family caregivers report being overwhelmed by the amount of care their family member needs.
    • 38% of family caregivers report a moderate (20%) to high degree (18%) of financial strain as a result of providing care.
    • In 2014, 60% of family caregivers had full- or part-time jobs.

    Did you know...

    • 15 to 20% of Americans working full- or part-time as estimated to provide informal caregiving to an adult family member, relative, or friend - a figure that is expected to rise over the next decade.
    • 66% of caregiver employees have gone into work late, left early, or taken time off during the day to deal with caregiving issues.
    • 20% of caregivers were forced to take a leave of absence from work.
    • 10% of caregivers quit or take early retirement.

    Please let me now if you have any questions.  Thank you.  

    Christine Lidbury
    Wisconsin Women’s Council

     Click here to learn more about the event

  • 05 Jan 2018 10:02 AM | Anonymous

    First, have you signed up for WI SHRM's Day on the Hill on February 21?  There's still time! http://www.wishrm.org/2018-Day-on-the-Hill

    Second, check out all the cool things happening in Madison and please talk to your state Senators and Representatives to keep these bills moving forward!  As always, if you want to chat, or get help reaching your legislator, or crafting your message, just email me

    From WI SHRM's Legislative Director, Elise Rommes:

    2017 was sure a busy year at our State Capitol! As Wisconsin SHRM’s Legislative Director, I wanted to take some time to give you an overview of what is going on and how you can help. All three of the below issues are also ones that attendees at Wisconsin SHRM’s Day on the Hill spoke with legislators about in January 2017, so it is great to see progress being made.

    1.       Worker’s Compensation

    Senate Bill (SB) 665 was introduced in December 2017 and would introduce a medical fee schedule to help control the cost of worker’s compensation in the state. The Worker’s Compensation Research Institute recently found that Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation costs are 46% above the median costs across the nation! More information and statistics can be found here: www.WIWorkersCompReform.com.

    2.       Wisconsin FMLA

    SB490 & Assembly Bill (AB) 772 were introduced in October and December 2017, respectively. These bills would eliminate state family and medical leave for employers who already need to comply with the federal FMLA. They would still allow eligible employees to take state leave to care for a domestic partner who has a serious health condition. The intent is to clarify for employers and workers what the law is, what benefits are, and help in planning for upcoming leave events. Additionally, they would reduce the administrative burden of having duplicative laws.

    3.       Local Laws

    SB634 & AB748 were introduced in December. These bills follow the lead of Wisconsin’s current minimum wage preemption law and the preemption of paid sick leave ordinances by setting statewide employment law standards and prohibiting local governmental units from enacting their own employment law restrictions on private employers. Reducing laws within the state would reduce the compliance & administrative burden on human resources professionals and make Wisconsin a more attractive place to do business.

    4.       Attracting Talent to Wisconsin

    AB811 was just introduced last week and would approve the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to spend $6.8 million on a marketing campaign in places like Chicago & Minneapolis to attract those who might want to move to Wisconsin. The campaign would focus on the great job and life opportunities in our state to bring additional talent here and improve the tight labor market.

    The Senate Labor Committee is likely to hear SB634 (local ordinances bill) next week on Wednesday, January 10 at 10am. The hearing on the Worker’s Compensation bill (SB665) is expected to be in late January. Senators on the Senate Labor Committee are: Senator Nass (Chair), Senator Wanggaard (Vice-Chair), Senator Wirch, & Senator Ringhand. Please reach out to your Senator to support SB634 & SB665 if you feel they would be helpful for your organization, especially if your Senator is on the Labor Committee! You can simply call, email or visit their office and let them know why you feel the bill(s) would be beneficial and why they should support it.

    The Committee on Jobs & the Economy will hear AB811 (attracting talent bill) on Wednesday, January 10 at 10am. Representatives on this Committee are listed on the Wisconsin State Legislature website. If this bill would be beneficial for your organization you can reach out to your state Representative to let them know.

    Lastly, you can speak directly with your legislators during Wisconsin SHRM’s upcoming Day on the Hill event on February 21. This will be another wonderful opportunity to advocate for these important HR issues, network, and gain some additional legislative insights. Hope to see you all there!

  • 08 Dec 2017 10:53 AM | Anonymous

    Unless you've been under a rock, you are well aware that tax reform bills have passed by the House and Senate in the past month.  But the versions of the bill differ, so a joint conference has been assembled to hash out the differences, and then each chamber will vote on the revisions before it can make it's way to President Trump.  (If you need a quick refresher from civics class, check out this website).

    While tax reform did not include a provision to reduce tax exemptions on employee benefits as many had anticipated, the House version of the bill reduce eliminates the tax exemption for educational reimbursement.  In short, the tuition that you pay on behalf of employees as a fringe benefit today, would represent taxable wages to the employee in the future if this is eliminated.  SHRM opposes this elimination.   As such, SHRM is asking members to reach out to their House members and voice your support for Section 127 educational assistance. 

    From the member advocacy team in DC:

    We apologize in advance for the short notice and quick turnaround needed, but it would be very effective – and greatly appreciated - if each of you, as able, could reach back out to Rep. Mike Gallagher and ask him to support Section 127 by signing onto the attached “Dear Colleague” letter before end-of-week. His colleague in the House, Rep. Rodney Davis (IL), is asking his fellow House colleagues to join him on this letter, and will send the final letter to the select group of Members (conferees) who are working on the House/Senate compromise legislation and ask them to “preserve Section 127 and 117” (another tuition assistance provision related to higher-ed).

    A quick personal call to the Member’s Washington, D.C. office may be your best bet, so I’ve also included the contact info for his Tax Legislative Assistant. Below is a draft script you can use, as helpful. I think the office has gotten a lot of call volume, so you may get the staffer’s voicemail. Feel free to use the script and follow up over email with a copy of the attached letter.


    Matt Tucker


    Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI 8th)


    Tax LA




    (202) 225-5665



    Good afternoon/morning. My name is ---- and I am a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). I wanted to connect with you on employer-provided education assistance, and ask you to to support Section 127 by signing onto a letter that your colleague, Representative Rodney Davis, is circulating. In the letter, Congressman Davis is asking that conferees of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, preserve Sections 127 and 117 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 127 of the IRC, allows employees to accept tax-free qualified educational assistance from employers as a means to further their education and obtain skills to thrive in the workforce. Section 117(d) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), enables taxpayers to exclude qualified tuition reductions from income. If repealed, this would raise the barrier of entry to college for many individuals. I truly appreciate your time on this matter. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss, I can be reached at ---. I will also follow up with you via email. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • 04 Dec 2017 8:11 AM | Anonymous

    To date, eight states and more than 30 jurisdictions have enacted paid sick leave laws.  Employers operating in one of these jurisdictions often have to make adjustments to their PTO policies, even when they were offering a policy previously.  But employers operating in more than one of these jurisdictions  can have serious compliance issues trying to balance these laws, especially if trying to create one consistent policy. 

    SHRM recognizes the challenges employers face in this regard and is supporting the new Workflex in the 21st Century Act  (HR 4219).  SHRM believes the bill would give employees the job flexibility they are seeking, while providing employers more predictability, rather than complying with this patchwork of state and local laws. 

    More specifically, the bill takes advantage of ERISA, so employers that choose to offer a workflex arrangement would be exempt from state and local laws requiring paid sick leave.  Employers would have to offer paid leave to full-time and part-time employees  employed for least 12 months and worked at least 1000 hours during the prior 12 months.  The amount of leave would vary based on the size of the organization and the time an employee worked for an organization:

    Number of employees employed by an employer

    Minimum amount of leave for employees with more than 5 years of service

    Minimum amount of leave for employers with less than 5 years of service


    20 days

    16 days


    18 days

    14 days


    15 days

    13 days

    < 50

    14 days

    12 days


    Part-time employees would receive a proportional amount of leave based on the number of hours worked.  The paid leave could be accrued over the year or be provided at the start of the plan year.  Employers would also have options regarding whether to carryover any time and/or pay it out at the end of the year.

    In addition to paid leave, employers would also need to offer at least one workflex arrangements, including:

    ·         Compressed work schedule

    ·         Biweekly work program

    ·         Telecommuting program

    ·         Job-sharing program

    ·         Flexible scheduling

    ·         Predictable scheduling

    The bill is the first of its kind given its modification to ERISA and combination of paid leave with workflex options.  It was introduced in the House on November 2, 2017, and referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  

    Now is where we need your help!  Our board just came back from the Volunteer Leader Summit in Washington DC where they had the opportunity to talk to our local legislators about the importance of the bill.  But they need to hear from you.

    ·         How is the patchwork of state and local laws impacting your business? 

    ·         Would you opt in to this law if it passed?

    ·         What impact would the workflex options have on your employees?

    Senator Baldwin’s office has graciously agreed to meet with us to discuss employer concerns regarding paid leaves on Tuesday, December 5th at 1:30 pm Want to join us?  Email us now.  Or if you cannot join us, email your legislator, call them, or find them on social media and tell them you support the workflex bill. 

  • 29 Nov 2017 9:39 AM | Kevin Virobik
     Are you struggling to find qualified talent to fill your current and planned job openings?


    The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is here to assist you, providing a variety of data-driven solutions to help you achieve your employment goals.


    Fox Valley SHRM inspires, engages and advances the profession while enhancing our communities and ensuring a strong workforce. DWD values our partnership with SHRM, and relies on feedback from members to develop and enhance tools for improving employment outcomes, including the resources below.


    JobCenterOfWisconsin.com (JCW) remains one of Wisconsin's most important online resources for helping HR recruiters quickly and efficiently connect with qualified talent. JCW features advanced talent connections like an easy-to-use job posting process, smart algorithms that span the gap to the talent pool, and a user-friendly, cross-platform design for easy access. Plus, use your JCW login to access the following tools.


    WisConnect is Wisconsin's premier online source for internships, connecting you with college students to enhance your talent pipeline at no cost. Studies show that experiential, work-based learning opportunities, such as internships, are a proven method for attracting, training and retaining college students during and after graduation.  Register today at InternshipWisconsin.com to develop your organization's profile, post internships and search for interns.


    HR professionals understand the need for quick access to timely and accurate labor market data. WisConomy is Wisconsin's new online source for economic and labor market information, making data available in engaging and understandable ways. Visit WisConomy.com now to explore the local labor market, examine long-term industry projections, make future workforce plans and create personalized, management-friendly reports, including charts and tables.


    As your Business Services Representative, I am here to help you improve employment outcomes. Contact me to learn more about the workforce solutions above or to access other DWD employment and training programs and services.


    You can contact me at (920) 360-6835 or via e-mail at kevin.virobik@dwd.wisconsin.gov.

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