November 2022 Digital Issue of HR Professionals Magazine

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Volume 12 : Issue 11


11th Installment from Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.’s New Book,


A New No-Cost Employee Benefit

Preview of SHRM Spring Conferences

Employee Benefits and Compliance

Nirav Desai,

Managing Director Peak Health

(a subsidiary of McGriff )

New DOL Classification for Independent Contractors

Keeping up with changing laws is a full-time job, and you’ve already got one. EMPLOYERS AND LAWYERS, WORKING TOGETHER Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has more than 900 lawyers located in 53 offices across the United States and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico. BIRMINGHAM OFFICE


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LEAD YOUR WORKPLACE TO NEW HEIGHTS WITH SHRM EDUCATION PROGRAMS Continue your career development and growth with SHRM this fall. Enhance your professional skills, learn about specific HR practices, or prepare for your SHRM-CP or SCP certification.

No matter where you are in your career, SHRM has a program to fit your needs. Designed and delivered by HR experts, our educational programs run right at the current challenges you are experiencing, or can expect, in today’s workplace. These learning opportunities expand your capabilities and help you stay ahead of the trends.




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Bringing Human Resources & Management Expertise to You

20% of workers are

mistreated due to political views.

Editor Cynthia Y. Thompson, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR Publisher

The Thompson HR Firm, LLC Art Direction

Park Avenue Design

Contributing Writers Richard Arnholt William Brown Amy Schabacker Dufrane LeeAnn B. Foster Susan Hanold Ken Joyner Stephanie Raborn Craig Southern Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. Sonya Weathers

Contact HR Professionals Magazine: To submit a letter to the editor, suggest an idea for an article, notify us of a special event, promotion, announcement, new product or service, or obtain information on becoming a contributor, visit our website at We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or articles. All manuscripts and photos must be submitted by email to Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, nor can the publisher be held responsible for errors. HR Professionals Magazine is published every month, 12 times a year by the Thompson HR Firm, LLC. Reproduction of any photographs, articles, artwork or copy prepared by the magazine or the contributors is strictly prohibited without prior written permission of the Publisher. All information is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed to be accurate, and subject to change without notice. HR Professionals Magazine, its contributors or advertisers within are not responsible for misinformation, misprints, omissions or typographical errors. ©2022 The Thompson HR Firm, LLC | This publication is pledged to the spirit and letter of Equal Opportunity Law. The following is general educational information only. It is not legal advice. You need to consult with legal counsel regarding all employment law matters. This information is subject to change without notice.



5 note from the editor 7 Purchase Your Copy of RESET from the SHRM Foundation 8 Profile: Nirav Desai, Managing Director of Peak Health 12 An HR Pro’s Best Friend 14 SHRM Finds 20% of Workers Mistreated Due to Political Views 34 Are You Taking Advantage of US Work Opportunity Tax Credits?

Employee Benefits

20 Are You a Benefits Superhero? 21 The Benefits Group – We Do All the Work! 24 Are You Ready for the December 27 RX and Health Care Spending Reporting Deadline? 26 A New No-Cost Benefit That Your Employees Will Love! 30 Want to Retain Top-Notch Employees?

Talent Management and Recruiting 6 Metrics That Matter – Key Insights, Driven by Research to Help Leaders Plot Their Futures 9 Step Up or Step Back: Navigating Workplace Politics 10 Should I Stay, or Should I Go? 16 Hiring Seasonal Employees 22 The Importance of Front-Line Workers 28 Hey Busines Owner, What’s Your Story? 29 Cultivating Culture by Brad Federman 31 Compliance with Compassion 36 Leading Inclusively in Turbulent Times 37 University of Memphis Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Employment Law

2 Ogletree Deakins – Employers and Lawyers Working Together 18 Register today for Wimberly Lawson Labor & Employment Law Conference in Sevierville, TN November 17-18 33 Rapid Responses for Employer’s Needs – Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC 38 Are Your Mandatory Labor Law Posters Up-toDate? 42 Impact of Increased Minimum Wage Requirements for Federal Contractors

Top Educational Programs for HR Professionals

3 Lead Your Workplace to the Next Level with SHRM Education Programs 13 Active Shooter Training from Safehaven Security 23 Save 20% on HRCI Courses in 2022 39 Mark Your Calendar for our next Online HRCI | PHR | SPHR Certification Exam Prep Class Begins February 15 48 WGU. Online. Nonprofit. Surprisingly Affordable

Industry News

15 SHRM Employment Law & Compliance Conference in Washington, D.C. February 26-28 17 SHRM Talent Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL April 16-19 18 2022 Wimberly Lawson Labor & Employment Law Update Conference in Sevierville, TN November 17-18 19 SHRM23 in Las Vegas June 11-14 32 WTSHRM 13th Annual HR & Employment Law Fall Conference in Jackson, November 16 35 Highlights from SHRM-Memphis DEI Conference 40 Highlights from the 2022 HR Tampa Conference & Expo October 7 44 Meet Brad Patterson, Director of SHRM Georgia 45 Highlights from the SHRM Georgia Conference in Savannah September 28 46 SHRM Georgia State Council Announces Award Recognition Program Recipients December Issue features Compensation and Performance Management Deadline to reserve space November 15

a note from the editor

We have a fantastic November issue for you, focusing on employee benefits planning and compliance! We have solutions for some of the issues that keep you awake at night. One of the hottest new benefits is childcare. Did you know that a young couple with two children will spend over $10K annually on childcare? If you are looking for a benefit tied to retention – look no further. See LeeAnn Foster’s excellent article on Page 30. Another new benefit to look at for 2023 is upscale refreshment centers for your employees – that costs the employer nothing. See Ken Joyner’s article on Page 26. I know you will love reading about Nirav Desai on Page 8. Nirav is the managing director of Peak Health, a subsidiary of McGriff. It’s an honor to have him on our November cover as we highlight employee benefits and compliance in this issue. Read all about McGriff on Page 25 in our center fold. Be sure to catch Stephanie Raborn’s excellent article on the healthcare spending deadline looming on December 27. Stephanie is the employee benefits compliance officer for McGriff. This issue also includes coverage of the SHRM Georgia Conference in Savannah September 28-30 plus coverage of the HR Tampa Conference & Expo on October 7. In addition to the highlights in this issue, you can find exclusive video interviews with the conference leadership, the keynote speakers , and some of the top concurrent speakers from each conference on our Facebook page, www.facebook/ Like us on Facebook to get instant notifications when we are covering the important SHRM and HR conferences that you want to know about. When you Like our Facebook page, you will receive instant notifications anytime we are bringing you interviews such as these, and important breaking news and updates on HR events in your area. Our December issue will include the latest compensation and performance management issues and solutions. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us November 15 for “Succession Planning for 2023” Watch your email for your invitation. If you are not currently on our email distribution list, please visit our website and click on Subscribe.

Wishing you and your family a lovely Thanksgiving season. @cythomps on Twitter

Dr. Kim Estep, Chancellor of WGU Tennessee, and Cynthia at the 2022 Tennessee SHRM Conference & Expo in Sevierville in September.


Metrics That Matter

Key Insights, Driven by Research, to Help Leaders Plot Their Futures, Adapt & Pivot When Necessary A VAST LIGHT SHOW



Big data has become the culture whisperer of business, telling us everything we want to know and much more. Through algorithms, AI, and new tools, CEOs have made numbers talk in the same old-fashioned way as picking petals off a daisy.

Who was responsible? Was it safe to fly? What was next?

Data is great, but what you do with that data matters more. Key insights, driven by research, to help leaders plot their futures, adapt, and pivot when necessary are the currency of a modern, analyticsdriven organization.

Employees love me, employees love me not. Selectivity is your sanity. We collect a lot of data designed to give us deeper insights and context. In reality, what ends up happening in a predictive model is you’re trying to forecast behavior X or behavior Y, and you’ve got X-one, X-two, and X-three.

Stock markets plunged by more than 7 percent on the first day of trading after 9/11.

And X-three is your error term more often than not. Collecting more data is not going to add to the predictability. It’ll add to the error term, which is just noise in the system, right?

In business, we reacted with urgency and creativity, with steadfast belief and resolve to recover, and did so quickly.

Too much data becomes a vast light show when all you send are some signals. The right insights are more important than ever. If we are to learn from upheaval, we have to reassess what matters. In life. In business. We must dig deep into four essential areas that will help you measure culture, the important underpinning of your organization: net promoter scores, inclusion factors, curiosity indicators, and employer brand. These add up to a Culture Score. We need a way to put up scaffolding around our guiding principles and do some work on developing a way to quantify the core culture of our organizations, because it is the underpinning of everything we do, from hiring to strategy, from productivity to policy, from vision to mission. We are all entering an uncharted economic and societal landscape, given the unknowns of a never-imagined pandemic. But we have been faced with uncertainty throughout history. We’ve discussed the Great Depression and the 2008 financial crisis, but let’s also recall 9/11, when no one knew what to expect after such an un thinkable terrorist attack on our own soil.


The emotional shock and Ground Zero grief were immeasurable. As a nation, we were in pain on every front. When we looked up, we witnessed a work world convulsion.

Businesses were hit with uncertainty, especially the airline and hospitality industries, as well as the insurance and financial sectors.

As we move ahead now, we once again must face these challenges as opportunities to conquer the uncertainty with bold action. Hesitancy is a losing proposition. As McKinsey noted in December of 2020: “The strongest companies are also reinventing themselves through nextnormal operating models, capitalizing on this malleable moment and the resulting spread of agile processes, nimbler ways of working, and increased speed and productivity.” Next normal is actually the un-normal. Because we’re not going to be the same again after 2020. Our workplaces have changed, our workforces view life differently, our volatile politics are still roiling. How are we going to answer the bell to our future? As an opportunity or as an obstacle?

Nobody ever talks about the other side of the equation, though: the decision maker. Using data is as much art as it is science, and driving good decisions from that data is the harder part. As leaders, your lesson here is to develop not so much your analytics skills but rather your interpretation and decisionmaking competencies. These will make you more successful, especially when engaging in a reset where decisions seem counter to the publicly available data with incomplete context for your organization. Here are some key questions you should consider making part of your reset repertoire: • How should I evaluate sustainability? • Why should I care about big data? • Why should I care about people analytics? • What kind of ROI should I be expecting from talentdriven initiatives? • What is the most important metric for tracking my organization’s future? Adapted from Chapter 10 of Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval (PublicAffairs), by Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

SHRM’s Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. Introduces His New Book RESET Available Now

At a pivotal moment for business, RESET outlines how organizations can redesign the workplace for a post-pandemic future The Society for Human Resource Management President (SHRM) and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, announced his new book RESET: A Leader's Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval, (PublicAffairs; September 7th, 2021; ISBN: 9781541700437), is available. RESET offers a candid, forward-thinking vision for leaders to reimagine company culture and presents data-driven strategies to make a foundational reset for work, workers and the workplace. Taylor's insight charts the path for businesses facing a new reality and serves as part call to action, part playbook for success to rebuild the modern workforce and meet today's extraordinary challenges. "Your biggest challenge isn't technology, innovation, or even leadership," writes Taylor. "It's finding, hiring and engaging the right talent to thrive now and in the future." As a sought-after expert and voice of all things work, Taylor is known for charting the way forward through both crisis and uncertainty. RESET envisions how to reshape the world of work and unleash untapped potential to strengthen the workforce and accelerate performance. In RESET, Taylor expounds, "We have all heard the old adage 'Never waste a good crisis.' I would offer a friendly amendment: 'Make constant reset your friend.' Upheaval brings about opportunities to rethink, reset, and restructure your organization." Under Taylor's leadership, SHRM has spurred innovative thought on how HR can empower business to meet the relevant challenges of social upheaval and global crisis. "RESET is an indispensable manual for every manager, leader and team member," says Laszlo Bock, CEO of Humu and former chief people officer at Google. "Tackling the thorniest issues of talent and culture, Johnny Taylor provides a clear, practical roadmap for leading your organization into the future." RESET is now available in hardcover, ebook and audio at all major book retailers.

All author proceeds benefit the SHRM Foundation Purchase your copy at RESET.SHRM.ORG


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. With over 300,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM is the largest HR professional association in the world, impacting the lives of 115 million workers every day. As a global leader on the future of employment, culture and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice on all matters affecting work, workers and the workplace. He is frequently asked to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues and authors the weekly USA Today column, "Ask HR." Mr. Taylor's career spans over 20 years as a lawyer, human resources executive and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit space. He has held senior and chief executive roles at IAC/Interactive Corp, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Entertainment Group, the McGuireWoods law firm, and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He was appointed chairman of the President's Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and served as a member of the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board during the Trump Administration. He is a Trustee of the University of Miami, Governor of the American Red Cross, and member of the corporate boards of Guild Education and iCIMS. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C. ABOUT SHRM SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.

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Nirav on the cover


Managing Director, Peak Health (a subsidiary of McGriff ) Nirav Desai is Managing Director of Peak Health (a subsidiary of McGriff)

Nirav envisions taking these results to an even

and is responsible for its day-to-day operations, growth, and evolution. His

higher level. Can we empower people who need

experience spans 30 years in healthcare and related technologies in strategic

to make health improvements by giving them

and operational roles as a manager, consultant and executive. He has helped

access to innovations that could accelerate their

to advance employee/patient/member experiences and outcomes through

progress? Can we help people on the cusp of

organizations such as Florida Blue, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Baxter, General

physical health breakthroughs to overcome the

Electric, GSK, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and REACH Health (now

mental and emotional hurdles that hold them

part of Teladoc).

back? Can we help the healthiest to achieve even higher goals than they imagined possible?

Nirav joined Peak Health because of his passion for health and wellness. He

Can we provide more continuous wellness to

envisions the program as a vehicle to bring directly to employers the numerous

people so that they can be at their best with their

product & service innovations he has been seeing at the forefront of healthcare

colleagues, family, and community?

so that their workforces can achieve their healthiest potential. After all, since employers are largely paying employees' health care expenses, it would make sense to bring in health improvement strategies that could help them get better control of those costs. Under his leadership, Peak Health is bringing in new clients, leveraging customer- and data-driven insights to refresh its program, accelerating its technology strategy, and cultivating a health & wellness ecosystem that can supplement anything employers already have in place. Today, Peak Health is a high touch, clinically-driven wellness program whose vision is to create the world's healthiest workforce. The program began over 3 decades ago and has served nearly 100,000 participants. It deploys registered nurses to provide on-site and remote health assessments, coaching, and health navigation to help people better understand their health risks and take

Most recently Nirav was Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Pulse Centers where he positioned the company for 2-3x growth. He has written an eBook and over 100 blog articles on telehealth and digital health, spoken at health conferences, and participated on expert panels looking at the future of US healthcare. Nirav earned a B.S. and M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

actionable steps to achieve their healthiest potential. Its clients have seen significant improvements in their population's risk factors including obesity, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, and tobacco use, and inactivity. They have also seen markedly lower ER visits and admissions for issues such as heart disease, COPD, and diabetes than comparable companies in their industry.




Prior to my transition into HR management, I spent a year running operations for a local animal shelter. Surprisingly, there are a lot of similarities between the world of animal rescue and the world of talent management and HR. Resource guarding? Check. Pairing different personalities for successful outcomes? Check. Limited resources with unlimited tasks and goals? Check and check. When we look at the dynamics of our work teams, there are so many competing personalities, communication styles, goals, and work ethics. Add to that the realities that everyone is being asked to do more with fewer resources, and office politics can easily move from the background to the foreground of our daily office lives, impacting our daily productivity, sense of employee satisfaction, engagement, creativity, and retention. HR professionals play a dual role: they not only have to be comfortable navigating workplace politics themselves, but also support other employees and leaders as they all navigate the workplace political landscape themselves. Many organizational cultures don’t want to acknowledge workplace politics because so often we seek to avoid conflict – but avoiding the topic doesn’t mean it isn’t a part of our day-to-day experience. At the root of workplace politics is that we are all humans with different emotions, communication and work preferences, and goals. Once we better understand the working political dynamics at our organizations, then we can more successfully navigate those structures to build trust with stakeholders, ensure we are seen as credible activists in our roles, and better understand when to step up or step back in tricky situations. Self-awareness, transparency, collaboration, trust, and rapport are all key tools needed for navigating workplace politics. Have you ever brought in a “backup squad” of those with political clout at work to help move a project along, get support from other key stakeholders, or dedicate necessary resources? If so, you’ve positively used workplace politics! When politics become self-serving, toxic, one sided, harassing, or critical to the point of disengagement of employees – this all falls into the negative bucket and should be avoided. Knowing with whom and in which situations to “step up or step back” comes with time and confidence. As we grow into our roles and build our networks, we naturally tend to become more comfortable standing up or pushing back. We also tend to be more open to making mistakes, building resilience for when we don’t make the best decisions, and more engaged in contributing to the organizational culture. Not every situation is one you have to “win.” Part gut instinct, part lessons learned from prior experiences – you must judge each situation independently to know when to push a bit harder and when to let it

go! Is the short- and long-term impact of stepping up to a situation involving workplace politics worth the potential hit you may take to your reputation, your stakeholder collaboration, or project productivity? Sometimes it is, and sometimes it can be a better decision to navigate workplace politics by letting some arguments slide. Who are the players involved? You must consider the other stakeholders in the conversation and decisions – how does it impact their team, their reputations, their resources? Do they have the backing from other key players in the workplace political scene? Are you more focused on winning the argument by stepping up, or is there a genuine business case you feel strongly about that impacts the employees and business outcomes and deserves to be fought for? You won’t always make the right decisions. Sometimes you might push harder on a situation where maybe the best choice would have been to step back. Knowing how to move on from those situations and move forward with lessons learned for next time is key. Above all—whether you decide to ultimately step up or step back in a situation—professional, respectful, confident communication is critical. Employees, leaders, teammates – they are all watching you as you step up or step back, and watching how you handle those interactions (and the aftermath!) as an HR professional. This also gives you both the formal and informal opportunity to make your workplace positive, transparent, open to debate, and eliminate those “untouchable” topics to get around barriers to success. As we take the time to better understand existing workplace culture and relationships, we can engage in ways that build stronger relationships and higher levels of trust, and shift workplace politics from something with a negative connotation to something that we can utilize positively for successful outcomes and impact. Credible trust can only get us so far – when we also build emotional and relational trust through how we interact with and treat others, combined with being credible in our roles, this is where the ultimate armor to navigate workplace politics comes from! When others engaging in these situations with you know you are transparent, ethical, and respectful, you will find that most are more willing to meet in the middle in the stickier situations than if you have not taken the time to build those relationships that are so critical for navigating workplace politics for success.

Dr. Ashley Dugger, SHRM-CP

Associate Dean and Director – HR and Organizational Leadership Programs


Should I Stay or Should I Go? By SUSAN HANOLD

This question seems to be coming up frequently and openly with employees in today’s labor market. It may be the same question that we have heard in the past, but as employees continue to reflect on their changing priorities and needs and the support they’re looking for in their employers, it’s perhaps a question they’re asking themselves with a bit more weight. Hiring employees in today’s economic climate continues to be a major challenge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate remains below 4%. With the tight labor market, it’s challenging to find ways to fill open roles and even keep employees from leaving for higher pay elsewhere.

Here are a few tips to consider.

Start with the data To really analyze the question “to stay or to go,” it’s good for both the employee and employer to ground decisions based on current data about their workforce. When employers track retention, it’s important to focus on retaining employees who are high performing. Retaining non-performers can be damaging to team culture and operations. When reviewing your retention numbers make sure they reflect the true of representation of your talent. Are you hanging on to poor performers because you may be struggling to find a replacement or it’s taking longer to fill a role than desired? It’s important to try to avoid misguided loyalty where the employee stays and pulls the team’s energy down. Equipping your managers with data will allow them to be proactive. “ADP dashboards provide valuable insights into turnover reasons and timing, which we consider to improve employee retention. ADP’s salary band metrics and Individual Performance Plan reports also aid managers to understand and accommodate important motivations for employee retention,” said Lory Garrison, talent resources data analyst from Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply.

Remote work is even becoming a make-or-break factor for many job hunters. Two-thirds of the global workforce (64%) said that they have or would consider looking for a new job if their employer wanted them to return to the office full-time, according to a recent ADP Research Institute study of more than 32,000 people. And while most jobs still don’t – or can’t – accommodate remote work, the number of positions advertised as remote continues to climb. Employers are increasing pay, too, especially for people with in-demand skills such as truck drivers, cashiers, registered nurses, and stockers and order fillers. To correct that imbalance, employers should work to improve their branding and find ways to make their jobs more attractive. This could mean ensuring a good experience for candidates during the hiring process and offering higher pay, improved benefits, and flexibility to allow for work-life balance.

Manage performance and ignite the energy of your team Even as layoffs and furloughs have returned to normal, quits are still on the rise. The number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs hit a record in March 2021 and has been notching new records ever since, according to the BLS. Workers’ desires to reevaluate their priorities and work experiences is real. Managers having open and candid conversations with their team members can go a long way in helping them understand where employees stand on “staying or leaving.” With many companies hiring a significant number of new employees, recruiting and on-boarding processes have had to be streamlined and automated. Ignite the energy of your team by providing a welcoming experience with candidates by leveraging mobile-first experiences that keep candidates engaged during their hiring journey. The manager can play a key role in retaining employees or managing employee needs as their priorities shift. “To keep an eye on retention, I manage the overall energy of my team, so they feel motivated, inspired, and productive. In leading a completely virtual team, I touch base and check in with them regularly and not always about tasks but how they are feeling,” said Suzanne Harris, VP of HR at NexusTek. Many companies have the best intentions for developing a retention strategy but don’t know where to start. They can lack the right data, resources, or strategy. ADP Strategic Advisory Services offers a combination of HR strategy and advisory services, specifically a strategic workshop, for clients to address retention challenges and opportunities. You’re not alone in trying to navigate this shifting environment. Employers should equip their HR leaders with data they can trust and insights into constantly changing workforce sentiment to help encourage employees to keep an open dialogue.

Manage the shifting priorities Employees leave for a variety of reasons. During the pandemic, the market showed a stronger shift for employees desiring to work for companies that focus on wellness, work-life balance, and workplace flexibility. 10

Susan Hanold, Ph.D

ADP Vice President Strategic Advisory Services


HRPM: If you were involved, what would you do?

An HR Pro’s Best Friend? When it comes to preventing and managing violence in the workplace, Doug Elms is HR’s best friend. We caught up with him at the Arkansas state SHRM conference, where he addressed the audience on the epidemic of violence and how it’s impacting our workplaces. HRPM: It seems as if our culture is becoming more violent. Is that true or is it more about the media focusing on it? Doug: Both are true. As a people, we are undoubtedly becoming more violent. Don’t forget the unprecedented mass violence of the last two years and how much both broadcast and social media love to dwell upon it. HRPM: What is going on with that? Doug: There are many, many factors. People are under more stress than they’ve ever been, and stress makes everything worse. Emotional issues, mental health struggles, and relationship problems that were manageable before soon become too much to handle. Some people will flee the stress through alcohol or drugs while others will become angry and seek to hurt people. All of that is happening as we speak. HRPM: You help HR leaders all over the nation. What are you seeing? Doug: A lot of fear and frustration, to be honest. HR professionals are required to deal with people and situations that have high potential for violence, yet without tools, training, or resources with which to do so. HRPM: But what can they do? Doug: Call us. We become your expert resource. Generally, after a single phone call, you know exactly what to do. And that initial call is absolutely free. 12

HRPM: What kind of things would they call you for? Doug: An employee everyone is a bit worried about. The spouse of an employee who is threatening to hurt her. A difficult discipline or termination. Threats against the company or it’s leadership. Security or Vulnerability assessments. Training on Active Shooter prevention. Pretty much anything that has to do with threats or violence, we are your “go to.” HRPM: Would you outline what a typical case looks like? Doug: Sure. Let’s say you have a situation where a female employee has separated from her abusive husband. Rumor has it that he’s threatened to come to work and hurt her. You call her in and speak with her to determine what is really going on. She confesses that she’s afraid of him and that he has indeed made threats to harm her. You learn she is staying with a friend that he doesn’t know. What do you do? HRPM: Make a referral to the EAP? Call the police? Help her get a restraining order? Let her take a few days off? Have legal send a strongly worded letter? Doug: The answer is “maybe.” To each question. And that’s the problem. These situations have far too many variables to follow “always/never” protocols. Each case must be considered on its individual merits and compared with known correlates before a solid recommendation can be made.

Doug: I would ask a lot more questions. I would likely want to interview the victim and give her some personal safety tips. I might do a background check on the subject in question. I’d compare this situation to the hundreds of cases I’ve worked and the thousands we have research for. Then I’d make some very concrete and practical recommendations that will actually work. HRPM: So, you take the guesswork out of it? Doug: Absolutely. We relieve the stress of not knowing how dangerous a situation is or what to do about it. That’s why HR and Legal love us. HRPM: Is there a term for this service? Doug: Yes, it’s called Threat Assessment and Management. HRPM: What’s your background? Doug: I was a police officer working the mean streets of Little Rock, Arkansas when I was wounded in a shootout. Later, I became a local liaison with the United States Secret Service during Bill Clinton’s campaign and inauguration. I learned how they prevented assassination attempts by watching for warning signs and managing threats out of existence. Ultimately, I wound up at Walmart where I protected multiple CEO’s and members of the Walton family. HRPM: That seems to bring a lot of credibility to what you’re saying. Doug: I hope so. There aren’t many people in the world who can do what we do. That’s why I started SafeHaven Security Group. HRPM: Explain. Doug: While Threat Assessment and Management (TAM) has been around a few decades, only the wealthy and/or famous have had access to it. Very few police departments in America have training in this discipline, let alone have a dedicated TAM unit.

HRPM: To whom have people and companies turned for this expertise? Doug: Probably the top two firms are Gavin de Becker and Associates and Threat Assessment Group, founded by Dr. Park Dietz. They are top-notch. But they are simply out of reach for most companies. HRPM: How does SafeHaven Security Group differ? Doug: Actually, we are the same in some respects. We are a group of professional protectors with backgrounds that include corporate security, law enforcement, military, FBI, Secret Service, psychotherapy, and leadership positions with companies like Walmart and FedEx. The difference is that we are approachable and accessible. When you call us, you speak directly with one of our experts. No hassle expertise is always at your fingertips. HRPM: Just how effective is Threat Assessment and Management in preventing violence? Doug: Extremely. There is literally nothing more effective. Our success rate is 100%. Meaning that, once we get notified that there is a threat, we have managed the threat out of existence and kept our clients safe every single time. HRPM: That sounds too good to be true. Doug: But it’s not. You know as a leader that, when you actually manage situations, you can almost always make them better. It’s when you ignore problems and hope they resolve themselves that things go awry. HRPM: How do people contact you? Doug: They can call me at 1-844-SAFEGROUP or through our website at



Legally Defensible Content Loved by Participants Taught by Experts Practical and Empowering Live, Webinars, or Animated Video

SHRM Finds 20% of Workers Mistreated Due to Political Views The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released new research that shows 1 in 5 U.S. workers (20 percent) have experienced poor treatment in the workplace by co-workers or peers due to their political views. The results of SHRM's 2022 Politics at Work Study, which was completed at the end of the summer, show an uptick in political discussions and political volatility in the workplace in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election. SHRM found that about a quarter of U.S. workers (24 percent) have personally experienced political affiliation bias, including preferential treatment or undue negative treatment on the basis of their political positions or opinions, compared to 12 percent of U.S. workers in 2019. Twenty percent of HR professionals say there is greater political volatility at work now than there was three years ago. At the same time, only 8 percent of organizations have communicated guidelines to employees around political discussions at work leading up to the 2022 midterm elections.






W A S H I N G T O N, D . C . & V I R T U A L


The SHRM Employment Law & Compliance Conference is here to help. 20+ legal experts are joining us in Washington D.C., Feb. 26-28. They’ll share the updates you need to know so you’re prepared for any federal, state, and local employment law changes.

Learn more at: SHRM.ORG/ELCC23-HRP 221855

Are You Hiring Seasonal Employees? Read This First! By SONYA WEATHERS

Many companies experience seasonal surges in business that cause them to need additional staff. We’re coming upon one of the busiest seasons of the year. For example, the U.S. Labor Department data shows the retail sector typically adds 450,000 workers over the holiday shopping season. Warehousing and delivery add another 350,000 additional staff. If you’re planning to hire temporary workers for the holiday season, you’ve probably already worried about finding honest, hard-working applicants to fill your positions. Temporary, seasonal employees may only be with your company for a short while, but they pose just as much risk to your organization as your full-time, permanent team members. They can: • Steal. • Treat customers rudely, which damages your company’s reputation. • Be unqualified and unable to perform the job. • Cause time-consuming conflicts with current staff. • Bring their drug problems to your workplace.

Instead of this… Forgoing screening for drugs You may consider not screening your temporary hires for drugs and alcohol. After all, lab-based tests may take days to return. While you’re waiting, someone else could hire your candidate out from under you. Do this…Use instant drug screening solutions Cut your wait time for drug testing to a few minutes, and the cost to a few dollars. Invest in instant saliva and/or urine tests. You can perform them on-site. This solution returns drug use results in about 15 minutes, letting you quickly move forward with your hiring process. Instead of this… Skipping critical searches Yes, you can bring new hires on board faster if you don’t run a background check. However, not investigating their criminal, education, and employment history can cause disastrous consequences that could negatively impact your business. Do this…Order them earlier in the process Instead of waiting until you make an offer, process your background checks after you’ve pre-screened your applicants. If you decide for sure to hire them, they will already be vetted and ready to onboard. Instead of this… Waiting around for applicant authorizations Sometimes the hiring process stalls because the applicant doesn’t respond promptly. Applicants need to sign an authorization to agree to a background search. Candidates may forget to sign it, or it may go to their spam folder. Before you know it, you’re hiring progress is behind schedule. Do this…Use mobile-capable document signing Make it as convenient as possible to get these back quickly. Use mobile-friendly forms and signatures with automated texted reminders to get those critical signatures back fast.

Don’t cut corners on your seasonal employee background screening process!

Instead of this… Ignoring Adverse Action requirements

You may be in a hurry to get your seasonal roles filled. We understand. Don’t let haste tempt you to cut corners. Background screening should be part of every new hire’s vetting process, whether they’re permanent employees or not. Failing to screen your seasonal staff can set you up to deal with unqualified, unsafe, or problematic new hires.

If you decide not to hire a candidate due to the information returned in the background check (even if the information is only part of the reason for not hiring the person), you’re supposed to send out a Pre-Adverse Action letter. After ample time passes (usually 5 business days) you then need to send out a Final Adverse Action letter. You may be tempted to avoid this paperwork since the new hire will only be with you for a few months.

The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it, too. You can still screen your seasonal hires AND bring them onboard quickly. Here are some clever, proactive ways to protect your workplace and still operate a speedy hiring process. 16

Do this…Automate your paperwork Failing to follow Adverse Action procedures puts you out of compliance and opens your company to risk. Instead of dealing with a

slow, paperwork-heavy process, automate it. Some background screening companies offer pre-built templates that auto-fill the applicant’s information. Even if this seems like a drawn-out process, staying in compliance is worth the extra effort. Other Ways to Decrease Your Hiring Time and Save Money Tweaking your background screening process can cut days off your hiring time while still helping maintain a safe working environment filled with qualified staff. You may also consider these 3 options for filling your seasonal positions. • Promote an employee referral program. Your employees may know of family and friends who need a job during the holidays. While you would still need to perform background and drug screening on these candidates, referrals cut out the time it takes to attract and recruit candidates for your seasonal positions. • Tap former employees. Have some of your Boomer employees recently retired? Do you know some former staff members who quit to focus on family? These individuals may be interested in returning to work temporarily to make some extra money. And you wouldn’t need to screen OR train them, which decreases the onboarding process time significantly. • Ask last year’s seasonal workers back. Hopefully, you kept a list of the temporary employees you used last year, along with their contact information. Why not reach out to them again? They already know your business. You could avoid in-depth background checks since you’ve already conducted them. (Still screen them again for drugs, however). Seasonal hiring comes with its unique challenges and obstacles. It will be especially tricky this year with the low unemployment rate. However, don’t get lulled into relaxing your background and drug screening processes because the new hires are temporary. By following these tips, you can stay in compliance, keep screening costs down, and decrease your hiring time.

Sonya Weathers

National Accounts Executive Data Facts, Inc.


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Are You a Benefits Superhero?How How being being aa benefits benefits superhero superhero can can dramatically dramatically increase increase employee employee loyalty loyalty and and retention. retention.

By ByWilliam William Brown, Brown,CPA CPA

Pretend Pretendyou youlive liveininaadystopian dystopianworld worldwhere wherevillains villainsterrorize terrorizethe theplanet planet and andsuperheroes superheroesare arethe theonly onlythings thingsstanding standingbetween betweenorder orderand andchaos. chaos.

To Tosave savehumanity, humanity,this thisleague leagueof of heroes heroesmust mustmake makeaachoice: choice: 1)1) defeat defeataa band band of of supervillains supervillains or or 2) 2) hire hire and and retain retain aa team team of of valuable, valuable, loyal loyal employees. employees. Everyone Everyonein inHR HRwould wouldimmediately immediatelyscream, scream,"Defeat "Defeatthe thesupervillains!" supervillains!"

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•• Recognizes Recognizesemployee employeegoals, goals,so soyou youonly onlypay payfor forthe theinsurance insuranceperks perksyour yourteam teamneeds. needs. •• Performs Performsaathorough thoroughyearly yearlyanalysis analysisrather ratherthan thanadopt adoptthe the"set "setand andforget" forget"attitude attitudethat thatplagues plaguesmost mostbrokerages. brokerages. At AtThe TheBenefits BenefitsGroup, Group,we weare aredefying defyingthe the"order-taker" "order-taker"broker brokerstereotype. stereotype. We Wesee seethat thatsmallsmall-to tomid-sized mid-sizedbusinesses businessesare are being beingunderserved underservedin intheir theirability abilityto tooffer offerFortune Fortune500 500benefits benefitsto totheir theiremployees. employees.And Andwe're we'redoing doingour ourbest bestevery everyday dayto to change changethat. that. Can Canaabenefits benefitsbroker brokerchange changethe theworld? world?For Foryour youremployees, employees,I Ibelieve believewe wecan. can.We Wethrive thriveon ongetting gettingthe thebest bestdeals dealsand andbeating beating the themarket. market.In Invirtually virtuallyevery everycompetitive competitivesituation, situation,we wewin. win.Not Notall allheroes heroeswear wearcapes. capes.But Butwe're we'reready readyto tomake makeyou youlook looklike likeaa superhero superheroto toyour youremployees. employees.Let Letyour youremployees employeessee seehow howmuch muchyou youcare carethrough throughthe theaffordable affordablebenefits benefitsyou youoffer. offer.

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The Importance of

Frontline Workers

“Research tells us that nearly 90 percent of all organizations rely on frontline workers, and yet, very few organizations prioritize the needs of this workforce,” says Luke Fryer, CEO of Harri. When you reflect on this statement, its impact is weighty. Considered to be the unsung heroes of the workforce, frontline workers convey the employer’s brand experience in ways that are too numerous to list. Think about the patient orderly who helped your aunt in the hospital; the cheery server who made your family feel so welcome for a holiday meal; and the unflappable contact center rep who handled your air travel mishap with great aplomb. Now, ask yourself: What unique programs have we developed to support this portion of our workforce? If the answer is nothing specific, there’s work to be done. Whether hiring to meet seasonal demands or on an ongoing basis, employers must recognize what frontline workers are looking for in terms of culture, communication, technology and training as well as connection to the company. Some of these workers are deskless and operate with elevated levels of autonomy. Others are in remote locations such as retail stores with no solid line of connection back to headquarters. Their compensation might be hourly, lending to higher turnover for even a modest wage increase. Before we explore the possibilities, let’s examine the basics required by frontline workers: Workplace Safety: Many frontline workers experience unpredictable workplace conditions. For example, a visiting nurse might work in a patient’s home without advance notice of its exceptional circumstances. In contrast, their colleagues in the office or working from home do not experience this same unpredictability. Giving frontline workers the training, tools and working conditions that support physical and psychological safety is paramount to providing a positive environment. Scheduling: Frontline workers rely heavily on shift scheduling, preferably with enough flexibility and advance notice to ensure their earning requirements are met. Sudden shift changes wreak havoc – for example, for the single parent who is balancing childcare – and damage employee engagement. We are well beyond the point in time when tacking paper schedules up in the break room will suffice. HR needs to make sure workers have online access to scheduling, preferably on mobile devices. Communications: Speaking of mobile devices, many frontline workers aren’t sitting in front of a laptop, day in and day out. They don’t have LinkedIn profiles. They’re the busy grocery store clerks, big box cashiers and quick-serve restaurant workers. Sending lengthy emails with attachments will be ignored. Communicating company updates means sending a video they can watch off hours or texting vital information. And, since their manager isn’t usually apt to be within earshot, ensure the communications include helpful checklists with deadlines. Fryer’s organization conducted research with CGA by NielsenIQ and found that 64 percent of frontline workers say emotional support is more important than it was pre-COVID. This percentage is staggering but not unexpected. Frontline employment is the portion of the workforce that bifurcated into those who lost their jobs during the pandemic (restaurant and hospitality workers) and those who continued on under the most extreme conditions (essential workers such as grocery and healthcare). In 22


the return to “normal,” the psychological contract between employee and employer has been reset, as evidenced by the higher levels of voluntary resignations. That represents an opportunity for HR to address the redefined dynamic with service deliverables that engage frontline workers and help attract and retain qualified talent in this critical category. Consider these possibilities: • Retailer Macy’s plans to fill more than 41,000 full- and part-time seasonal positions for the upcoming holiday season. Sporting goods leader Dick’s will hire 9,000 associates, with Target planning to add 100,000 and Walmart welcoming 40,000 additional associates. Although these are seasonal front-line positions, qualified talent pools are being created. As a result, talent acquisition teams can source experienced candidates who have already experienced the company’s culture first-hand. • Macy’s is also extending “trust” benefits to frontline workers that can make a significant difference. First, the company has increased its hourly wage and added earned wage access. Second, Macy’s has changed its tuition-as-a-benefit approach by partnering with Guild Education to make college a reality without restrictions or upfront costs. • Offering higher education benefits also tops the list for healthcare providers. A poll by the professional services firm Aon found that 51 percent of hospitals are ramping up their hiring practices to include tuition reimbursement (94 percent), flexible work options (78 percent), personal leave (74 percent) and financial wellness planning and support (72 percent) to attract and retain talent. • The Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Work Innovation joined #FirstRespondersFirst, an initiative designed to support and sustain the health and well-being of frontline workers. Through this partnership, J&J worked to co-create content, tools and resources to improve the resilience and well-being needs of this frontline population to help spur systematic change amidst the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Worker shortages, the “Great Resignation” and shifting population demographics are increasing the need to attract and engage frontline workers systematically. Industries that languished during the pandemic have rebounded with unprecedented velocity, creating an unparalleled fervor to address the opportunities. No organization can afford to ignore its frontline workers, putting HR in the position of being both strategic advisor and savvy tactician to design programs that make a difference.

Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Ed.D., SPHR, CAE, is CEO of HRCI, the world’s premier credentialing and learning organization for the human resources profession. Before joining HRCI, she spent more than 25 years in HR leadership and teaching roles. She is a member of the Economic Club, serves on the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, is a member of the CEO Roundtable, and is on the board for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. Amy holds a doctorate from The George Washington University, an MBA and MA from Marymount University, and a BS from Hood College.


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Are You Ready for the Dec. 27, 2022, Rx and Health Care Spending Reporting Deadline? By STEPHANIE RABORN

You are probably familiar with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) by now since it contains a host of provisions affecting businesses and their benefit plans. But how much do you know about the CAA-required prescription drug and health care reporting requirements? With a Dec. 27, 2022, deadline looming, it’s time to make sure your group health plan (GHP) is on track to timely comply. Below, we review the agency guidance received thus far on how to do so and provide some tips on how to manage the process. Remember, CAA Section 204 requires GHPs or insurers to submit general information on your plan or coverage, as well as detailed information related to Rx spending, total health care spending, and the impact of any Rx rebates, fees or other compensation affecting premiums and out-of-pocket costs. We have received several helpful rounds of guidance on how these reporting rules work. Notably, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Treasury Department (the Departments) collectively issued regulations in November of 2021. HHS later released guidance, including an overview of who must submit and when, data submission instructions, and examples of specific reporting categories. While insurers and third-party administrators (TPAs) are expected to provide much of the reporting, GHPs — and by extension in practical terms, health plan administrators — are ultimately responsible for making sure the necessary information is submitted. Without delving into the history of deferred enforcement, the first deadline administrators need to be concerned with is Dec. 27, 2022. This is the date on which reporting information for 2020 and 2021 is due. Reporting for 2022 will be due on June 1, 2023. So, with that exciting addition to plan administrators’ agendas, let’s review some general information and practical tips to help ensure compliance with Section 204. First, understand that data must be submitted via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Health Insurance Oversight System (HIOS) through an RxDC, or prescription drug data collection, module. CMS has provided user-friendly instructions, including help desk contact information, which can be found at Prescription Drug Data Collection (RxDC) | CMS. Familiarity with these instructions will be critical for individuals submitting this information on behalf of a GHP. The next practical step is to communicate with your carriers and TPAs about how they will assist since it’s doubtful your GHP has the requisite information on its own. What action is needed will vary depending on your GHP’s structure and the level of the insurer or TPA’s involvement, among other factors. While that makes a one-size-fits-all checklist impracticable, there are several steps you can take to prepare. Fully Insured Plans: If your plan is fully insured, you will need to confirm who will submit the required data via the CMS HIOS system. Fully insured plan administrators will generally be able to rely on insurers for this step but should verify whether the carrier will submit all or a portion of the data on the GHP’s behalf. To that end, administrators should pay attention to carrier 24

communications since carriers may have their own deadlines for you to provide information or a response about filing on your plans’ behalf. At this point some deadlines may have passed. So who’s responsible for making sure this gets done? The November 2021 regulations indicate that a fully insured plan can shift liability for failure to comply with reporting requirements to the carrier. The regulations state, “If a health insurance issuer and a group health plan sponsor enter into a written agreement under which the issuer agrees to provide the information required…and the issuer fails to do so, then the issuer, but not the plan, violates the reporting requirements….” But what is sufficient to constitute such written agreement has not yet been clarified. A generic email stating what the carrier is willing to do probably would not, under a conservative reading of the rules, constitute a “written agreement” that would shield the plan from liability should the carrier fail to report the requisite information. Certainly, a signed written agreement between the plan sponsor and carrier is preferred and encouraged as a best practice. But practically speaking, a mass communication may be the only assurance you can get from carriers. Clarification from the Departments on this point would be welcome. Self-Funded Plans: If you have a self-funded plan, the necessary reporting information may reside with multiple sources, so the first step is to determine who has what. For example, self-funded plans — particularly those with carvedout prescription benefits — may have to coordinate with not only the TPA but also their PBM or other vendors. Determining where the information is might be as simple as an email exchange with the relevant vendors, but this is an important step in the data collection process. You also must decide who will perform the actual reporting. It is possible for a plan to meet its Section 204 reporting obligation by having multiple entities submit information on its behalf. Many vendors are giving clients the option to request their individual plan data to submit the reporting themselves, or to allow it to perform at least a portion of the reporting on their behalf. Since data from previous years is needed, if you changed carriers, TPAs or PBMs you should verify they will assist with the required reporting, whether by filing on your plans’ behalf or by providing the necessary information to do so. Most vendors have specific deadlines for providing assistance, and some may have passed. When deciding who should do your reporting, keep in mind that multiple entities should not submit the same data for a plan, i.e., avoid “double reporting.” So, in essence, plan administrators should keep track of who is reporting what. Self-funded plans can enter into agreements with vendors about reporting responsibility, but unlike fully insured plans, ultimately, they cannot shift liability for compliance. This means that a more proactive approach is prudent. Obtain contractual commitments, if possible, from any vendor providing reporting on your plan’s behalf. Just know that vendors may be unwilling to enter into a contractual agreement to bear liability for noncompliance, at least for this round of reporting. You might have more success when negotiating your contract renewal. There’s a lot to do in a short time. If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to get moving!

Stephanie Raborn, JD

Employee Benefits Compliance Officer

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A New No-Cost Benefit that Your Employees Will Love! By KEN JOYNER

Recently my wife and I were on board the largest cruise ship in the

I learned that the guys were Vice Presidents in their respective

world, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Harmony of The Seas. Shortly

human resource departments and were also SHRM-SCP

after the host seated us at our dining table for the next seven nights we

certified (Society for Human Resource Management, Senior

were joined by three other couples.

Certified Professional), and the lady was the senior corporate

Turns out two of the guys were HR executives at their respective companies, as well as one of the ladies. I shared that my background was working with human resource departments in providing employee refreshment programs for our customers.

recruiter for her company. Both guys were employed by companies that had 185 employees and 235 employees and her company had 310 employees. During our conversations I shared that the vending industry has a direct effect on employee morale and productivity. Boy oh boy, did that open a can of worms with these three dining partners! All three agreed that a professional employee refreshment program can have both positive and negative effects at their companies. At first I began to think maybe I should not have mentioned that I was in vending. Several questions and comments from our dinner mates included why can’t someone invent a vending machine that will vend the product selected at least 99% of the time. In addition, I was told that they had more important issues to deal with than having to make sure that each employee gets a refund when their machines did not vend the product. They also mentioned the amount of time that one of their staff had to spend meeting with the vending company route person on this issue. All vending company salespeople come in and tell a good story about how their service is the best and make promises. However, once they get their machines installed, they seldom hear from the salesperson or anyone from the management team who made all the commitments and promises. I agreed that their concerns and issues were valid and that a truly professional vendor would make every effort to resolve these and any other service issues that may arise with their vending company.


I informed our dining partners that most new state-of-the art electronic

FOOD-FOOD-FOOD-FOOD- All three of these human

merchandisers manufactured in recent years come equipped with

resource professionals were unanimous when the subject of

guaranteed product delivery systems where their employees will

food products (not just snacks) came up to attract and retain

always get the product they have selected, or they will get their money

employees at their companies. Each of them said it seemed

refunded on the spot. Both HR VPs said that would be a problem-solver,

as though almost all vending companies they have dealt with

no doubt. I hesitated to say what I am about to reveal. However, I told

were less than enthusiastic when they requested fresh and

myself to go ahead anyway. One day while I was up on the deck of the

or frozen food products be available in the vending machines

ship, one of the VP’s asked if I saw a picture of their machines, could I tell if the machines had a guaranteed product delivery system? My reply was “probably so,” if I could have a close-up of the front of the machine. The next day he showed me a picture that one of his people had sent to him. Sure enough, it had a guaranteed product delivery system; but his

located in their breakrooms or employee lounges. I am happy to advise that Advantage Refreshments offer an extensive line of fresh and frozen food choices for our customers to choose from!

current vendor had never told him about it or how it works!

We invite you to try our state-of-the-art vending machines – at

I also shared with them that Advantage Refreshments puts various items

improve employee morale, as well as your company culture!

no cost to the company! This is an employee benefit that will

on sale every month. We rotate various items in and out of our machines on a regular basis, run seasonal promotions on products like Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Fourth of July, just to mention a few. A professional employee refreshment program that offers features and benefits for your employees sets our vending company apart. We direct our marketing, advertising, sales, and incentive programs toward assisting HR departments. That makes the workplace culture better – and everyone wins!

Ken Joyner, MBA, SHRM-SCP

Director of Marketing Advantage Refreshments 715-587-7900



Want to Retain Top-Notch Employees? Offer Childcare Benefits By LEEANN FOSTER

It’s October 6, 2018, Luke marries Laura! Two years later, Liam Foster Graham is born on September 22, 2020. And guess what, now Laura is expecting Little Brother Graham in December. So much joy! So much elation! Until - - - the young couple starts calculating childcare costs for a two-year old and a newborn. Yes, of course, Dad and Mom love their children more than anything. They want only the best for them. Can they afford two children in childcare? Should one of them quit working outside the home? Childcare costs are a stressor for most new parents.

Where do you begin? Below are three steps to follow:

Childcare costs in America average north of $10,000.00 per year per child. WOW! The cost has increased about 15% since 2019. In a Society for Human Resource Management article, Kevin Ehlinger, Vice President of Product Marketing for TTOTIS Childcare On-Demand states, “Childcare has risen at more than twice the rate of inflation, causing some parents, especially woman, to leave the workforce.”

b. Hold an Open Forum, perhaps a lunch-n-learn. Ask employees to bring a brown bag lunch. While together, learn all you can about the best way to use company resources to help employees.

This is a huge concern for growing organizations. As you well know, the talent market is tight and highly competitive. We cannot afford to lose these well-trained, valuable employees. How do we stop the bleeding?

1. L earn about your employees’ needs. There are several ways to do this. Choose what works best for you. Below are some ideas. a. Do an Employee Needs Assessment survey. Not every employee has the same childcare needs. Some want daycare for their toddlers while others will want schedule flexibility to accommodate their teenagers’ extracurricular schedules.

c. Start a Parent Resource Group. Meet quarterly to stay abreast of concerns, issues, etc. 2. Provide What You Can. Offering full-time childcare to employees may be out of reach. Consider scaling the offering back to childcare services that are within the means of the company and if they’re successful, look to grow them in the future. 3. Implement Childcare Benefits on a Trial Basis. If the Chief Financial Officer is concerned about the cost of the new benefit, implement it as a pilot program. Report how useful the benefit is after three to six months; then, adjust. Retention of employees is not the only benefit to offering childcare benefits. There are many, many more. Offering childcare benefits also: o Decreases absenteeism o Increases overall job satisfaction o Strengthens employee commitment

Think about this: What does your company have that no other company has? Your employees! Other companies have great customer service, products, and tools like you. But they do not have YOUR people. Companies that thrive in today’s environment make their people their competitive edge. Thriving companies also take care of people problems, concerns, and issues first!

o Makes your workplace more equitable

To retain our marketable employees, companies must support their working parents!

To encourage businesses to provide childcare to their employees, the federal government offers companies a tax credit to help cover some of the associated costs. The Employer-Provided Childcare Credit, under the Internal Revenue Code Section 45F, offers employers a tax credit of up to 25% of qualified childcare expenditures and 10% of qualified childcare resources and referral expenditures. The credit is capped at $150,000, meaning employers would have to spend around $430,000 to receive the full credit, and any further spending exceeding that amount would not be reimbursed.

Here’s a game plan for you! Offer childcare benefits. Doing so has “proven to yield the highest return on human capital investment”, says Ehlinger. Employer-sponsored childcare is an increasingly in-demand benefit for the modern workforce. According to a Parent Confidence report, 68% of working parents believe employers should offset the cost of childcare, and 81% find a company’s childcare benefits important to their job consideration process. Businesses believe they cannot afford to offer help with childcare costs. At Team Foster Strategy LLC, we believe that companies can’t afford NOT to offer the assistance. This benefit is becoming essential for employee retention. Employers must be adaptive to the changing interests of their employees. Today’s parents care more about childcare assistance than additional work off hours. They are at risk of resigning from their jobs if companies do not value their needs. Employees will stay with a company that understands their familial situations and provides benefits and flexibility for them to care for their children. 30

o Attracts top talent o Increases productivity Lastly, great news!

Qualified childcare expenditures include costs associated with acquiring, constructing, rehabilitating, or expanding property to be used as part of a childcare facility, and for the operating costs of such a facility, including supporting childcare workers through training, scholarships, and wages. Though it is often called the “Childcare Facilities Credit,” employers may also contract with licensed childcare programs, including home-based providers, in addition to operating on-site childcare facilities, to offer childcare services to their employees. Businesses often partner with childcare companies such as the Learning Care Group, Bright Horizons, and KinderCare to offer this benefit. Set a goal for 2023 to be an “Employer of Choice”. Start the process by offering childcare benefits. You and the CFO will be glad you did!

Compliance with Compassion…

… using your head, your heart, and your hands to nurture your employees.

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13th Annual

Human Resources & Employment Law Fall Conference Presented by: WEST TENNESSEE SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT In coordination with: LAW FIRM OF RAINEY, KIZER, REVIERE & BELL, P.L.C.

November 16, 2022 Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m.


Union University Carl Grant Event Center 1050 Union University Dr. Jackson, TN 38305

Join us for an informative day where we will soar into critical issues facing human resources, including: Pre-Flight Check – This is a review of the most up-to-date information on conducting background and reference checks, requiring preemployment physicals, skills testing, and all applicable laws. Keep Your Feet on the Ground: Workers’ Compensation – Discover practical tips for HR and front-line supervisors in handling workers’ comp. claims. Interpersonal HR Competencies – The successful HR professional is one who can communicate well. Learn the interpersonal skills that will make you a more effective manager. Let’s Get Carried Away: Employment Case Studies – An interactive discussion of recent employment law cases and the application of relevant concepts and HR strategies. Head in the Clouds? Top HR Pitfalls that Give Employment Attorneys Heartburn – Learn about the policies and activities in HR that could be possible legal pitfalls for your organization.

Lunch is provided. Explore our impressive showcase of HR-related exhibitors. Great door prizes. Registration Fee:

$100 for WTSHRM Members $125 for non-WTSHRM Members Join WTSHRM for only $25 at:

Register Now!

The registration deadline is Wednesday, November 9, 2022. Register early as seating is limited. You may pay by check or with a credit card. This program has been approved for 6 recertification credit hours through HRCI and SHRM. 731.423.2414

Rapid Responses for Employers’ Needs

Memphis | Jackson | Nashville | Chattanooga

Are You Taking Advantage of US Work Opportunity Tax Credits? US Tax Works 2.0 Can Help! The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal tax program that is administered by each state’s workforce development department. The intent of the program is to incent businesses to hire people that struggle to find work due to circumstances in their lives. The program awards tax credits to businesses who hire applicants from certain target groups. These include members of households that receive(d) TANF or SNAP benefits, unemployed veterans, veterans with service disabilities, former felons, persons receiving SSI benefits, persons that have been unemployed for extended periods and collected unemployment benefits during that time. To qualify, the new hire must be certified by the Workforce Development Department in the state where they work. The applicant fills out the IRS 8850 form that asks about the above conditions. That form along with other IRS forms must be submitted to the state’s Workforce Development Department


within 28 days of the first day worked for consideration. If they meet the requirements, the Department will “certify” them.

The US Department of Labor reports that there were 2,081,474 WOTC certifications in 2021 an increase over 2020 of 28%.

The credits are based on a percentage of the gross payroll for these persons during their first 12 months of employment. They must work a minimum of 120 hours to qualify.

In our current labor climate, employers must look deeper into the talent pool to find the workers they need to take care of their customers. In fact, many employers are hiring from the WOTC target groups and don’t realize they can earn credits for those hires.

At tax time, there is a calculation made for each certified employee on yet another IRS form that is filed with the employer’s tax return. The employer’s tax liability is reduced by the amount of the credits. The employer can receive a credit of up to $9600 per certified new hire. In the event the employer has more credits than their tax liability for that year, the credits can be rolled forward for up to 20 years. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit has been around in its current form since 1996. It is a legislated program and is currently authorized through 2025. Legislation has been introduced to make the program permanent.

The WOTC target groups are made up of potentially great employees who need a little help to become a productive part of our workforce. WOTC allows employers to earn tax credits while expanding their workforce and helping challenged groups find gainful employment.

For further information, please contact Dhane Marques 901.489.8849


Jihae You, Assistant Professor

Director, Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Department of Management, Fogelman College The University of Memphis

Leading Inclusively in Turbulent Times Dr. Jihae You is a new assistant professor of management at the University of Memphis and the incoming director of the Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion in the Fogelman College of Business and Administration. She was a panelist at the recent SHRM Memphis conference on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Below are her comments to questions posed to the panel 1) W ith the rise of Chief Diversity Officer positions and more fully staffed Inclusion teams are you seeing sustained progress? r. You: As a researcher who studies DEI D at the top, I know more and more firms are hiring a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) to ensure that DEI is at the forefront of their goals and missions. Not just firms like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Meta, Wal Mart, Zoom, but also educational institutions including many universities have stepped up to the plate and have hired CDOs to take DEI to the next level. It could be symbolic, which means some firms are just trying to look like they care about DEI. Of course, there are some firms that are trying to make more substantive changes. Overall, I think it is essential that firms give their CDOs real power so they can promote the value of DEI and make some actual changes throughout their organizations. 2) O ur conference theme this year is evolving from Optics to Outcomes. What is one thing you have seen that has produced more equitable outcomes? What has been the impact of that one thing? Dr. You: Powerful corporate constituencies— such as institutional investors (e.g., Blackrock, State Street, Vanguard), public pension funds (e.g., CalPERs and CalSTRS), some states (e.g., California, Illinois), and stock exchanges like NASDAQ—are pushing firms to increase diversity on their boards of directors. As a results, the proportion of women on US boards increased from a little over 10% to almost 30% for the past decade, which is an exciting change. 36

3) For years the consistent thought was that for Inclusion to really create outcomes must be tied to real strategy and approached as a strategic initiative. What can companies do to be more strategic with their initiatives? Dr. You: Again, while some firms are still responding more symbolically to the external pressure for increased diversity, some firms are working hard to make more substantive change. Some problems and solutions I can think of are: A. M inorities often lack access to the networks and resources needed to enter a firm and climb the corporate ladder. Firms should provide minorities more opportunities and also help them improve their social networks and capital by providing systematic mentoring programs. B. Some managers in charge of hiring and promotion might be biased either consciously or unconsciously. Firms should try to address this issue by implementing various programs like diversity performance evaluations, diversity trainings, and cultural sensitivity workshops. 4) In closing what are you most optimistic about as we face the future of leading inclusively? Dr. You: California passed board diversity law (Women on Boards, SB 826) in 2018, which required firms to include women on their boards of directors, but it got overturned just this year. However, even without such legally binding regulations, different parts of our society, such as powerful investors, stock exchange firms like Nasdaq, the media, and academics are pushing firms hard to increase diversity in their upper echelons. As a result, the number of women and people of color is increasing at the top of organizations. This is important because the diversity can trickle down to lower levels of organizations. These changes are not happening fast enough. Also, we should go beyond just increasing diversity and go more towards inclusion and belonging, by empowering the minorities at the top and below. Despite these remaining challenges, I think we’re heading in the right direction and I’m hopeful that we will be living in a much more diverse world where more people feel included and valued in 5-10 years from today.

Consulting services include: • Presentations and workshops to help organizations maximize diversity and increase inclusion and belonging • Development and administration of organizational diversity audits and climate surveys • Training evaluations and assessments to ensure maximum value is realized from current trainings • Assessment of selection and talent management systems to uncover ways to strategically improve diversity management Jihae You, Assistant Professor Director, Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Department of Management, Fogelman College

• Training (e.g. ally training) geared toward ensuring an organizational climate that fosters inclusion and belonging and allows all employees to thrive

ARE YOUR MANDATORY LABOR LAW POSTERS UP-TO-DATE? Take the responsibility off your hands by subscribing to J. J. Keller’s Labor Law Posters from the SHRMStore. If the posters are displayed properly, J. J. Keller guarantees compliant posting requirements—or they will reimburse any fines paid!


SHRM Member: $89.30 Nonmember: $94.30 844.840.3449

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Online HRCI PHR | SPHR Certification Prep Class Online classes begin February 15, 2023 and will meet twice per week for 8 weeks on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. HRCP 2023 Study Materials included: • Six Study Guides • Online practice exams for each Study Guide • 100s of Flashcards • HRCP materials that are among the most effective study guides available and are easy to read and understand

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About the instructor: Cynthia Y. Thompson is Principal and Founder of The Thompson HR Firm, a human resources consulting company in Memphis. She is a senior human resources executive with more than twenty years of human resources experience concentrated in publicly traded companies. She is the Editor | Publisher of HR Professionals Magazine, an HR publication distributed to HR professionals in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Cynthia has an MBA and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institute and is also certified as a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resource Management. She is a faculty member of Christian Brothers University. Cynthia was appointed to serve on the Tennessee DOHR Board of Appeals by Gov. Bill Haslam in 2014.








Jessica Stollings-Holder

Jessica Stollings-Holder

Pamela J. Green Pamela J. Green




Jeff Harry

David Miklas, Esq

Jeff Miklas, Alexandria Agresta Agresta Jeff Harry Harry David Miklas, Esq Esq Dennis Hartin Dr.David Alexis Mootoo Alexandria John Burgess, Esq Evangeline Hawthorne, EEOC Marian Morlock & Dr. Patti Sullivan Dennis Hartin Dr. Alexis Mootoo Bernie Currie John Dennis Hartin Dr. Alexis Mootoo John Burgess, Burgess, Esq Esq Dee Anna Hays, Esq Colene Rogers Jennifer Currence Evangeline Hawthorne, Hawthorne, EEOC EEOC Marian Morlock Morlock & & Dr. Dr. Patti Patti Sullivan Sullivan Evangeline Marian Bernie Currie Currie Bernie Dr. Robert Lemon Randal Weidenaar William Grob, Esq Dee Anna Hays, Esq Colene Rogers Dee AnnaSean Hays, Esq Colene Mahabir Andre YoungRogers Jennifer Jennifer Currence Currence 3 4 5 Dr. Robert Lemon Randal Weidenaar Dr. Robert Lemon Randal Weidenaar William Grob, Grob, Esq Esq 1 HR Tampa Conference Team 2 Pre-conference dinner with speakers William Sean Mahabir REGISTRATION Sean Mahabirand HR Tampa board members

Andre Young

Andre Young 3 Dee Anna Hayes, Esq., Legislative

Director for HR Tampa, and Emily Dickens, SHRM Chief of Staff, Head


of Government Affairs, and Corporate Secretary, provided a legislative update. 4 Dianna Sporcic, Field Services Director for HR Tampa 5 Pamela J. Green was the closing session keynote speaker. 6 HR Tampa Board members













7 Carol Brnich, HR Tampa President-Elect, with Bernie Currie. Bernie was a concurrent speaker, “Who Cares About the Veteran?” 8 Jessica Stollings-Holder was a keynote speaker. 9 Colene Rogers, Founder and CEO of Retention Architects, was a speaker. 10 Photo Op with SHRM’s Emily Dickens 11 Hampton Candy Factory 12 University of South Florida 13 The Shumaker Law Firm 14 Troy University 15 Tampa General Hospital 16 Hub International


Increased Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors: Impact on Steel Erectors By RICHARD ARNHOLT


resident Biden’s Executive Order 14026 (EO 14026), executed on April 27, 2021, increased the minimum hourly wage that federal contractors must pay certain workers on federal construction projects from $10.50 to $15, an action the president explained was aimed at promoting the government’s procurement interests in economy and efficiency by contracting with sources that “adequately” compensate their workers. On November 24, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule implementing EO 14026, which went into effect on January 30, 2022. Unsurprisingly, the benefit to workers will result in taxpayers paying almost 50% more for certain types of services and will increase the cost of labor for the construction companies, including steel erectors, engaged as prime or subcontractors on federal construction projects.

Contracts Covered by the EO 14026 Importantly, this new minimum wage requirement only applies to work under certain types of federal contacts, and then only to “new” contracts entered into on or after January 30, 2022. A contract is considered “new” even if it is (1) an extension of an existing contract, (2) a renewal of an existing contract, or (3) an exercised option on an existing contract. The regulations call for additional wage increases starting January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter. Covered contracts under the EO 14026 include the following types of agreements: • Procurement contracts for construction covered by the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). • Service contracts under the Service Contract Act (SCA). • Concession contracts with the federal government. • Contracts related to federal land and offering of services to the general public, federal employees, and their dependents. The final rule also expressly excludes the following types of federal agreements from the application of the new minimum wage requirements: • Contracts that result from a solicitation issued prior to January 30, 2022, that are entered into on or between January 30, 2022 and March 30, 2022. • Grants. • Contracts with and grants to Indian Tribes. • Contracts for construction and services (except for those expressly covered by EO 14026) that are excluded from DBA or SCA coverage. 42

This article was originally published by the Connector, the official magazine of the Steel Erectors Association of America, in the September 2022 Fall Edition. Contracts for the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, supplies, articles, or equipment to the federal government (i.e., furnishing steel is likely excluded from coverage; however, contracts to erect steel structures are most likely subject to the minimum wage requirement).

EO 14026 and Mixed Funded Projects Construction projects often receive funding from multiple sources – sometimes a mix of state, federal and private dollars. With regard to the new $15 hourly minimum wage rule, it is important to note that it only applies to the specific contract types listed above. That means that only work performed on federal contracts and subcontracts where the contractual provisions are required will be subject to the new minimum wage. In short, determining whether an organization is bound by the provisions of EO 14026 is a question of con- tract, not funding source.

Workers Covered by the EO 14026 In addition, EO 14026 applies to any employee performing work “on or in connection with” the covered contract. DOL defines a worker performing “on” a contract as “a worker [that] directly performs the specific services called for by the contract” and the work is “in connection with” a contract when “the worker’s activities are necessary to the contract.” This means that if a federal contract mandates that a company pay employees at the new minimum wage rate, EO 14026 generally applies to the following categories of employees working on or in connection with that covered contract: • Employees entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage (but not any employee who would be considered an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee). • Service employees entitled to prevailing wages under the SCA. • Laborers and mechanics entitled to prevailing wages under the DBA. It also means that the EO applies to employees working on both the prime contracts and subcontracts. There are no exemptions based on size or contract value for subcontractors. Note that, at least for the time being, state minimum wage laws are irrelevant to the EO 14026’s implementation. Currently, no state has an effective hourly minimum wage law higher than the $15 threshold. Accordingly, for workers on covered federal construction contracts to whom the minimum wage requirement applies, the EO supplants those existing state laws and raises the wages of contractors performing on federal contracts in those states to $15 per hour.

Going Forward Pursuant to EO 14026, the minimum wage became $15 per hour beginning on January 30, 2022 for all applicable employees working on covered contracts. Thereafter, each year beginning on January 1, 2023, the minimum wage will be adjusted by the Secretary of Labor using the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) and rounded in increments of $0.05. For example, if the CPI-W shows an increase of 10%, which is not out of the realm of possibility in the current inflationary environment, the minimum wage would become $16.50 at the beginning of 2023.

Important Tips for Federal Contractors Several lawsuits have already been filed challenging the EO 14026’s implementation. In one suit the Attorneys General from Arizona, Idaho and Nebraska have taken the position that the EO is improper given Congress’s previous rejection of the same wage hike in a COVID-19 relief bill. Another suit filed by Attorneys General of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas alleges the action is arbitrary and capricious, an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power, an usurpation of congressional spending power, and misinterprets authority delegated by the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, 40 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. (the Property Act). Both cases are pending. In fact, earlier this year the United States District Court for the District of Colorado issued a limited injunction of the minimum

wage requirement, prohibiting its application to contracts entered into for seasonal recreation services for the public on federal lands. While the injunction issued in Bradford v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, which was filed by several outdoor recreation companies, is narrow, the decision reflects a broader trend challenging Executive authority to administer an “economical and efficient system” under the Property Act. The injunction is pending appeal. Until these and any subsequent legal challenges are fully resolved, to avoid any potential penalties contractors must comply to the extent that they are subject to this new contractual minimum wage requirement. But because the minimum wage obligation does not automatically apply to construction projects simply because they are funded at least in part by the federal government, contractors should carefully review their prime and subcontracts to determine whether they are subject to this new minimum wage requirement.

Richard Arnholt is a member at Bass, Berry & Sims in Washington, D.C. He advises companies on the complex rules applicable to contracting with federal and state governments. He focuses on risk mitigation through implementation and upgrades to ethics and compliance programs as well as response to government allegations of procurement fraud or misconduct. He can be reached at

GO CONFIDENTLY. Bass, Berry & Sims listens and responds with creative yet practical counsel. We stay on pace with the complex and rapidly evolving employment landscape, connecting your dynamic human resources needs to proactive strategies. Relationships, reliability, and respect – at the center of our Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits practices.

Stay up-to-date on the latest in HR Law. Visit our blog at

Centered to deliver.


MEET Brad Patterson,

Director of 2022 SHRM Georgia Brad joined the Central Savannah River

Brad credits his growth in SHRM with the

individual is deemed worthy of such an

Area (CSRA) SHRM in May 2013 and

mentors he continues to surround himself

accolade. The Legacy Vanguard spotlights

began his volunteer role with the chapter

with in chapters and state councils as well

the lifetime contributions and body-of-work

in January 2015 as the Programs and

as at SHRM. He also credits his growth in

achievements of an HR Professional to the

Certification Chair. He served on the CSRA

SHRM from the support he receives from

HR community as a whole, and SHRM, who

SHRM Board of Directors from 2015 until

his employer and a previous director who

strives to achieve better workplaces and a

encouraged him to join CSRA SHRM and to

better world for all.

2019 until he became Chapter President in 2020. During his tenure as President

work towards certification. He holds a SHRM-Senior Certified

the chapter received a Platinum Excel Award from SHRM. Since the chapter

Currently, Brad is the Senior Manager, HR

Professional certification from SHRM and

offered virtual meetings, the idea of a

Strategic Initiatives with Comcast Cable

Senior Professional in Human Resources

in Augusta, Georgia. He is responsible for

from the Human Resource Certification

change management, project management,

Institute. He also is a Prosci Certified

reporting and data analysis. His career in HR

Change Management Professional (CCMP).

began with the State of Georgia where he

He possesses a Bachelor of Arts Degree in

progressed from a HR Generalist to Deputy

Communications from Augusta University

HR Director for the largest law enforcement

and a Master’s in Public Administration

agency in Georgia. Upon retirement from

(MPA) from Columbus State University in

state government, he accepted a role with

Columbus, Georgia.

prior President, prior to the pandemic, the chapter was ahead of the curve and did not miss a monthly meeting and continued to offer valuable PDC’s for its members. Brad began serving on the SHRM Georgia State Council in 2016 as a member of the State Conference Planning Committee. In 2018 he became the Conference Director and continued through 2021. During this time, he filled a critical vacancy as District Director in 2019 for CSRA SHRM, Laurens HR Association and Middle Georgia

in Augusta, GA. He was later promoted to

He is an instructor for the SHRM-CP and

Senior HR Manager and then moved into his

SHRM-SCP certification.

current role. In addition to his SHRM volunteer roles, During his tenure with the State of Georgia

he serves as Membership Director for

he was selected as a Customer Service

MyAbilities, an Employee Resource Group

Champion and was featured in statewide

at Comcast and has also volunteered

communications. He was also recognized Unexpectedly In early 2022, he assumed

with the United Way of the CSRA. He

as the Central Office Employee of the Year.

coordinated and led several community

the role of State Director after being

Most recently he was honored to receive

investment projects on Comcast Cares

nominated to fill the unexpired term of the

the SHRM Georgia Legacy Vanguard Award

Day from 2014 – 2019, an annual day of

prior Director for the remainder of 2022

in September 2022. This recognition is one

giving back to the communities we live

and then his term of 2023 and 2024.

of distinction and is bestowed only when an

and work in.

SHRM. In 2020 he was selected as the Director-Elect.


Comcast as the Human Resources Manager










1 SHRM GA Conference Team 2 Brad Patterson, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., Van Johnson, Mayor of Savannah, Monique Jenkins and LaTrelle Porter 3 SHRM GA Leadership Team 4 Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., keynote speaker 5 SHRM GA Award Winners 6 Sally Roberts, Past Director of SHRM GA, and Jeff 2022 NCSHRM Conference Director 7 Dethra Giles, a keynote speaker 8 Curtis Woody, SHRM Field Services Director, and Monique Jenkins, SHRM GA Conference Director




2022 Awards Recognition Program Recipients By CRAIG SOUTHERN, PH.D., SHRM-SCP

The SHRM Georgia State Council is pleased to announce the recipients for its 2022 Awards Recognition Program. The awards categories encompass Chapter, Individual, and Organization recognition options for commemorating outstanding contributions to and advancement of the human resources management profession. Here is a summary overview of the recipients for the Awards Recognition Program for 2022 by Chapter, Individual, and Organization:


Chapter of the Year

SHRM Savannah Recognized as a SHRM Chapter that demonstrated excellence in the execution of a project related to one or more of the SHRM Core Areas. Student Chapter of the Year

Clayton State University Recognized as a SHRM Student Chapter that demonstrated its commitment to serving the HR leaders of tomorrow by providing the necessary tools and learning opportunities today.



HR Leader of the Year

Legacy Vanguard

Sally Roberts

Brad Patterson

Recognized as a Human Resources leader who advanced the human resources profession in a significant and impactful way.

This recognition is one of distinction and is bestowed only when an individual is deemed worthy of such an accolade. The Legacy Vanguard spotlights the lifetime contributions and body-of-work achievements of an HR Professional to the HR community as a whole, and SHRM, who strives to achieve better workplaces and a better world for all.

HR Professional of the Year

Casey Duren Recognized as an HR Professional for significant contributions to the advancements of and achievements in human resources management. HR Rising Star

Jessie Gay Recognized as an HR Professional early in their career who has demonstrated the potential today to be an HR leader of tomorrow. Unsung HR Hero

Kelly Grizzle Heralds the behind-the-scenes work and voluntary contributions of an HR Professional in the field of human resources. Volunteer of the Year

Akilah Charlemagne Recognized as a Chapter volunteer who willingly and graciously gave of their time and talent to actively support, promote, and advance the human resources profession at their local Chapter, which in this case is SHRM-Atlanta. ORGANIZATION

Friend of HR Community Partner

Kaiser Permanente Recognized as a company/institution that helped to advance the human resources profession via partnership of support with a local SHRM Chapter, which in this case is SHRM-Atlanta.

All in all, a total of nine awards were handed out across nine awards categories during the SHRM Georgia State Council annual conference last month in Savannah, Georgia. A special ceremony honoring the recipients was held on September 28, 2022, during the conference kick-off on opening day. Craig Southern, Chair for the 2022 Awards Recognition Program, emceed this special ceremony, along with Brad Patterson, SHRM Georgia State Council Director. The nomination window that closed on September 9, 2022, was open to receive submissions occurring during the period of July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. The nomination pool of submissions proved Georgia is rich and blessed to have an abundance of many talented, creative, and resourceful HR Professionals who are truly dedicated to advancing the human resources management profession. The SHRM Georgia State Council extends its sincere appreciation and gratitude for the important, relevant, and worthwhile work being done by HR Professionals across the state of Georgia as evidenced by the nominations received, giving a special nod to all of the 2022 nominees, while also applauding and congratulating the efforts of this year’s awards recipients.

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