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  • 31 Oct 2018 7:32 PM | Rebecca Kellner (Administrator)

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

    • EEOC released preliminary data showing sexual harassment claims increased 12% in the last year since #MeToo.
    • DOL created voluntary reporting mechanisms to correct employee benefit plan issues. 
    • Proposed rules issued by DOL would expand the use of HRAs to pay for individual insurance premiums.  SHRM has a summary here.
    • DOL also proposed rules to create association 401(k) plans, allowing small employers to band together to offer retirement savings.  Check out SHRM’s article for more details.
    • If you are thinking about setting up an association health plan, there’s new compliance assistance available on employer.gov from DOL.
    • OSHA “clarified” its prior guidance on anti-retaliation provisions and the application to post-accident drug testing.  But see this article asking if the memo really provided any clarification.
    • OSHA is focusing on inspecting employers that failed to report injury data for the 2016 calendar year.
    • OSHA released the 2018 most-frequently cited workplace violations.
    • DOL updated the Labor Condition Application for H-1B visa applicants.
    • TN visas managed to make the cut in the newly-negotiated NAFTA agreement.
    • USCIS is set to propose H-1B lottery reform.
    • Social Security Administration increased the maximum earnings subject to SS payroll tax for 2019.
    • The Supreme Court resumed session.  For a look at employment cases on the docket this year (ADEA and arbitration), check out this article from SHRM.  Here’s a more in-depth article about the arguments set forth in the case over whether independent truck drivers must arbitrate workplace claims.

    • The 7th Circuit Court rejected an employer’s argument that “sexual horseplay” is not actionable harassment under Title VII.  In essence, because the men engaged in horseplay with other men and excluded the women, the Court concluded that the harassment was based on the employee’s sex (albeit same sex as the harasser), finding in favor of the employee. 

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

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


  • 21 Oct 2018 6:56 PM | Rebecca Kellner (Administrator)

    If you haven't checked your mail in awhile or watched any television, you might not realize there's a midterm election coming up.  But chances are the political ads have you informed to some extent.  Did you know historically that about 40% of those eligible to vote actually do so in a midterm election year? 

    If you wondered about the election this year, or the candidates, or just don't feel like you know enough to vote, we've got you covered! 

    The Candidates

    SHRM makes this really easy with a lookup tool they've built here.  Simply search by your zip code and you'll get a complete list of those running for both state and federal offices.  Some zip codes might cross multiple districts, so if you want to know exactly what will appear on your ballot, try this lookup tool from Ballotpedia, which searches based on your actual home address.

    This year, everyone in the state of Wisconsin will be voting for the one of our federal Senate seats.  Currently that seat is filled by Tammy Baldwin (D).  Her seat is being challenged by Leah Vukmir (R).  In addition, everyone in Wisconsin will be voting for the state Governor, which is currently filled by Scott Walker (R).  He is being challenged by Tony Evers (D), Phillip Anderson (L), and Michael White (G).

    Your House Representative must run for re-election every 2 years, so you'll also see that name on your ballot.  For example, if you live in the 8th Congressional District (Appleton & Green Bay area), the current incumbent, Mike Gallagher (R), is running against Beau Lieugeois (D).  For those in the 6th Congressional District (south of Appleton, including Neenah), you'll see Glenn Grothman (R) try to keep his seat from challenger Dan Kohl (D).   

    Within the state, half of the state Senate is up for election, so you may or may not have to vote for your state Senator.  All members of the Wisconsin Assembly are up for vote every 2 years, so you'll be voting on your Assembly member this year as well.  You can find those candidates specific to your address based on either the SHRM or Ballotpedia lookup tools, linked above.

    The positions

    Great, so we know who's running.  But how do you choose?  Well, this does require a little bit of work. 'There's several fantastic tools available from VoteSmart.org.  That organization is non-partisan and does not accept donations from corporations, politicians, or government, so it's truly non-partisan.  You can type in the name of any candidate running mentioned above and find everything from their bio, to their actual voting record (if applicable), to who is funding that politician, to what positions they take on important issues. 


    You must be registered to vote in Wisconsin.  The deadline to register in advance is already passed, but luckily, you can register at the poll on the day of the election (November 6).  You will need to bring proof of your current residence though in order to complete registration.  See a complete list on the 2nd page of this application.

    You can check here if you are already registered to vote.


    If you want to vote in advance of November 6, you can learn more about absentee voting here.

    To find your polling place, you can check out this link from Wisconsin.  Make sure you bring a photo ID to vote.

    See you November 6th! 

  • 14 Oct 2018 8:19 PM | Nykki Milhaupt (Administrator)

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

    FVSHRM Newsletter (3).pdf

  • 01 Oct 2018 12:07 PM | Rebecca Kellner (Administrator)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


  • 24 Sep 2018 4:57 PM | Rebecca Kellner (Administrator)

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

    Hi Members Fox Valley SHRM,

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

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

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

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

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


     Thank you,

    Yvonne Kehl
    Autumn Hill, LLC
    Creative Communications

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

    Hey FVSHRM members-

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

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

    VP of Professional Development.pdf

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

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

  • 09 Sep 2018 7:48 PM | Rebecca Kellner (Administrator)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    o   Protecting religious freedoms of businesses

    o   Focusing reviews to ensure equal employment opportunities

    o   Analysis of compensation practices

    o   Recognition programs

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

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

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

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

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  • 20 Aug 2018 10:57 AM | Rebecca Kellner (Administrator)

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

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

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

    Here is how learning to love networking can benefit you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Other opportunities:

            Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce events

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

            WI SHRM state conference

            FVSHRM supported mock interviews in our local High Schools

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

    We look forward to connecting with you!


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