Legislative Updated Shared from Stevens Point Area HR Association

Stevens Point Area Human Resource Association – Legal / Legislative Update –  March 2015

Breaking news from Wisconsin!
• The State of Wisconsin Legislature approved Right-To-Work legislation and Governor Walker signed the bill. What does the legislation do? It prohibits future collective bargaining agreements from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to become or remain a union member or to pay any union dues, fees, assessments, charges, or other expenses to a union (such requirements are typically called “union security clauses” because, hey, they provide security for union rosters and treasuries). Check out SPAHRA’s blog posting on the SPAHRA website for more information.

• The IRS has released the final versions of Forms 6055 and 6056 along with instructions on completing the forms. Every provider of minimum essential coverage (MEC) must report coverage information by filing an information return with the IRS (Form 6055) and furnishing a W2-like statement to individuals (Form 6056). The information reporting requirements are effective for coverage provided in 2015, with health coverage providers filing information returns with the IRS and furnishing statements to individuals in 2016, to report coverage information in calendar year 2015. Why am I bothering you with this now, when 2015 has barely begun? Because there is a great deal of information to be collected and stored now so you will be able to meet your reporting obligation in 2016.

• Meanwhile, Harvard professors are outraged that the University’s health insurance plan has increased annual deductibles (to a whopping $250 individual/$750 family), and added $20 copays for office visits and 10% coinsurance, up to out-of-pocket maximums of $1,500 individual/$4,500 family. University communications attributed the changes to ACA provisions related to coverage extensions for children up to age 26, free preventive care, and the impending Cadillac tax set to take effect in 2018. Professors characterized the changes as “deplorable, deeply regressive, a sign of the corporatization of the university” and a pay cut. What tickled my funnybone about this story was that many professors (at Harvard as well as other largely liberal academic settings) supported the passage of the ACA. They really do live in an ivory tower!

• Bloomberg news service reports that large employers (remember, that’s any company with 100 or more employees under the ACA) are increasingly putting an end to their most generous health-care coverage plans as the 40% excise tax known as the Cadillac tax looms closer under the ACA. Companies are introducing higher deductibles, copays, and coinsurance percentages in an effect to reduce the overall premium (value) of the plan to fit under the ACA’s established dollar value definition of high-value health plan (currently $10,200 annual for an individual and $27,500 for a family). A vice president of the National Business Group on Health, which represents large employers, said, “It doesn’t help the company, it doesn’t help the employees, it doesn’t help the shareholders. It doesn’t really help anybody except the federal government.”

Without the revenue from the Cadillac Tax, which was long ago factored into budget projections, the Congressional Budget Office has said that up to $111 billion will be added to the deficit by 2022; something that should have been easily foreseen, because what company wants to, or can afford to, pay a 40% tax on top of all the other fees, taxes, and administrative costs built into the ACA?

• Ambush Election Rule
Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate, in the form of resolutions of disapproval, to block the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) “ambush” election rule. The ambush election rule gets its nickname because of its focus on speeding up the union election process at the expense of both employees and employers, who will have insufficient time to understand the consequences of unionization in the workplace. SHRM believes the ambush election rule constitutes an imbalanced approach that limits employer free speech during union organizing campaigns. The timing of the resolutions is meant to send a message of disapproval prior to the NLRB rule’s April 14, 2015 effective date.
• The day before the feds were set to start issuing paperwork for up to 5 million undocumented workers, a Federal District Court judge issued a temporary injunction on President Obama’s Executive Action on implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the proposed expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The judge’s action was based on his belief that the Obama Administration failed to adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in creating the DAPA program. Specifically, DAPA is a “substantive” or “legislative” rule that should have undergone the notice and comment rulemaking process of the APA. The judge also opined that the 26 states who are suing the administration are likely to prevail on the merits of their case (that implementation will have a significant negative impact financially for individual states). The temporary injunction enjoins the Department of Homeland Security from implementing any and all aspects and phases of the DAPA program and expansions of the DACA program, pending a trial on the merits or a further order by the District Court, Firth Circuit Court of Appeals, or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Blog post submitted by Amanda Pixler, SPAHRA Communications Chair

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Great Chapter Programming on the Docket for the Green Bay Area

Check out what the Green Bay Area Chapter SHRM has lined up for programs in April and May. For more information or to register, check out the chapter website at www.gbshrm.org .

April 15th – Wellness & Worker’s Compensation Insurance Strategy
Cindy CanAsten and Lynn Green

Cindy CanAsten from M3 and Lynn Green from Green Associates will be presenting strategies related to Wellness and Workers Compensation Insurance. The benefits of a coordinated approach and other discussion items!

Benefits of Coordinated Approach:
• Lower Health Care Costs
• Lower Workers Compensation Costs
• Decreased Absence and Higher Productivity

Additional Wellness & Workers Compensation Discussion Items:
• Importance of Mental Health Wellness as Part of the Wellness Program
• No or Low Cost Impact Items

May 20th – Legal Update
Davis & Kuelthau and The Law Firm of Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry

Coming from the law experts of Davis & Kuelthau and the Law Firm of Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, Attorney Bruce Deadman will start the program off by facilitating a group presentation on Wisconsin Federal Legal Developments (case-law, legislation and regulations) where the attorneys will talk about recent state and federal legislative and regulatory developments.

Similar to previous years, attendees will have the opportunity to select between breakout sessions from the topics offered. Pre-selection is not required, simply attend the presentations that appeal to you. The breakout topics are:
• Full Life Cycle of an Employee- Risks and what to watch for
• ADA, FMLA & Workers Compensation Scenarios of the Most Common HR Mistakes
• FLSA Best Practices

Blog post submitted by Rochelle Blindauer, Director of Communications for Green Bay Area SHRM.

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WI SHRM April Programming

Spring conferences for human resources professionals are happening across Wisconsin during the month of April.  There’s one happening near you!

In addition, these great programs are scheduled during the month of April at other local Wisconsin SHRM chapters:

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LASHRM Symposium – Making Sense of Business: Simulation

Save the Date! 

La Crosse Area SHRM Symposium – Making Sense of Business: Simulation

When: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where: Lunda Center, Western Technical College, La Crosse, WI

Time: 8 AM – 4 PM (7:30 AM Registration/Breakfast – Lunch @ 12-12:30 PM)

Cost: $100 for LASHRM Members (a $75 savings)

$175 Non-Members

$75 Students

Registration coming soon!

We need your help!

LASHRM is looking for approximately 12 table sponsors/organizations to make this event a success. Each sponsor (your organization) will “decorate” their table with pens, paper, etc. along with any marketing materials and brochures. In addition, the sponsor will be advertised in the LASHRM newsletter and newspaper announcement. All for a nominal sponsorship fee of $100.00 per table!

If your organization is interested in becoming a table sponsor, please contact Tracy Schams, LASHRM President-Elect at tschams@stansfieldvending.com or Miranda Eisermann, LASHRM Past President at meisermann@inlandlabel.com for more information. Thank you in advance for your consideration!

Making Sense of Business – Tell me more:

In this day long workshop, participants become entrepreneurial executives, teams become corporate giants, and the classroom becomes an entire industry. Teams decide what prices to set, whether to increase capacity, how much money to borrow, what R&D to pursue, and how to improve prices, cost structure, and cash flow. The business simulation models the real world, enabling participants to see their decisions’ impact on other departments, the ability to make future decisions, and the company’s bottom line results. Learners come away with an enhanced business readiness to take initiatives in everyday activities, leading to reductions in costs, inventories, and working capital; and enhanced understanding of how and why their everyday decisions and actions impact other areas of the company.


  •  Business has its own language, and this program is designed to help everyone communicate in the common language of the business. Many HR professionals have no idea what they’re looking at when reviewing a P&L. If we want a seat at the table we need to be a value add when we get invited.
  • Build your business vocabulary… know what you’re looking for when reviewing your organization’s financial statements understand the whole business and how it works.
  • The workbook clarifies business visualization, and offers participants the opportunity to come back and refresh their learning. In business visualization, you gain an enhanced way of seeing the interconnectedness of business ideas and concepts.
  • Participants are part of all the interconnections; their decisions impact all other departments (production, finance, marketing & sales, etc.) — and the business as a whole — probably more than they realize.
  • This program allows participants to see more clearly where they “stand on the board,” and how they impact organizational results. This in turn allows them to make better decisions, by anticipating the impacts more accurately.

Facilitator: John D. Lake, Jr.

  • Thought-provoking
  • Dynamic
  • Challenging
  • Fun

These are words that have been used to describe John’s presentations.

He’s not a motivational speaker in the traditional sense (rah-rah, let’s go get ‘em), but he will leave your attendees motivated to think a little differently – and want more!

A veteran presenter and facilitator with over 20 years of global platform and classroom experience, John has worked with all levels of organizations – from boardroom to mailroom. He has presented to 4th graders (over 15 years with Junior Achievement) on up to seasoned business professionals.

Whether developing Business Acumen or Interpersonal Communications skills, John’s primary theme is “WHOLE BUSINESS THINKING” – helping organizations (through their leaders) focus not only on the bottom line, but on the people who make that bottom line happen.

Follow La Crosse Area SHRM for more details on this great event!

Blog post submitted by Miranda Eisermann, Past President of LASHRM

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St. Croix Valley Employers Association Programmimg

St. Croix Valley Employers Association continues their partnership with Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) in New Richmond to host a prep course for individuals who are looking to become certified in the human resources profession, or to just gain extra knowledge in human resources. SCVEA members and HR professional have the opportunity to learn in a class room setting involving open discussion on human resource topics and networking opportunities. The prep course was held at the New Richmond WITC campus with a certified PHR/SPHR instructor.

Here are some great programs on the docket for this strong WI SHRM Chapter:
03/18/15 Managing an HR Department of One: From CHRO to Admin Assistant
05/20/15 SCVEA WI Employment Law Clinic (Networking event to follow)

Blog post submitted by Kristen Wilcox, the Marketing & Events Manager for SCVEA.

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Things to Consider When Developing a Tuition Assistance Program

Tuition Assistance Program

Many employers understand the need to help their employees achieve their personal career goals with many employees desiring an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. The catch for many of these employees is the financial impact when taking on this endeavor. Tuition assistance programs can be extremely beneficial for employees if the policy is clear and concise. Here are a few tips to help you design a tuition assistance program:

  • Clear, concise program: Unfortunately, many times programs/policies can be intimidating and confusing making these programs almost useless. Make every effort to create a program that is easy to understand and has minimal steps for approval. If employees don’t understand it, they won’t use it. Likewise, if they are required to “jump through hoops” to gain approval, they’ll likely not find the program overly beneficial.
  • Who should pay? You’ll need to determine who you would like to pay in your tuition assistance process. Some institutions will defer tuition to the end of the semester for students covered by a tuition assistance program which may allow employers to pay directly to the institution. There are a couple of benefits to this program design. The employer knows the money is going direct to the employee’s education and the employee does not need “foot the bill” for a significant expense and then wait for reimbursement. The down-side to this design is that not all institutions allow tuition deferral so you may be paying benefits differently across your employee population. This may become administratively burdensome. On the other hand, you may consider a reimbursement program where the employee pays the tuition and is then reimbursed upon successful completion. The upside to this design is a consistent process for all employees which is administratively appealing for the employer. The downside, again, is that the employee will need to pay tuition at the beginning of the semester and then wait for reimbursement. The cost of tuition is alarming to many people and they are reluctant to take on the cost even with tuition assistance available. There is no “right” answer here – you’ll need to make a decision based on your company’s culture and values.
  • How much should I pay? The federal government has a limit of $5,250 annually per employee for tuition assistance before tax with-holdings become an issue. Generally speaking, most plan designs will pay tuition for employees earning a grade of “C” or better. Some plan designs will pay more for an “A” versus a “B” versus a “C” (100% for an A, 80% for a B, etc.). Tuition assistance programs that pay more for better grades are ideal if your company has a compensation model that is “pay for performance” or merit based since they align nicely with each other.
  • If you’re considering implementing a tuition assistance program, you’ll need to have an understanding of how many employees may use the benefit to help determine your appetite for this employee development program? These two items will help you determine how much you’d like to spend per employee annually.
    • Profession related coursework only? Many employer programs only pay for courses in a degree that are directly related to the employee’s profession though it may not be necessary to have this provision.
    • Consider the annual maximum benefit that your program allows. Does it matter which classes you pay for if you’ve capped your annual commitment to the employee? If the employee’s advancement is largely dependent on obtaining their degree, supporting any course up to your annual maximum may make sense.
  • Retention: Ensure that your program has a repayment commitment included in the program’s policy. A provision that states “employees that voluntarily or involuntarily terminate employment may be required to repay tuition assistance benefits paid in the previous one year/two-year window from the termination date”. This policy language will help you recover costs that you will no longer reap a reward from the employee gaining the degree. You’ll need to determine the appropriate repayment window for your company.

For more information, please contact the Fond du Lac Area Human Resources Association at info@fdlac.com.

Disclaimer: The Fond du Lac Area Human Resources Association (“Association”) provides the above information for general purposes only. While the Association attempts to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate, the Association is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the information, or for the results obtained from the use of the information contained herein. All information is provided “as is” with no warranties, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purposes. The Association provides no guarantee or completeness, accuracy, timeliness, or of the results to be obtained from the use of this information. In no event will the Association, the Fond du Lac Association of Commerce, or either’s officers, directors, employees, agents, or insurers be liable to any person for any decision made or action taken in reliance of the information contained herein nor for any incidental, consequential, special, or other damages resulting therefrom, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

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Central Wisconsin SHRM Is Sponsoring some Great Events

Upcoming Events with Central Wisconsin SHRM

CWSHRM is providing lots of education to their members this spring. On March 12, the monthly membership meeting is an all-day education session with speaker Sara Christensen from Ideation Consulting speaking about, “Critical Leadership: Why Traditional Management Techniques are Counter-Productive in the Modern Workplace.”

On April 9th, we are holding our annual Human Resources and Labor Law Conference. This is the eighteenth year that our chapter is offering this conference.

Our opening and closing keynote speaker is Margaret Morford . Her opening presentation will be on “Strategic HR – The Normal Play Book Won’t Get You there.” Her closing presentation will be “Making the Horse Drink – How to Get Supervisors to Document Without Beating Them.” Margaret is the CEO of The HR Edge, Inc., an international management consulting and training company.

The conference will also include sessions from our legal partner, Ruder Ware. Attorneys Sara Ackermann and Kevin Terry will speak about conducting workplace investigations. Attorneys Dean Dietrich and Steve Bohrer will give an EEOC update regarding retaliation claims.

Blog post submitted by Krissy Rodewald, SPHR – Past-President of Central Wisconsin SHRM

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Increasing Social Media Traffic With “Hot Topics”

The year of social media!

In an effort to increase social media traffic, JCHRMA has created a ‘Hot Topic’ each month. Prior to each chapter meeting, we let all members know the topic of the month. We take a few minutes at the beginning of the chapter meeting to introduce that topic and then open it up for everyone to stick around after the meeting to discuss it further. We then post the topic to our social media accounts to generate conversation throughout the month.

So far, we’ve had topics such as ‘Making Pay Public’, ‘Do employees leave companies or managers?’ and ‘What makes a leader successful?’ Each topic is linked to an article relevant to the world of HR.

We plan to have a Hot Topic in each month of our program year. It’s a great way to start a discussion at a chapter meeting as well as reach out via social media to those members who may not have been able to attend. In addition, it encourages interaction throughout the month, not just for a few hours!

Blog post submitted by Melissa Reinwald, SPHR – President of Jefferson County Human Resource Management Association

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WISHRM February Programming

Wisconsin SHRM and Wisconsin Local SHRM Chapters are offering great programming next Month.  February and March look to be the months to get an Employment Law Update in several chapters across the state. Plan to attend one or several of the terrific Chapter Programs and State Council events coming up over the upcoming weeks:

February 3: New Post-Secondary Mentor Program – Fon du Lac Area HR Association

February 4: Leadership Development:  Competitive Advantage or Smoke & Mirrors – GMA SHRM Round Table

February 10: Sifting through the Generational Drama – GMA SHRM HR Toolbox

February 10: Employee Handbook Auditing – Blackhawk HR Association

February 11:  Diversity & Inclusion Special Interest Group – Metro Milwaukee SHRM

February 15:  Importance of Social Responsibility and Leadership – Central Wisconsin SHRM

February 17:  Labor Law and Employment Law Update – Fox Valley SHRM

February 18:  Talent Assessments and Identifying & Grooming High Potentials – Green Bay Area Chapter SHRM

February 18:  Effective Mentoring – La Crosse Area SHRM

February 19: 2015 Employment Law Update – Eau Claire – Chippewa Valley SHRM

February 20: 2015 Employment Law Update – Menomonie – Chippewa Valley SHRM

February 26: What Every Recruiter Should Know About Non-Competes – Metro Milwaukee SHRM – Talent Acquisition SIG

March 5:  Day On The Hill – WISHRM

March 6-7:  WISHRM Student Conference and HR Games – WISHRM

March 10:  Human Resources and Lean – Oshkosh Area SHRM

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2015 WISHRM Student Conference and HR Games Competition

UW Whitewater is the site for this year’s WI SHRM Student Conference and HR Games Competition on March 6-7.  The HR students at the University have been hard at work planning a great event.   Professional HR volunteers are still needed to make this a successful competition for the next generation of HR professionals.  Check your availability and consider if you have a few hours to give back to the profession.   To learn more about the volunteer opportunities click here.

Register today to ensure your spot at the conference!  Registration ends on February 16th.

There are 5 different registration types to choose from:

(1) Student HR Games Participant: Teams of 2 or 3 compete in jeopardy-style competition in HR-related categories!  Before registering, pick your teammates and come up with a team name as you will need this to register.  Each member of the team must register separately and use the same team name.  What is HR Games?  Check out information at SHRM Website.

(2) Student – Conference Only: For those students that want to attend but are not interested in competing on an HR Games team. There will be events on Friday night for you to participate in if you are not interested in watching the games; you are also welcome to volunteer.

(3) Chapter Advisor – Advisors attending with your chapter.(4) Conference Volunteers – for those Professional Chapter Members that are interested in giving their time at the conference.

 (5) Speakers/MBA – for those attending as a speaker or to represent an MBA program.

  UW Whitewater – Hyland Hall
809 W. Starin Road
Whitewater, WI 53190
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