- Education and Events
- Partners and Marketing
- HR InTouch Newsletter
The Monthly Newsletter of the Greater Madison Area SHRM
In This Edition
Government AffairsWisconsin Non-Compete Legislation Introduced
The Employer Should Have Acted Sooner
Technology in HR
GMA SHRM Social Media
GMA SHRM Upcoming Events
HR Toolbox - April 9
Topic: Fun as a Leadership Competency
GMA SHRM Revealed - April 30th
Human Capital Conference - May 12
Celebrating our 10th Annual Conference - A Decade of Difference.
GMA SHRM Member News
A Decade of Difference!
Each year our Human Capital Conference raises the bar on the quality of its keynotes and breakout sessions and the opportunity to network with your peers is unparalleled. You won’t find a better value for your time and money than to spend a day of learning and networking. For only $125, you really can’t go wrong! And, stick around for the networking reception at the end of the conference and you just might win an iPad!
Click here to view the full GMA SHRM Board of Directors
Submitted by Doug Witte, Boardman & Clark
Wisconsin recently enacted "right-to-work" legislation (2015 Wisconsin Act 1). Despite the significant media attention that has been given to the legislation, right-to-work legislation is frequently misunderstood by employers, employees, and the public. This article will explain the new right-to-work law and how it impacts union security provisions, and will answer commonly asked questions regarding the right-to-work law.
General Background on Right-to-Work and Union Security.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the right of employees to join or not to join a union. As a general rule, an employer or a union may not coerce an employee in the exercise of that right. That means, with one exception, an employee cannot be fired or laid off because the employee refused to a join a union or pay dues.
The exception to the general rule is that an employer and a union may enter into an agreement which requires employees to pay "the periodic dues and the initiation fees uniformly required." If such an agreement is reached, employees must be given thirty days to pay the union dues (in the construction industry, employees must only be given seven days to pay the dues). Although an employer and union may agree to require employees to pay union dues, they cannot require an employee to sign a membership application, a membership oath, or a dues deduction authorization. In addition, employees cannot be required to attend union meetings or to become or remain a full member or a member "in good standing" in the union. Such agreements can only require the employee to pay uniform dues and initiation fees. This is commonly referred to as “union security.”
Impact of State Law
Another provision of the NLRA, Section 14, provides that nothing in the NLRA shall be construed as authorizing the execution or application of agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment if such action is prohibited by state law. In other words, if a state passes a law providing that an employee does not have to be a "member" of a union or "pay dues" to a union, the employer and union in that state are prohibited from reaching an agreement requiring employees to pay union dues. These legislative provisions have become commonly known as the "right-to-work" laws, and form the basis for 2015 Wisconsin Act 1.
Simply put, Act 1 provides that no individual can be required to become or remain a member of a labor organization; be required to pay any dues or fees to any labor organization (or 3rd party); be prevented from voluntarily financially supporting a labor organization; or be forced to resign from membership in any labor organization. Wisconsin has become the 25th state in the country to pass “right-to-work” legislation.
Act 1 took effect on March 11, 2015. However, for employers who have existing collective bargaining agreements, the law takes effect upon the renewal, modification, or extension of any agreement after the effective date of the law. Therefore, if a collective bargaining agreement is reopened for the purpose of negotiating changes in any provision in the agreement, including wages, Act 1 becomes immediately effective with respect to the agreement and voids any union security provision contained in the agreement.
Impact on Existing Contracts.
The terms of a current collective bargaining agreement remain in effect until the expiration of the contract, including any current union security provisions. Any new employees hired will be governed by the terms of the existing contract. As contracts near their expiration dates (or maybe sooner), unions may be interested in discussing matters concerning union security and dues check-off with the employer. Every employer’s circumstances may be different and employers should seek further guidance when agreement terms are being addressed. Unions will likely be hesitant to resolve any disputes under the existing contract by a memorandum or letter of understanding because such a change to an existing contract would trigger the application of the right-to-work law as to that contract before the stated term of its expiration.
What About Dues Check-off?
Many labor agreements include a provision stating that the employer will deduct union dues from an employee’s paycheck and submit the dues to the union each month. This makes it easier for the union to collect dues. Such provisions are lawful as long as the employee authorizes the deduction. The new “right-to-work” law in Wisconsin still permits dues deduction “check-offs”. However, Act 1 provides that employees now have the right to terminate such authorizations upon 30 days’ written notice.
Communication with Employees.
Act 1 does not require employers to provide any notice to employees or take any other action. Employees will need to provide dues check-off forms to employers or notify employers to stop any deductions. Historically, it has been assumed that unions would discuss membership, union security, and dues check-off provisions with employees. In practice, this has not always been the case. Employees have at times been left to figure these issues out on their own and some employers simply follow union guidance. It is likely that unions will take a much more active role in communicating with employees on these issues, and in particular soliciting union membership and dues check-off authorizations.
Violating Act 1 constitutes as Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by 9 months in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. Employers should be careful about continuing any sort of union security provision after the effective date of the law, or agreeing to any extension of an agreement with such a provision.
Words of Caution
Employers must be careful about addressing these issues with employees! Under the NLRA, an employer may not interfere in any way with an employee's full and free exercise of the employee’s rights by directing, suggesting, encouraging, assisting, etc., an employee in any way in deciding to become or in becoming a union member, a financial core member, or whether or not to pay dues. An employer can only tell employees what their contractual obligation is, and answer employee questions. An employer cannot encourage the questions, and any answers to employee questions cannot go beyond what was asked by the employee.
Probably most important, if an employer talks to an employee on these issues, the employer must make it absolutely clear that the decision of whether the employee is or is not a union member, or pays dues, is entirely up to the employee, and the employee’s decision on any of these issues will in no way affect the employee’s employment now or in the future.
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Legislation that would significantly enhance the ability of a business to enforce a non-compete agreement has been introduced. On March 5, 2015, Senator Paul Farrow introduced 2015 Senate Bill 69, which is legislation that will repeal and recreate Wisconsin Statute 103.465, the law that governs restrictive covenant agreements (a.k.a. non-compete agreements) in Wisconsin. The proposed legislation clarifies the law and would make judicial enforcement of non-compete agreements more predictable and certain. If passed in its current form, the legislation will radically change how non-compete agreements ae construed and enforced in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s current non-compete law, both the statute and as interpreted by courts, has made Wisconsin one of the more difficult states in which to enforce a non-compete agreement against an employee or former employee. Because of the discretion that the current law provides to a reviewing court, actions to enforce a non-compete agreement are often costly and unpredictable. Under current law, there is a great potential that a reviewing court would find a non-compete agreement to be unenforceable.
The proposed legislation provides for greater predictability and allows employers and employees to operate with a greater level of confidence that the non-compete agreement they are contemplating will be enforced. The proposed legislation would:
The proposed changes signal a new era of restrictive covenants in Wisconsin, overturning prior court precedent and providing clarification and guidance where there was previously uncertainty. More importantly, the proposed law would likely make enforcement of restrictive covenant agreements easier, an effect that generally benefits employers.
If passed, the revised statute will likely be prospective in its application, applying to agreements executed on or after the effective date of the law.
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A warehouse worker told other employees that he was having homicidal thoughts at work. They reported this to management. The company did nothing for almost a month. During that time the employee then came to managers and made several requests for leave for medical insurance paid care for his severe depression. The company then fired him for his earlier statements about homicidal thoughts, claiming it violated the company policy about threats and workplace violence. He filed an ADA case, and the court ruled in his favor. It found that the several week delay was a problem. If the company had fired him quickly then there would have been no case at all – he did violate the anti-violence policy. However, management waited, and waited until he raised the issue of disability and requested treatment under the “expense of the company’s health insurance.” Then they fired him. It created every appearance that the disability and health expenses were the real reason for the discharge. Walton v. Spherion Staffing (E.D. Pa., 2015).
The Workforce Readiness and Diversity Committee is in partnership with the Salvation Army Job Connect event. This happens every Wednesday from 10:00 am until 12:00pm at the Salvation Army on 3030 Darbo Drive. During this time participants can come and meet with different resource programs such as food share, housing, and mock interviews / resume reviews. Typically under 20 people attend each Wednesday and our volunteers meet with 1-3 people to do interviews or review resumes. This is similar to the Job Boot Camp program. The volunteers that have attended these events recently have met with some great people and even had the opportunity to pursue a few job openings.
Please contact Lori Sheets (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in volunteering or would like to learn more. Thank you!
Have You Found These 10 Hidden LinkedIn Features?
By Wayne Breitbarth
Wow. With all the LinkedIn changes taking place lately, even a guy like me has a hard time catching up. So, I’m going to share with you ten really cool hidden LinkedIn features you may have missed.
1. Give them a shout-out. Here is a really cool but simple way to get someone’s attention when either sharing or commenting on a status update.
Just type an “@” sign prior to including someone’s name in an update. Then when you find the person and select them in the list provided by LinkedIn, the person’s name will be hyperlinked to their profile. At the same time LinkedIn will send them a message notifying them that they were mentioned in your update. You can do the same thing with company names.
Sometimes this is a little quirky when you have multiple people in your network with similar names. Therefore, try entering the person’s last name if they aren’t found correctly when using their first name. The extra effort is worth it.
2. How many connections is 500+? You can now get reasonably close to the actual number by going to the person’s profile, scrolling over the small down arrow, and then clicking View recent activity. The number of followers will appear in the upper right-hand corner. Followers are defined as connections plus people who have clicked the Follow button on someone’s profile. Thus, the number isn’t exact, but it should be pretty close to the number of connections the person has.
3. What are they talking about? If you go to View Recent Activity and follow the same steps outlined in #2 above, you can see what the person has been sharing in his/her updates for up to the last couple months. If you want to automatically get the person’s updates going forward, just click Follow.
4. Is this group really for you? Check out the group’s statistics when evaluating whether to join a group or not. Some of the statistics include member demographics (seniority, function, location, industry), membership growth, and activity (number and trends of comments, discussions, jobs, promotions).To find a group’s statistics, click the “i” icon on any group profile.
5. I’m not really interested in what you have to say. If someone is sharing updates that are really not in your areas of interest but you don’t want to disconnect with the person, just scroll over to the top right-hand corner the next time you see one of his/her updates and click the word Hide. Then you will no longer receive the person’s updates in your feed. You can always “unhide” if you want to start receiving them again.
6. Find the experts and see what they are writing about. You can search the entire LinkedIn database of long-form published posts (articles), even those written by people you are not connected to. Just use keywords after you select Posts from the drop-down menu in the main Search box.
7. Birds of a feather. LinkedIn really does a great job helping you find people with similar characteristics (company, groups, job titles, location, etc.) to the person whose profile you are currently checking out.
Three sections you ought to check out to find these “birds of a feather” are:
These sections usually show up in the right-hand column if you scroll down just a bit from the top of the person’s profile.
8. Who went to school for what? LinkedIn refers to this as Fields of Study Explorer. It enables you to see a complete list of all the people who had a certain major in school, and you can filter by:
You can access this by clicking Fields of Study Explorer after clicking Education on your top toolbar. This is a great tool for recruiting. Trust me–you are going to love this one.
9. It is your data anyway. This is a fairly new feature. You can request a zip file from LinkedIn that is full of spreadsheets with all sorts of your data, including a complete list of your first-level connections, your search history and so much more. Get yours by going to your photo on the top right of your toolbar and selecting Privacy & Settings. Choose Account and then Request an archive of your data. Within 72 hours, you will get your zip file.
10. Who doesn’t love to save $10? Here is one that may save you lots of money. In order to send a direct message to a person you are not connected to, you have to purchase an InMail or use one of the InMails you get with your premium account–unless, of course, you share a LinkedIn group with that individual. Yes, that’s right. If you are both in the same group, you can message him/her for free–with only one exception; that is, if the person has changed his/her settings and chosen to not accept messages from fellow group members. However, this rarely happens because the default setting is Allow members of this group to send me messages via LinkedIn.
To do this, when you’re on the profile of a person you’d like to message but who isn’t a first-level connection, scroll down to the person’s groups and see what groups you can join. Join the group, go into the group itself, click Members, and then put the person’s name in the Search box. When his/her name comes up, select Send message and do just that.
Nice job! You just saved $10 or saved one of your InMails for someone who doesn’t belong to any groups or at least any groups that you have permission to join.
I hope you found a few goodies on this list. If you did, be sure to share this article with your LinkedIn network .They’re sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness.
For more helpful tips, visit www.powerformula.net.
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Certification Webpage now available!
GMA SHRM recently launched a new page on our website which provides information on the SHRM and HRCI Certifications, in addition to information on the student Assurance of Learning Exam. Visit www.gmashrm.org and click on “Certification Information” under the “Education and Events” header to learn more.
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The Pathways program for the new SHRM Certification is now available! Your existing HR certification constitutes your eligibility to earn the SHRM-CP (equivalent to the PHR) or SHRM-SCP (equivalent to the SPHR) which indicates to the global HR community that you have the competencies, knowledge and skills to perform effectively in today's ever-changing workplace.
Once you complete this process, you will earn the new SHRM credential and begin a three-year SHRM recertification cycle. You will not lose or have to give up any of your current credentials in order to obtain the new SHRM Certification.
By Arichica Prescott
Is your company a great place to work?
Madison Magazine continues its tradition of highlighting the best workplaces across the city with Best Places to Work 2015. The project invites Madison-area companies to nominate themselves for participation and then asks employees to fill out an online survey that measures employee engagement in ten key areas—from teamwork and manager effectiveness to job satisfaction and benefits.
The nominations period runs March 16 to April 17, with the survey period taking place April 27 to May 29. The survey is confidential and only the top-ranked companies will be featured in the October issue of Madison Magazine.
To nominate a local company or to find more details, visit madisonmagazine.com/bptw.
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UW Madison - AIESEC Event
AIESEC – Madison, a student organization at UW Madison, in partnership with 100State and LetsKeepBuilding is hosting a networking event on April 17th from 6-9pm. The goal of the event is for UW students to connect with business professionals and to learn about potential for opportunities or to help build their network. HR professionals will have the chance to network with these bright students and speak with them about their company. Please contact Ian Kawetschanky at email@example.com with any questions. Please click here to register for the event.
GMA SHRM Social Media
Our Member Directory is Now Mobile Friendly!
Wish you could stay connected with GMA SHRM members? Now you can search for a member, call, e-mail or find directions to their listed location and be confident that it’s up to date. Check it out today, you can now stay better connected to GMA SHRM members and it’s just a click away at http://www.gmashrm.org/mobile
Want to know what’s going on in HR for the other areas of Wisconsin? WI SHRM has a new blog, Forward HR. Click here to take a look.
Topic: Fun as a Leadership Competency
GMA SHRM Member Spotlight
Name: Keri Braithwaite
Where do you currently work?
The QTI Group
What is the focus of your position?
As a Client Employment Specialist, I partner with our clients to address their direct hire, long term and short term staffing needs by providing top-notch, qualified candidates within a variety of industries and professions.
How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest?
I am proud to work at The QTI Group! Every day is extremely rewarding as we see the results of our team’s efforts. I feel fortunate to be able to positively impact Madison area businesses, and enhance lives within our community with each successful placement.
I am equally proud to have participated in the Bike4BGC event this past year on QTI Group’s corporate team. The Bike4BCG event is an annual, fun-filled bike ride where pledges are raised to support the ongoing mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. I not only participated by riding in the event but also helped raised $1,000+ in pledges. I’m happy to share I was asked to join the Bike4BGC Committee for this year’s event. I am looking forward to playing an even greater role in the continued success of this fantastic organization.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Tomorrow is never promised, so make today count.
Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
To stay connected with other human resource professionals, and stay abreast of the many changes within human resources.
GMA SHRM Volunteer Spotlight
Name: Julie Pankow-Helland
How long have you been volunteering with GMA SHRM?
What committee are you volunteering with? Have you volunteered on other committees? If yes, which one?
Communication and Marketing
What do you enjoy about volunteering?
I like being able to help with the marketing ideas. My background is in marketing and reaching out to others.
What would you say to others who are considering volunteering with GMA SHRM?
Please find one of the committee’s that would fit your interests. Or try a new one to learn how to help in a new area.
What have you gotten back from volunteering with GMA SHRM?
I have gotten a good feeling of being able to be part of the Communication and Marketing committee’s progress. I have also meet some really great people along the way.
Welcome New Members!
GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in January 2015!
Have you started with a new company? Has your organization recently promoted you to a new position? Or do you want to recognize a new person or promotion within your department? If so, we want to hear about it. Send us an e-mail, and we’ll publish your good news in the next HR InTouch!
If you are a member who is in between jobs, or who is currently employed but seeking new positions or career paths, write us a brief description of your skill set, areas of expertise, what you’re looking for, etc. Send us an e-mail. We’ll publish your information in the next HR InTouch.
HR InTouch Guidelines
Do you have an interest in writing for the HR InTouch? We have an interest in learning more about your area of expertise!
Why should you volunteer? Top three reasons: 1) to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others; 2) to become more connected in the HR and Dane County communities; and 3) to contribute towards the advancement of GMA SHRM and the HR profession.
The first step is for you to choose a submission option: you can pre-submit an article to GMA SHRM at any time for us to use in any of the upcoming newsletters, you can sign up to write for a particular month, or we can put you on a list of people to contact in future months whenever we need articles.
Because the HR InTouch is now in an online format, the size is flexible. The article should be engaging and hold readers’ attention. Include the core information in your article, and we will advise if it is too lengthy.
GMA SHRM is conscious not to allow solicitation through the articles, in an effort to protect the interests of our partners and members. The nature of the article should be educational (i.e., what are the business advantages of having a product like yours) or informational. Otherwise, if you truly are interested in advertising through the HR InTouch, you can work with our Marketing Committee. As a rule of thumb for article writing, if the submission relates to a for-profit event, or specifically markets your company (vs. your industry), it is an advertisement, and should be purchased. If it is a not-for-profit event that your company is hosting, or an announcement (i.e., a SHRM member recently joined your company), it is an acceptable addition to the HR InTouch content. If you have any questions related to the appropriateness of your submission, please contact us.
If you have questions, or to submit an article, contact GMA SHRM at firstname.lastname@example.org .