2021 Day on the Hill Wrap Up
by Erinn Stromberg, CCWP
Wisconsin State Council SHRM
This year’s 7th Annual Wisconsin State Council SHRM Day on the Hill event was quite warmer depending upon your personal office area temperature versus the 4 degrees we braved in 2020! While we were not in person, we had a very good turnout of over 135+ attendees for this virtual event. This is over double the normal attendance. It was a great day to get updated on employment law and public policy updates.
The event started with a few breakout rooms for Coffee and Conversations. We were able to interact, connect and share best practices and ideas of the following topics: Managing Employee Leaves, Managing Remote Workers and Criminal Background Checks and Getting Talent Back to Work. A very special thanks to Lindsay Lloyd from Leave Solutions, Robin Hegg from Ki Mobility and Jackie Peterson of Sonoco, Inc.
The first speaker was Sean McIntosh, SHRM Senior Specialist, Member Advocacy who spoke about National SHRM Government Affairs and Advocacy Team Updates. Sean spoke about how our voices elevated HR amid a year of historic challenges in 2020. Sean gave an update with regards to employer provisions in omnibus and COVID relief legislation. Also, the 117th Congress and how it is the most diverse in the history of our country. We learned a lot about the priorities of the first 100 days that included climate change/infrastructure, health care reform, political/government reform, immigration reform, tax reform, education reform and racial equity.
We were all again reminded it is policy, not politics and that SHRM pursues nonpartisan public policy efforts to promote flexibility, inclusive and equitable workplaces that help employers thrive as talent is tapped, trained and empowered to reach its full potential. Sean outlined the current public policy priorities: workforce development, workplace equity, workplace flexibility and leave, workplace immigration and workplace healthcare. Sean reminded us all that our voice must be heard through the SHRM Advocacy Team. This team provides collective work that impacts the lives of more than 115 million employees. SHRM’s Advocacy Team (A-Team) has 313+ current members in Wisconsin, along with 11,000 members across all 435 congressional districts across the country. HR professionals, like us, can help elevate the voice of HR and play an integral role in making positive, and impactful policy change for the HR profession in the workplace. To learn more about the SHRM Advocacy Team please visit: www.advocacy.shrm.org or SHRM Public Policy Action Center.
The second speaker was Attorney Bob Gregg from Boardman & Clark, LLP, Legislative Partner for the Wisconsin State Council SHRM. Bob again shared much interesting information about the current state of affairs in Washington, DC. With 2020 having been a Presidential Election year, that is still continuing into 2021, he spoke about the great deal of activity taking place at all levels of government. He spoke about the new President, new Supreme Court, new Congress and more. Bob went over his ever famous and highly entertaining “Strangest Cases.” He covered COVID-19 impact, FLSA, arbitration, discrimination, equal pay and the most dangerous new laws for the HR profession to cue in on in 2021. He reaffirmed that as HR professionals, employment laws can keep us awake at night, but by understanding how to mitigate through them by keeping abreast of new legislation that we can sometimes get a good night’s sleep!
The final speaker was Chris Reader, Senior Director of Workforce and Employment Policy from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). Chris gave an update on mask mandates, COVID-19 legislation, Wisconsin State budget updates, the ongoing HR priorities of WMC and our virtual new life. He reinforced that in our ongoing virtual environment that it is now easier to connect with lawmakers than it has ever been. So, to his case in point – make your voices heard and reach out!
Jeff Palkowski, Director of Government Affairs did a fantastic job planning and facilitating this year’s event. I have big shoes to fill going forward! A special thanks to all those on the Planning Committee! Also, to all of you that not only attended the event, but also took the time to complete the post event survey. The survey responses are very valuable in planning next year’s event. Overall, the survey told us the content was mostly excellent, impactful to your role in HR and that most of you plan to attend in 2022. The early morning roundtables were also very well received. As a reminder, all the materials (slide decks) can be accessed from the Virtual Library for referencing.
Overall, the 7th Annual WI SHRM Day on the Hill provided a new virtual format, updated topics and new opportunities for attendees to advocate, network, and become more aware of public policy issues that impact all of our workplaces. Planning will begin in a few months for the 8th Annual WI SHRM Day on the Hill in 2022, and we hope to see many of you in-person in Madison, Wisconsin next year for this event. An additional virtual component is still in discussion as many of you that took the survey seem to prefer a hybrid option of both in-person and virtual.
SAVE THE DATE: February 9-10, 2022! Please contact Erinn Stromberg at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a member of the WI SHRM Day on the Hill Planning Committee.
And finally, thank you for attending and we will see you next year!