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SHRM A-Team Gives Lawmakers HR Perspective in New Hampshire!

    October 1, 2014

    SHRM A-Team Gives Lawmakers HR Perspective

    By SHRM Online staff


    Congress may have been in recess during August, but the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Advocacy Team (A-Team) was in operational mode, forging relationships with lawmakers and their staffs and advocating on behalf of issues affecting HR professionals and their organizations.

    SHRM began the A-Team in 2010. One of its goals was to establish a network of SHRM members—known as Advocacy Captains—to bolster member advocacy and advance the interests of the HR profession with lawmakers in all 50 states. The captains serve as the face of HR within a particular legislative district and act as the point of contact for SHRM’s Government Affairs Team when the need for in-district advocacy arises.

    A-Team activity in August included:

    Ten members of the New Hampshire A-Team met as a group with three local staff members of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to discuss potential Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations and legislation, the anticipated overtime regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor, and the definition of a full-time employee under the health care law.

    They also had a great discussion  about “how each piece of potential legislation could impact companies in [New Hampshire]” that are mostly made up of small- to –medium employers, wrote Catharine Mirabile, SPHR, a New Hampshire A-Team captain, in a SHRM blog.

    Another New Hampshire team met with Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., to lay the groundwork for future meetings and to discuss the “proliferation of Executive Orders that have been issued” and that are expected to continue after the mid-term elections, wrote Richard G. Murphy, A-Team captain for the Brentwood, N.H. area, in a blog.

    “The congresswoman agreed that … having a personal connection and face-to-face meetings is more effective in advancing our advocacy efforts,” Murphy wrote.

    Two Delaware SHRM chapter board members met with staff members for Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., in the senator’s state office. The discussion included the chapter’s concerns over pending legislation affecting federal contractors and changes to the FLSA.

    The visit, blogged A-Team member Julia Orescan, SPHR, was a way “to establish a connection for SHRM to provide resources for Sen. Coons and his staff for HR matters impacting the nation and Delaware.”

    She was encouraged, she added, that the staffers that the SHRM members met with were interested in partnering with the chapter to offer workshops at job fairs the senator supports around the state.

    “It seems we’ve made great progress in achieving this goal during just a one-hour meeting,” she wrote.

    The Montgomery SHRM chapter hosted Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., at its August meeting at the Capital City Club.

    SHRM members from Oklahoma met with Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., at a local business to thank him for his support of workplace issues and discuss their concerns of what they see as onerous rule-making and overreach by federal government into the workplace.

    Members of the Shoals SHRM Chapter in Alabama hosted Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., at their August meeting, where he answered questions during an open forum and explained in detail his views on immigration reform. The A-Team arranged the visit through Brooks’ field representative, who attends the chapter’s meetings when her schedule permits, according to a blog entry from chapter member Sandra Sockwell, Ph.D., SPHR.

    “It has been rewarding to have a field rep interested in helping an elected official realize how important the HR community is for supporting American business interests, as well as the interests of our several thousand employees represented by the Shoals Chapter’s members,” she wrote.

    “When SHRM was encouraging officials during Hill visits to support making Section 127 of the IRS Code permanent a few years ago, we encouraged Rep. Brooks, an economist by education, to check out the bill to see if he could/would support it.  To our excitement, he signed on as a co-sponsor to that bill in the House! And it passed.  Now that was a rush,” Sockwell wrote.

    Related Article:
    SHRM Recruits Advocacy Team Members, About SHRM

    Related Resources:
    Advocacy Team Resource Page, SHRM Public Policy
    SHRM A-Team Webinar Archive, SHRM Public Policy
    SHRM A-Team Video, SHRM Public Policy
    A-Team Programming Offers SHRM Speaker/Strategic Credit, SHRM Public Policy