Newsletter Detail

June 2015 - MVHRA Connections


Presidential Ponderings Volume 4, Edition 6

Summer on the brain

Kelly O’Connor, PHR, GBA
President/Servant Leader

First of all, I have to start off this month's newsletter by announcing that MVHRA earned the SHRM Platinum EXCEL Award for 2014! This award recognizes outstanding achievements in our chapter operations and a commitment to providing meaningful programs and services to our members. It also recognizes our chapter's continued growth and development as a business leader. Thanks to everyone's efforts in continuing to make our Chapter one of the best!

If you have kids, then you know that the countdown to summer has begun. School is ending and the summer excitement has begun. The excitement is contagious.

Hopefully you are making your summer bucket lists, filling your calendars with pool parties and family BBQs. But don’t forget add professional development to your summer plans. Continuing to grow and learn within our profession doesn’t take a summer break. Some fun professional development opportunities this summer include:

  • June 3: Ohio SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference – Columbus, Ohio
  • June 9: MVHRA luncheon Human Resources 2025 – Dayton, Ohio
  • June 28 – July 1: SHRM Annual Conference – Las Vegas, Nevada

Note: Remember, MVHRA does not have any meetings in July.

For those of you who were able to join us for the Dayton Dragons game on May 19 – thank you! We had plenty of laughs, stories and great food. Hopefully you enjoyed it and stayed warm in the crisp spring air.

Happy summer! 

Congratulations to board member, Shanda Brown, for winning a free registration to the Ohio HR Conference. Just another perk of being a part of the MVHRA board.



Committee Spotlight: Workforce Readiness 

For this month’s committee spotlight article, we’d like to focus on the Workforce Readiness Committee. The committee is

 led by Cecilia Vocke and Robin Brun. And they are phenomenal at what they do!

Our Workforce Readiness Committee helped connect community leaders to support our local veterans. As a result,MVHRA became a founding member of the Veterans & Employers Connection.

The Workforce Readiness Committee has been responsible for organizing a
free one-day seminar for local veterans to prepare for employment. They’ve
hosted a few seminars each year for at least three years now.

The seminars help veterans:

  • Assess their strengths and weaknesses for job skills
  • Create effective communications, including powerful cover letters, resume and social media
  • Improve interviewing skills
  • Develop a job search marketing plan
  • Identify veteran support organizations
  • Meet potential employers who want to hire veterans

We have received moving letters from veterans around the community about the impact this committee has had on their lives.

If you have the privilege of meeting one of the committee members of the Workforce Readiness Committee, please take a moment to thank them for all that they have done for our community and local veterans. 


SHRM Foundation Scholarship (deadline is July 15) – they have certification and academic scholarships. Additional information by clicking HERE.

2015 MVHRA HR Certification Committee

A little over a year ago, SHRM announced its intent to create two new HR certifications. At the time, they provided very few specifics about the new certifications other than emphasizing that they would be “competency-based.” In fact, they did not even offer up names for the new certifications when they were announced. Some of you may recall that I suggested HR Ninja Warrior and HR Samurai Master, but alas, SHRM ”went in a different direction.” I digress.

Like many SHRM Chapters, MVHRA was caught in the middle of the fallout that ensued between SHRM and HRCI after the announcement, at times being whipsawed back and forth trying to keep up with the facts and the rumors. Here we are now, a year later, and although the outcome of the ongoing battle between SHRM and HRCI isn’t clear, MVHRA is comfortably positioned to weather the storm regardless of how things play out. And, here’s why I say this.

Where We Stand with SHRM

As a SHRM chapter “in good standing,” MVHRA was able to complete a brief online application and become a Preferred Provider earlier this year. That designation means that all of our Luncheons and Workshops are automatically pre-approved by SHRM for the appropriate number of Professional Development Credits. We are still required to submit our events in order to have them each assigned a unique identifier, and we are subject to random audits if desired by SHRM.  

Where We Stand with HRCI

For years, MVHRA has been an HRCI Approved Provider. This status provided us some benefits related to submitting our events and so forth. Earlier this year, HRCI stepped up their relationship with many local SHRM chapters by launching a new Alliance Partner Program. The launch came complete with its own Memorandum of Understanding, which MVHRA has approved and executed. As an Alliance Partner, MVHRA members are now entitled to a few new perqs, namely:

  • 3 general credits toward recertification just for being a MVHRA member – a “gimme” of sorts
  • $25 off the HRCI exam fee
  • 2 HRCI exam scholarships (to be awarded by the chapter in conjunction with our HR Certification Prep Program scholarships)

Useful Links

SHRM Certification Website:

HRCI Website: (includes an announcement about a free downloadable book called The Rise of HR in the Press + Media section)

The Bottom Line

As an organization, MVHRA is doing everything possible to maintain positive relationships with both SHRM and HRCI in order to bring the benefits of both and the freedom of choice to you, our members.  

by Brandon Bernzott, The Human Capital Institute (HCI)

Quick Reminder – HR Certification Prep Program Scholarships

MVHRA will be offering 2 scholarships for the Fall HR Certification Prep Programs offered by Sinclair Community College and Wright State University – 1 scholarship per institution. If you are interested in applying, please contact the Certification Committee at

Welcome New MVHRA Members!

Lisa Renslow, Manager in Training, Hollister Co.
Jonathan Saul, Student, Wright State University
Dominique Koukol, HR Manager, Alternate Healthcare Solutions
Katy Zimper, HR Generalist, Emerson Climate Technologies
Jacqueline Phillips, Dir. HR and Administration, United Way of Greater Dayton
Yolanda Evers, Sr, Recruiting and HR Systems Manager, Heapy Engineering

College Relations Corner

This summer, the College Relations Committee will begin planning a special project with our student members / chapters. Our goal is to have the students gain experience in establishing and documenting fundamental HR practices. Included will be work preparing and updating job descriptions for committee positions, documenting Standard Operating Procedures for the sustaining programs, and developing an orientation program to onboard new committee members to jump start involvement.

So, does your organization have special projects that can give college students pertinent HR hands-on experience? We want to hear your ideas. Contact Betsy Brown, College Relations Chair, at (937)429-9225 or to discuss opportunities. 

The NLRB General Counsel Issues New Crucial Guidance on Employee Handbooks 

Jeffrey A. Mullins, Esq.

Jessica A. Lordi, Esq. 

      On March18, 2015, the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued new guidance addressing problematic provisions in employee handbooks.  Because the General Counsel’s Office investigates unfair labor practice charges, this guidance is crucial to all employers under the NLRB’s jurisdiction, regardless of whether they have union represented employees. The guidance addresses handbook provisions that could be “reasonably construed” as having a chilling effect on employees’ protected activities under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. 

            The guidance offers a comparison of several handbook rules that the General Counsel found legal and illegal (some of which the NLRB also found lawful or unlawful), and offers an analysis of Wendy’s International LLC’s unlawful handbook, which the General Counsel recently investigated in an unfair labor practice case, along with Wendy’s settlement dictated revised lawful handbook provisions.

            This guidance reminds employers that social media policies are not the only policies with which the NLRB is concerned; employers need to be concerned with the following other provisions that are frequently held to chill Section 7 rights, which include: (1) confidentiality; (2) employee conduct toward the company/supervisors; (3) employee conduct towards other employees; (4) interactions with third parties; (5) protection of employer logos, copyrights, and trademarks; (6) photography and recording; (7) leaving work; and (8) conflicts of interest.

            For each type of provision listed above, the guidance supplies several examples of lawful and unlawful policies, including:

  1. Rules that prohibit employees from discussing “customer or employee information” or publishing “the employer’s or another’s confidential or other proprietary information,” without specific examples of wrongful conduct are unlawful. Adding specific examples makes such policies lawful because it is clear that the policies do not address Section 7 protected activity.                                                   
  2. Rules requiring employees to be “respectful” or that prohibit “insubordination” or actions that “[damage] the reputation of the company” are unlawful. The guidance explains that employees have the right to criticize an employer’s labor policies and treatment of employees, even in a public forum.                                                                                                                                          
  3. Rules requiring employees to refer all media questions to the employer’s media relations department, without providing specific examples, are unlawful.                                                           
  4. Overly broad policies prohibiting employees’ non-commercial use of an employer’s name, logo, or trademark to identify the employer in the course of Section 7 activity are unlawful.                            
  5. Rules that limit the use of camera phones and other recording devices establishing a blanket prohibition of employees possessing or using personal electronics or recording on an employer’s property are unlawful. Employees must be permitted to take pictures or videos of concerted protected activities, though some limitations may be imposed to protect an employer’s confidentiality and employer privacy.         

This guidance reminds employers that there is no set uniform policy language that ensures compliance. The entire context of the provisions in a handbook is critical, meaning language that would be alone unlawful may be otherwise lawful in the greater context of the handbook and its location within the handbook. It is also important to note that while the General Counsel investigates and brings charges against purportedly unlawful handbook provisions, the NRLB may not ultimately agree. As such, it is important to continually review handbook provisions with legal counsel and make updates accordingly. 

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