Newsletter Detail

MVHRA Connections - June 2021

JUNE 2021

EMPLOYMENT CORNER

Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:

  • HR Generalist - Wilson Health
  • HR Business Partner - Wright State University
  • Talent Acquisition Specialist - Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services
  • Benefits Administrator - Sinclair Community College
  • HR Intern - RetireMED IQ
  • HR Assistant - South Community
  • HR Coordinator - IDC Spring
  • HR Business Partner - Crocs Ohio Distribution Center
  • HR Generalist - VRI

Details regarding employment opportunities can be found on the MVHRA website.


THANK YOU TO OUR JUNE SPONSOR! 

         


THIS MONTH'S ARTICLES

POP-UP HR COMMUNITY EVENT! - JUNE 8, 2021

Submitted by Darla Cade, VP-Programming

We had a last-minute cancellation for the MVHRA regularly scheduled luncheon meeting June 8th.  However, we are turning this around to our benefit!  We have heard from many they miss getting together and while our August 10th event will be the official Return to In Person MVHRA meetings, we would like to do something special for our HR Community Leaders, their Members, and MVHRA as a whole.

We are hosting our first ever "Pop-Up HR Community Event" - a time to come together and network/deep dive with fellow HR Community members.  This will be held on our normally scheduled monthly meeting date of June 8th - Tuesday.  We are going to meet at 12:00 noon - Marian's Pizza, Town and Country - for any HR Community leader, their members, or general member of MVHRA.

Here is a high-level overview of what we'd like to accomplish. 

  • A member of the MVHRA Board will intro each HR community leader, then provide them time to update group on what their Community has been doing (meeting in person/virtual, review of top topics, how they are keeping interest, etc).
  • We will then ask for feedback as to what Community members may like to see moving forward:  quarterly in-person coffee or lunch chats to further network across communities? Virtual component if distance to come together is difficult.
  • Open forum to Community members as to what they may wish to have implemented within their groups, or changes they may like to see - since this is our inaugural year.
  • Network, network, network - allow time for everyone to introduce themselves and we would ask anyone who may need a connection to come with their "network need" - I need to meet someone who handles benefits, or I need to know a great trainer, etc., whatever the need may be.

 If you plan to attend, lunch can be ordered/paid at the counter upon arrival, or you are welcome to just come for the networking!  If you have any questions please reach out to Darla Cade and/or Steve Black.

For those of you who do not belong to an HR Community within MVHRA, come to this meeting and see what we are all about.


PRESIDENT'S PEN

By Matt Bakota

In the Articles section below, you will find several legislative updates from the MVHRA Government Affairs Committee. They include summaries of updates from Ohio and the CDC related to masks, social distancing, and other COVID-19 considerations related to fully vaccinated individuals. Essentially, the rules changed for fully vaccinated people in a lot of ways in mid-May. Although not much changed at that time for those who have not been vaccinated, most of Ohio's generally applicable health orders have since been rescinded. Even so, recommendations continue that unvaccinated individuals still wear masks, social distance, and adhere to other COVID-19-related guidelines that became so familiar over the past 15 months or so.

This presents some interesting scenarios and decisions in the workplace for HR professionals and their organizations. Employers generally are free to do more than Ohio and even the CDC may require. But they are not free to totally ignore CDC guidelines, at least not without potential negative repercussions. As a result, some employers may be mulling over some creative solutions that attempt to cater to their workers' comfort and changing views on COVID-19 risks, while still protecting the business. If a contemplated "solution" to all this sounds almost too good to be true, it probably is.

For example, what if employees are willing to waive enforcement of mask and social distancing guidelines in exchange for a release of the employer from potential COVID-19-related liability? Essentially, agreeing to a workplace free of COVID-19 and its impact. There would be several problems with that type of approach. First, a release in favor of the employer probably would not even be enforceable against workplace injury claims arising from COVID-19, which could fall within Ohio's workers' compensation statutes for most employers. Under Ohio law, employees cannot waive workers' compensation benefits, and workers' compensation claims typically cannot be validly released without approval by the State. Therefore, there likely wouldn't be any real, enforceable protection for an employer trying to go this route. Second, employers and employees cannot just waive the federal OSHA workplace safety rules that govern in Ohio. Those rules includes OSHA's guidelines on COVID-19, which currently are deferential to the CDC's guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Regardless of what an employer and employee may be willing to agree to, OSHA could ignore them and cite the employer for COVID-19-related safety violations all the same. Workplace safety rules are not optional.

As another example, what if an employer decided to simply look the other way while its vaccinated and unvaccinated employees mingle together, maskless and without social distancing? Assuming the employer has a written COVID-19 policy in place that incorporates and requires employees to follow the guidelines, can't the employer just point to the employees as the ones responsible for violations if anyone gets caught? In the OSHA context, the answer generally would be no.

There is a defense to OSHA citations called "unpreventable employee misconduct." It often comes up in incidents where an employee isn't following some workplace safety rule(s), and a workplace injury occurs that draws OSHA's attention. One element of this defense includes having an applicable policy, but other elements include actual enforcement of the policy and discipline for violations of the policy. This means that if an employer decides to just look the other way in response to COVID-19 policy violations, it likely would be impossible for the employer to prove that it enforced and disciplined for violations of the policy. That would make this defense unavailable to the employer, subjecting them to fines, fees, and other costs associated with OSHA enforcement actions.

Ultimately, employers generally cannot relieve themselves of workplace safety obligations, even if their employees may be willing to go along with it and assume certain risks to their own health and safety. If anything, any policy of lax enforcement - whether written or informal - could cause extra trouble for an employer, rather than less. There is also the issue of how the employer would handle potential COVID-19 positive cases that may come up in such in an environment? Depending on what percentage of an employer's workforce is vaccinated versus unvaccinated, lax enforcement could have the unintended effect of staffing shortages, which no one needs right now.

In the end, it's important for employers not to try to get too far ahead of the curve on relaxed COVID-19 guidelines. Changes at just one level of government - the State, for example - do not necessarily signal "all clear" right now, particularly as to unvaccinated workers. If employers are concerned with the day-to-day practicalities, potential morale issues, or anything else associated with different rules applying to vaccinated and unvaccinated people, they are free to maintain policies that continue mask-wearing, social distancing, and other such measures among all their employees. At least for now, most potential solutions outside of that one probably fall within the "too good to be true" category, and carry with them more risks than many employers may be inclined to take on.

The foregoing is not intended as and should not be interpreted as legal advice of any kind. It is for informational purposes only.


Human Resources Professional Certification Study Course at Wright State University

Submitted by Betsy Brown

Interested in prepping for the PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP? Wright State can help. The Human Resources Professional Certification Study Course (HRPCSC) will prepare you to gain credentials to advance your career. The Fall session begins Saturday, September 11, 2021 and runs for 10 consecutive weeks from 9:00am -1:00pm. Classes are held on the Wright State University campus with a streaming option also available.

Information for the HRPCSC can be found at https://business.wright.edu/management-and-international-business/human-resources-professional-certification-study-course

Registration for the upcoming HRPCSC is $1,199. Register by July 31 and receive a $99 early bird discount at checkout. Organizations registering 2 or more participants receive a 10% discount when using promo code MULTI. Participants with a WSU degree will receive a 10% discount when using promo code WSUALUM. Sign up now and take advantage of these special pricing options.


What Role Should Plan Sponsors Play in Fighting Cybercrime?

Submitted by Kathleen Carlson, CFA, CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

On April 14, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued cybersecurity guidance for plan sponsors, recordkeepers, and participants to help protect Americans' retirement plan assets from cybercrime.  

The DOL document "Tips for Hiring a Service Provider with Strong Cybersecurity Practices" features six tips to assist plan sponsors in meeting their fiduciary obligations under ERISA to prudently select and monitor a service provider.  Below are a few of the tips.

PARTICIPANTS PLAY A VITAL ROLE; THEY SHOULD:

  1. Register for online access to their accounts
  1. Log in to their accounts at least once a month to monitor activity
  1. Check their contact information and update as needed

                

Security Standards and Practices

  1. Confirm that the service provider has a formal, well-documented cybersecurity program. Ask about past breaches and their procedures for notifying and indemnifying the plan sponsor and participants.
  1. Ask the provider how it validates its practices. For example, understand distribution approval protocols being followed.

Insurance

  1. Confirm that the service provider has insurance policies that cover losses caused by cybersecurity and identity theft breaches including internal and external threats.
  2. Check your insurance coverage regarding plan assets.  Do you have fiduciary insurance in addition to general liability coverage?  And does that insurance include cyber-liability coverage for plan assets?  

Government Affairs Committee Update

From Tanya Pinkelton, Chair; Ben Watson, Assistant Chair

Federal updates:

  1. "Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors" (Executive Order 14026 of April 27, 2021)

Executive Order 14026 raises the federal contractor minimum wage from $10.95 per hour to $15 per hour starting January 30, 2022. More specifically, the Order requires that "all federal agencies incorporate a $15 minimum into new contract solicitation by January 2022 and into newly signed contracts by March 2022."

Read more here:

  1. "Worker Organizing and Empowerment" (Executive Order 14025 of April 26, 2021)

Executive Order 14025, signed on April 26, 2021, established a White House Task Force, which will be dedicated to mobilizing the federal government's policies, programs, and practices to empower workers to organize and successfully bargain with their employers. 

Read more here:

  1. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Retains Contract-Bar Doctrine

On April 21, 2021, the NLRB decided to retain the contract-bar doctrine, which prohibits union decertification petitions or challenges until a collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) expires or three years pass. 

Read more here:

State of Ohio updates: 

            No significant updates to report at this time.

  1. May 17, 2021 Ohio Department of Health Director's Order 
  • On May 17, 2021, the Ohio Department of Health ("ODH") issued a Director's Order indicating that fully vaccinated persons can resume activities without wearing a mask and social distancing. 
  • The Order does not apply to jails, prison facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or adult day services centers for elderly adults.
  • The Order also does not apply while riding on planes, trains, buses and other forms of public transportation.
  • Private businesses may still require all individuals, regardless of vaccine status to wear masks and/or social distancing.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must still comply with previously required mask wearing and social distancing protocols.
  • Previous exceptions to mask wearing still exist.
  • All businesses, where possible, shall post clearly visible signage at all entrances requiring all persons not fully vaccinated who enter to wear a facial covering.

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/rev-2nd-final-amended-do-soc-dist-remove-face-cover-21.pdf

  1. Governor DeWine Announces he will Lift Most Public Health Orders on June 02. 
  • On May 12, 2021, Governor DeWine announced most Ohio public health orders will be removed effective June 02, 2021. An Order or guidelines have not been issued as of May 21, 2021.
  • Lifting the public health orders will not prevent a business from imposing its own mask and/or social distancing requirements.
  • As of today, I believe the public health orders will be lifted regardless of vaccination status.
  • Restrictions will remain in place for nursing homes and other congregate care facilities. 
  1. The Centers for Disease Control ("CDC") and Prevention Guidelines
  • The CDC issued an interim public health recommendation on May 13, 2021 indicating that full vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any settings except where required by law, rules, or business and workplace guidelines.
  • The recommendation also indicates that fully vaccinated individuals can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html


Upcoming Diversity & Inclusion Committee Events

Thank you for your completing the D&I Survey for MVHRA. We appreciate your feedback and will be utilizing the results to develop content and programming to meet our members' specific needs and interests around these topics. Based on survey results, the Committee has decided to plan small roundtable group discussions using some of the topics generated from the survey. These virtual roundtables will allow members to have open dialogue and discussion on topics that may otherwise be considered too sensitive for large group settings. The hope is that we can collaborate on best practices, share suggestions, and learn from one another during these roundtables over the next few months.

Register Today: Please click here to register for the events. Once you register, you will receive the Zoom link and login information to add to your calendar.

June 24th 12:00-1:00 = Surviving the Workplace (Roundtable open discussion facilitated by Carlina Figueroa) 

If you find yourself in a toxic work environment filled with drama, negative people, bullying or colleagues with destructive behaviors, we will discuss ways to boost your resiliency and best practices to begin to change the culture. 


Reminder:  MVHRA Legal Services Plan Available 

MVHRA has an agreement with local attorneys to provide a legal services plan for MVHRA members (the "Plan").  The Plan is available again for 2021 and is included as part of your current membership at no additional charge.  Further details available at http://mvhra.org/myMVHRA/legal-services.cfm

Note:  You must be a MVHRA member AND logged into mvhra.org to access this service within the "MY MVHRA" link at the top of the page.


See Your Article In Our Newsletter!

MVHRA members, do you have something to submit to the MVHRA Newsletter?  Please send it to Amy Mitchell, Newsletter Committee Chair, via email at acm@amfdayton.com.


UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

June 8, 2021
Lunchtime Webinar: CANCELLED

June 24, 2021
Diversity & Inclusion Series: Surviving the Workplace
Speaker: Roundtable Open Discussion facilitated by Carlina Figueroa
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: via Zoom - you will receive login information at the bottom of your email confirmation
If you find yourself in a toxic work environment filled with drama, negative people, bullying or colleagues with destructive behaviors, we will discuss ways to boost your resiliency and best practices to begin to change the culture.

 

July 22, 2021
Diversity & Inclusion Series: How to Develop a Diversity & Inclusion Program
Speaker: Stacey Lawson, Vice President, Human Resources, Premier Health 
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: via Zoom - you will receive login information at the bottom of your email confirmation
In the wake of the death of George Floyd and continued unrest and racial injustice in our society, many organizations accelerated their efforts to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Many organizations knew that they could not be silent but struggled in reckoning with both what to do and most important, how to do it. Join, Stacey Lawson, Vice President, Human Resources, Premier Health on Thursday, July 22nd at 10:00 - 11::00am as she shares how to start a comprehensive D&I program. She will provide best practices for those who are starting on the journey and practical strategies for hardwiring D&I into the fabric of your organization.

 

August 10, 2021
Workshop: Culture of Engagement: Why/How to Build Passionate and Engaged Teams
Speaker: Joshua Evans
Location: Sinclair Community College
Time: 7:45 AM - 8:00 AM: Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM - 11:15 AM: Professional Development Workshop
Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).

Luncheon: Culture of Engagement: Why/How to Build Passionate and Engaged Teams
Speaker: Joshua Evans
Location: Sinclair Community College
Time: 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Registration & Networking
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Announcements & Lunch
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Speaker
Credits: This program is being submitted for approval of recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and for SHRM Professional Development Credit (PDC).

 

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