Newsletter Detail

September 2014 - MVHRA Connections




MVHRA Connections Newsletter

September 2014 Edition

Presidential Ponderings Volume 3, Edition 9

Calling All HR Professionals in the State of Ohio!

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

September is an exciting month to be an HR professional in the Ohio. It’s when the Ohio HR Conference happens. It’s a fantastic time to connect with other HR professionals, expand your knowledge in all things HR-related and have a whole lot of fun.

This year’s conference is September 17 – 19 and the theme is “HR Marathon: Setting the Pace for The Future.” It even includes a 5k walk/run to raise funds for SHRM Foundation.

Are you planning to attend? If so, look for some other MVHRA members. We have several board members attending (including Erin Henry, Jim Vose, Michelle Sullivan and many more!) who want to connect with you.

Plus, if you have your PHR/SPHR certification, you can earn up to 18.5 general credits at the conference. Business credits are pending HRCI approval.

Want to learn more? Go to

Have fun and connect!




Learn more by clicking HERE.

College Relations Corner-- Job Preparedness and More!


As the fall semester begins, 2014 continues to be a great year for kicking off programs that bring our SHRM student chapters together with our MVHRA membership. Wright State University is planning a Mock Interview event as part of the School of Business’ HR senior seminar class. The College Relations Committee is seeking volunteer interviewers for this exciting event. What a great way to help students practice their interviewing skills and get feedback from the professionals.

The class is November 10 and the mock interviews will take place in small groups. That way peers have an opportunity to be an interviewee and also to observe an interview taking place. We’ll supply you with interview questions for the short sessions. You’ll then give feedback to the interviewees after which peers can share their observations as well. Want more information? Contact Kelli Cowgill, HR Manager, Cintas Corporation at

Seeking more College Relations Volunteer Opportunities? We want you!  Sponsor a student at the monthly MVHRA luncheon for our Networking Program for only $12.  Participate in our Job Shadowing event around Ground Hog Day, February 2015. Contact Betsy Brown, College Relations Chair, at for details.

Learn more by clicking HERE.



As a MVHRA chapter member, we know your chapter is always on the lookout for high-quality member benefits!  To help you in this effort, SHRM developed our Chapter Discount Program for SHRM Seminars, offering a discounted registration fee for chapter members who attend a SHRM Seminar program, either in person or virtually.

SHRM offers a wide-variety of exceptional seminars across the country, as well as virtual programs, and ALL chapter members are eligible to participate in the discount program by using the special promotion codes below:

Chapter Discounts:

Use Promo code: 14SEM1DAY - $100 off 1 day seminars

Use Promo code: 14SEM2DAY - $200 off 2 day seminars

Use Promo code: 14SEM3DAY - $300 off 3 day seminars

Use Promo code: 14SEMVCHPT – $200 off any Virtual seminars

It is important to note that both SHRM members and non-members are eligible for the discount as long as they are members of your chapter.  The discount is determined by the number of days the program runs, and then applied to the corresponding member/non-member registration fee.  Virtual programs also qualify, so even if an onsite program is not offered close by, any chapter’s members can participate. scroll down to “Chapter Discount Program for 2014 Fall Seminars.”

For more information on this program, contact:

Carlos Marroquin, SPHR

Manager, Educational Programs| +1.703.535.6033

Learn more by clicking HERE.


EEOC Releases Guidance on Accommodating Religious Dress and Grooming Practices in the Workplace,


Reiterates the Need for Accommodation Policies and Training


Jeffrey A. Mullins, Ryan T. Smith, 

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Religious discrimination claims continue to rise.  In 2013 the agency responsible for enforcing religious discrimination laws, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), received 3,721 religious discrimination charges. This was nearly double the number it received in 2000.

 In light of this trend, employers should pay close attention to the EEOC’s enforcement guidance on accommodating religious grooming and dress practices in the workplace, which it released this spring.

The Guidance primarily reaffirms the EEOC's position that employers are required, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to accommodate employee and applicant requests for reasonable religious accommodations related to their garb or grooming—if the employee's religious belief is sincerely held. This could include requests to wear items such as religious garments, articles or symbols, and may also include an employee's refusal to wear certain clothing, such as pants or shorts. Requests related to religious grooming may relate to, among other things, religious shaving or hair length observances.

Accommodation requests may be denied only for undue hardship, defined as a “more than de minimus” cost or burden on the operation of the employer’s business. An accommodation may cause undue hardship if, for example, it is too costly, it compromises workplace safety, it decreases workplace efficiency, it infringes on the rights of other employees, or it requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work. 

Not all inconveniences are considered an undue hardship, however. For example, customer preference generally will not suffice as a reason for denying an accommodation. Nor will co-worker jealousy or disgruntlement, corporate image, or marketing strategy. On other hand, the undue hardship defense can be used to deny an accommodation that poses risk to health or safety.  However, the EEOC emphasizes that such denial must be based on an actual safety risk, not just an assumption that the requested exception will cause an enhanced safety risk. In an example given by the EEOC, an employer may legitimately have a dress code requiring that pants be worn in an industrial area. However, if a female employee requests that she be allowed to wear a long but close-fitting skirt because of her Pentecostal religion, it would not be permissible for the employer to outright reject the request without actually reviewing the machinery at issue to determine whether the clothing does in fact create an actual safety risk.

Here are a few other examples that the EEOC gives as possible reasonable accommodations.

Change of schedule to accommodate prayer. An employer’s policy provides two 15-minute breaks during the workday. One employee requests a change in the break schedule so that he can pray throughout the workday at the various times prescribed by his religion. His request will not exceed the total maximum break time allotted by the employer, or his ability to perform his duties. The request does not impose an undue hardship, either. Therefore, the employee is entitled to the accommodation. 

Use of employer room for prayer. An employee asks to use a particular room to pray during a scheduled break time. However, there is a scheduled meeting in that room at that time. Although the employer does not have to make the requested room available, it still has an obligation to try and accommodate the request, perhaps by offering another appropriate unoccupied location.

Display of religious objects. An employee displays a poster that says “Jesus Saves” on a wall by his work station at the main entrance to the employer’s facilities, because he felt a religious obligation to do so. The poster is seen by everyone coming into the facility. Notwithstanding the absence of complaints or other disruption to the workplace, the employer orders him to remove the poster. Under the circumstances, the employer is likely to establish an undue hardship existed because the employee’s message could be mistaken as its own.

The EEOC’s Guidance is not binding on the courts, and in some areas, the EEOC’s position is contrary to recent court decisions. Generally, though, the Guidance accurately reflects employers’ legal obligations, and compliance should be considered a best practice. Here are some steps that employers should implement to achieve compliance.

  • Train managers to identify and respond to religious accommodation requests
  • Adopt clear and effective policies prohibiting ethnic and religious discrimination, including harassment. 
  • Provide multiple avenues, including confidential complaint mechanisms, for employees to promptly report allegations of discrimination or harassment to management.
  • Publish and distribute work place dress code and grooming requirements so employees and job applicants know if they need to request an accommodation for religious purposes.
  • Prohibit retaliation and reassure employees that they are protected from retaliation if they request a religious accommodation or report a complaint of religious discrimination or harassment.

**Date Change for November Meeting**  11/13/2014


The November Monthly Workshop and Luncheon Meeting has been moved to November 13, 2014!  Please mark your calendars for this change!

Welcome New MVHRA Member!


Michele Mandelik   Benefits Specialist   Rittal Corporation

Using the HRCI Bodies of Knowledge and SHRM Competency Model to Build Your Resume


Brandon Bernzott, Right Managment

Creating and maintaining an effective resume is a worthwhile investment of time and effort. As a human resource professional, you may find the HRCI Bodies of Knowledge and SRHM Competency Model to be helpful resources along the way. Here are two reasons why I say that:

Reason #1: Reviewing the HRCI Bodies of Knowledge and/or SHRM Competency Model may remind you of relevant experiences you’ve had that should be captured on your resume. Example:

Responsibility 02 under the Human Resource Development area of the HRCI BOK reads:

“Conduct a needs assessment to identify and establish priorities regarding human resource development activities.”  

This may prompt you to recall a key initiative you led but neglected to include on your resume:

“Designed and implemented a 2-day assessment center to select candidates for the organization’s first high potential development program.”

Reason #2: Reviewing the HRCI Bodies of Knowledge and/or SHRM Competency Model may help you identify areas where your experience is weak or lacking entirely. Example:

One Senior Level proficiency standard under the Relationship Management competency of the SHRM Competency Model reads:

“Provides career mentorship to mid-level career professionals.”

If you are not actively engaged in a formal or informal mentoring relationship, this may prompt you to learn more about mentoring and/or seek opportunities to mentor others in your organization.

Before closing with a brief update on the new SHRM certifications, I want to add two cautionary notes to the suggestions I’ve made above:

  1. The HRCI Bodies of Knowledge and the SHRM Competency Model are very comprehensive – see links below. No one is expected to have experience, much less expertise, in all areas. Don’t go overboard trying to make sure you’ve covered all of the bases.
  2. While these resources may provide some useful language, I certainly don’t advocate copying and pasting verbiage directly from them. Your resume should accurately reflect YOUR unique education, accomplishments and contributions.

SHRM Certification Update

SHRM has continued to release details about the new SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications throughout the summer. Earlier this month, they released a Certification Toolkit with several resources, including an updated presentation, a video overview and a full self-guided tour. Check it out!

Useful Links

HRCI Bodies of Knowledge:

SHRM Competency Model:

SHRM Certification Toolkit:

Employment Corner!!


Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:

·         Assistant to the City Manager, HR Coordinator – The City of Clayton

·         HR Manager – Cox Media Group

To see full job descriptions and/or apply for these employment opportunities, please visit the MVHRA website and click Job Opportunities

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