THE RESOURCE by linxiaoqin


									                      Panhandle Human Resource Association

    Volume 16, Issue 6
                         THE RESOURCE
                             An Affiliate Of Society For Human Resource Management June 2011

                                            From the Desk of the President…
  Chapter Meeting                                              Becky Lopez
  Tuesday, June 7, 2011

  11:45 am – 1:00 pm
                                 So, I’m going to have to start this with a confession. I had no idea what I
 Amarillo Club, 30th Floor       wanted to discuss with you this month, having just gone through a week long audit
    Chase Building
       (7th & Tyler)             I am suffering from a traumatic case of brain drain. Because of this I decided to
                                 surf the web and see if I could come up with something both interesting to our
$15 for PHRA members
 $20 for non-members             group as well as timely. Here’s what I came up with: June is National Safety
                                 Month, which includes Preventing Overexertion Week (that would be me), Teen             Driving Safety Week, Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Week and On the
     IMPORTANT:                  Road, Off the phone Week. June is also Goat Trauma Awareness Month which
   MUST be made by
                                 the Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation designated. Dystonia Awareness Week;
  5 p.m. on the Friday           National Cancer Survivors Day; National Headache Awareness Week; National
 BEFORE the meeting.
      Cancellations              Men’s Health Week; National Aphasia Awareness; and National Scleroderma
     must be made                Awareness Month all in June. The reason I bring this up? As HR we are
  by noon on Monday
 preceding the meeting,          usually responsible for fund raisers, special events, and awareness. If you have
 or you will be invoiced.
                                 an event already scheduled for Goat Trauma Awareness Week, please let me
       Officers                  know I would love to see what exactly this would consist of.
    Becky Lopez-651-3150         I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Seminar committee for doing
        President Elect
    Brad Howard-345-6310         such a fantastic job with our Spring Seminar. I for one learned a lot and truly
    Sandy Elliott-477-5538       appreciated all the hard work these folks put into the seminar. Committee
         Cheryl Roberts
                                 members are: Chairperson - Nephi Ginnett, Josie Vongkhamphra, Kay Acton
        Past President
  Eric Westermann-355-9771
                                 and Megan Eikner. Thanks to you all for doing such a great job!
         VP Programs
Josie Vongkhamphra-376-6257      I look forward to seeing everyone at our June luncheon!
       VP Membership
     Polly Turner 350-2200       Becky
                            Speaker’s Corner
                             By Josie Vongkhamphra

         "Enhancing The Best Practices for HR"-
              Employees with Disabilities
                        Presented By Sridevi Veeramachaneni, MBA

 *This program has been approved for 1.00 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and
                      GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.*

                         As the Disability Navigator for Workforce Solutions,
                         Shree’s job is to increase the employment of
                         people with disabilities. Her work includes training staff or
                         doing presentations in the community for partners and
                         employers. She offers information and resources to
                         Employers regarding Best Practices, Tax Credits, ADA,
                         Accessibility, and assistance in improving an organization’s
                         recruitment and retention strategies of people with
                         disabilities. She takes a market-driven approach to her work
                         rather than a compliance perspective.

                       Shree’s presentation will highlight best practices for HR on
                       employees with disabilities and other related issues.
                       It all starts with creating a welcoming environment for
                       people of diverse backgrounds and practices to
                       incorporate from recruiting to retention. She will also
provide examples of employers who have proved the business case of hiring
people with disabilities as well as a resource packet of information to get started.

                                      Upcoming Programs: 
                                              July 12th‐ 
                                         To Be Announced 
                                     *Note that the date is later 
                                            than usual!* 
                                                         Legal Briefs
                                                      by Adair Buckner

                                Case	Shows	Quandry	Employers	Face	about		
                              Re‐Hiring	Employee	Who	Has	Used	Illegal	Drugs	

                                                       Recently, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed whether an
                                                       employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to rehire
                                                     a former employee who completed a one-month drug rehabilitation program.
                                                      Mauerhan v. Wagner Corp., (10th Cir. Apr. 19, 2011) The court found that
                                                       the employee failed to demonstrate he was not “currently” engaged in the
                                                       illegal use of drugs when the decision not to rehire him was made, and
                                                       affirmed dismissal of the employee’s claim by the trial court. However, the
                                                       Tenth Circuit said such a determination has to be made on a case-by-case

              The Fa
                                                       Wagner Corporation hired Peter Karl Mauerhan as a sales representative
                                                       in 1994. In 2004, Mauerhan entered a voluntary outpatient drug
                                                       rehabilitation program. The employer was aware of Mauerhan’s
                                                       participation in the rehabilitation program, even though it did not interfere
                                                       with his work schedule. In 2005, his employer requested Mauerhan to
                                                       submit to a drug test. When he failed the drug test, his employment was
                                                       terminated for noncompliance with the company’s drug policy.
                                                       Mauerhan’s supervisor advised him that “he could return to Wagner if he
                                                       could                                 get                             clean.”

              Shortly thereafter, Mauerhan entered a voluntary in-patient drug rehabilitation program for approximately one
              month. According to his rehabilitation counselor, his recovery prognosis at discharge was described as “guarded.”
              The day after Mauerhan completed the program, he contacted the employer and requested his job back.
              Mauerhan was advised that “he could return to work, but that he would not receive the same level of compensation
              as he had previously received or be able to service the same accounts he had prior to his discharge.” Mauerhan
              declined the offer based upon these terms.
              Mauerhan later filed suit alleging the company discriminated against him based on his drug addiction, in violation
              of the ADA. The company moved for summary judgment that the district court granted. It argued that Mauerhan
              “was unprotected by the statute because he was a ‘current’ drug user at the time he sought reemployment.”
              Although Mauerhan had abstained from using drugs for one month, the district court held that “one month of
              abstaining from drugs was too short as a matter of law to gain the protections of the ADA.” Mauerhan appealed.
              The Decision The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s determination, but declined to state “a
              bright-line rule for when an individual is no longer ‘currently’ using drugs, as defined by the ADA.” The Court said
              that whether an employee is “no longer engaging in” drug use could only be determined on a case-by-case basis.
              The severity of the employee’s addiction, the relapse rate for the drugs used, the employee’s level of responsibility,
              the employer’s job performance requirements, and the employee’s past performance record were identified as
              factors to be considered in determining whether an “employee’s substance abuse prohibited the employee from
              performing the essential job duties.”
              Here, the employer produced evidence that “Mauerhan’s recovery status was ‘guarded’ and at least ninety days of
              recovery was necessary to ensure significant improvement in his condition.” Mauerhan failed to refute this.
              Therefore, “[a]lthough thirty days without using drugs may in some cases be sufficient for an employee to gain the
              protection of the ADA, the record before us shows that in this case it was not.”
              The Bottom Line This case reinforces the difficult review employers must make of situations where employees
              with a history of drug or alcohol abuse have attempted rehabilitation and reapply for employment. The court’s
              refusal to state a “bright-line” rule makes judgments on this question more difficult for employers. Determinations
              will have to be fact-specific and supported by detailed evidence.

Adair Buckner is an Amarillo attorney with Buckner & Cross, L.L.P. She is Board Certified in Labor and Employment
Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her other areas of practice include business disputes, commercial
litigation, estate planning, and probate. You can reach Adair at (806)-322-7777 or
This material is not intended to be legal advice. The contents are intended for general information purposes only.
                                                          Registration Now Open!
                  √ Expand your horizons AND your network by attending educational sessions and networking
                  √ Top industry leaders deliver two and half days of educational sessions on hot HR topics
                  including Healthcare, Employment Law and Talent Management.
                  √ Over 200 companies on display in the Exhibit Hall demonstrating their latest products and
                  √ Earn recertification credits toward your PHR®, SPHR® and GPHR®.

                                           Go to to register!

                                                    ATTENTION PHRA MEMBERS:
Based on input from our members and an attempt to streamline the check-in process, we have implemented some new options and processes related
to monthly luncheons.

For those of you who utilize American Express, you will now be able to use your American Express when you pay on-line.

For those of you who are required to submit invoices through your company’s Accounts Payable system we are now offering luncheons in a “10-
Pack”. Ten-pack luncheons will be $150.00, can be used at your discretion, are transferable, and must be used within a 2-year period.

We will continue to offer “Standing Reservations”; please contact Cheryl Roberts ( if you are interested. Please remember that
both standing reservations and on-line reservations must be cancelled prior to the end of business on the Friday preceding the luncheon in order to
receive credit.

Invoices will be provided prior to the luncheon for all registered members and guests that have not paid on-line. We strongly encourage that you pay
prior to the luncheon, but will continue to accept payment at the door. Please have your check or other method of payment prepared when you
arrive. Any luncheon not paid prior to or on the date of the luncheon will be invoiced $20.00 for members and $25.00 for guests.

We are pleased to be able to respond to our members input to improve the quality of our luncheons – we welcome your input!
Hiring HR professionals: What are we thinking?

When you hire someone for your Accounting department, what do you look for? Accounting experience, undoubtedly, but presumably you look for 
someone with some college‐level accounting training as well as basic competencies such as facilities with numbers, conscientiousness, etc. 
What about IT support? Again, in most cases you're probably looking for experience with specific hardware or software or general support experience, 
but in many cases you're searching that resume for formal education/training in IT‐related topics. 
Connection? For many organizational "support" functions, we look not only for experience but educational experiences that would give the individual 
a grounding in the basics of the field and (hopefully) train their mind to recognize historical developments as well as connections between concepts. 
So why is that when we hire for HR, another support function, our brains fall out our ears and we seem to focus primarily on past experience? This 
weakness seems common in the public sector but I'm guessing the private sector is not immune. 
Phrased another way: Why don't more organizations place value on formal HR education when hiring? 
I'm not suggesting that one needs a degree in HR to be good at it, although I do think it limits people. What I'm concerned about is the apparent lack 
of importance placed on these degrees and what that says about the profession. 
Is it because formal HR educational programs don't exist? Nope. According to the College Board, over 350 schools exist with a major in HRM. 
Is it because formal education in HR isn't as important for job performance as experience? I'm not aware of any research that shows this to be true (if 
you are, please enlighten me). 
No, I suspect the following: 
1) Many HR leaders themselves do not have formal educational training in HR therefore they tend not to think of it as a screening tool (or place much 
value in it). 
2) Similarly, there is a lack of knowledge about HR educational programs‐‐what they offer, the advantage of having gone through one, and how to 
connect to the school. 
3) There are relatively few candidates out there that apply for HR vacancies that have a relevant degree (either as a pure function of the number of 
individuals that have a degree in HR or because many applicants believe anyone can do HR). 
4) HR is still seen as largely transactional and/or not a critical business function, therefore the qualifications sought have more to do with customer 
service than they do formal training. (I believe this is a large reason why HR outsourcing is easy to contemplate for many executives) 
5) Many are simply passing through HR. Many incumbents do not see HR as a "career", but rather a stopping point on their way to...something else. 
But much like Lightning McQueen (or Doc Hollywood if you prefer), they find they have a hard time leaving, either because they come to like it or they 
find they're not as employable as they thought. 
6) The professional HR organizations and HR publications focus on anecdotes, opinion, and news bits rather than formal study and analysis. SHRM is 
not SIOP. 
So why do I care about this topic? Because I see HR stagnating until it truly becomes a profession and not a loose collection of people who vaguely 
care about things relating to people management. And part of becoming a true profession is placing formal structure around the path from education 
to employment. 
I'm also concerned because of the relationship between I/O and HR. Ultimately much of what is researched in I/O gets practiced through HR, and 
there is a close relationship in many people's minds‐‐in fact I would wager most managers haven't the foggiest idea what the difference is. So what 
impacts HR ultimately impacts I/O. 
Maybe it's just not there yet. Maybe I need to be patient. HR's a relatively new field and maybe it just needs time to develop, and to figure out 
questions like its relationship to I/O. 
But given what I've seen, I'm not feeling optimistic. I see HR shops being outsourced or automated, resulting in more IT skills being required than 
knowledge about research on human behavior. Inevitably this will lead many organizations to lose out on important efficiencies they could be gaining 
(not to mention improvements in the work environment). 
What can be done? I don't have all the answers, just some suggestions: 
1) A wider promotion of the value of formal HR education. SHRM, I'm looking at you, as well as the other HR professional organizations. 
2) More research on the connection between formal HR education and job performance. 
3) Effort on the part of HR leaders to at least consider the potential importance of HR education when hiring for their teams. 
4) More effort on the part of HR leaders to establish connections to schools that offer HR degrees and begin programs like internships and formal 
5) More organizational support (e.g., tuition reimbursement) for staff to obtain HR degrees. 
This article was taken from‐hr‐professionals‐what‐are‐

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