December 2007 The THRP News Web site: http://thrp.shrm.org/ Volume 11.12 The Newsletter of the Tuscaloosa Human Resource Professionals PO Box 20297, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35402 Reservations deadline: 4:00 pm Tuesday, December 18th December Meeting Submit to Will Patton by: th Thursday, December 20 Phone: 205/562-5810 or Location: Mercedes Benz Training Center Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Time: 11:30-12:45/Tour 1:00 pm (Tour is By Reservation Only) Special Programming: Our THRP General Meeting will be held on December 20th at the Mercedes Benz Training Center. At this meeting we will install our 2008 Officers and receive our Pinnacle Award. Lunch will be catered by The Pottery Grill and includes Chopped Pork, Chicken, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Corn on the Cob, White Bread, Pie, and Tea. A walking tour of the Mercedes Benz plant will be offered after the meeting. The tour takes approximately 1 and ½ hours and will start at 1:00pm. The following guidelines apply to the tour and are strictly enforced: Participants must wear closed toe shoes (no high heels). Participants must wear long pants and no sleeveless shirts. Participants will be transported from the Visitor Center to the plant and returned to the Visitor Center after the tour. Remember, this is a walking tour so wear comfortable shoes. There are a limited number of slots available for the tour so please RSVP with Will Patton as soon as possible if you plan to take the tour. Participants will be determined on a first come, first serve basis. This will be an exciting meeting with great food and fun. Please make plans to attend. THRP Newsletter Page 2 THE PRESIDENT’S CORNER Dear THRP Members, thank you for such an outstanding year! Through your support and effort, we accomplished our 2007 goals, provided quality programs and opportunities for all members. I also noticed this year that our chapter's community presence continues to grow. For example, during these past few months we have become a local "go to" organization for Human Resource expertise and advice, especially in the realm of workforce development. I credit our chapter's professionalism and character for assuming this important role. Our chapter membership is strong and our board has been outstanding in guiding our chapter. If an organization can be measured through stewardship and goodwill then our chapter is second to none. I want to personally thank each one of you for the opportunity you have given me to lead our chapter. I am a better person from the experience. Please help me support our new Chapter President, Will Patton. He has assembled an outstanding team to lead our chapter in 2008. I wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas. BIRTHDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS Kimberly Wheeler – 2nd Beverly Burgess – December 9th Jennifer Allen – 12th Dee McGraw – December 12th Davis Jackson – December 18th Audrey Logan – December 19th Teresa Faulkner – December 21st Bert Guy – December 23rd Leslie Dawson – December 26th Karen Thompson – December 26th Javelin Lewis – December 27th Kay Troxler – December 30th Please let me know if I have missed your birthday! Proud to Serve! Russell DuBose, PHR President, THRP MEMBERSHIP REMARKS What a great year 2007 has been! I can't count how many times I have called, emailed, or talked with a fellow THRP member this year and gained some HR knowledge or information that I can use in my job each day. Please use our group as a resource for questions you may have. We have members in all areas of HR and I bet someone has gone through what you may be questioning before. Another great resource is to consider joining SHRM if you have not already. As a THRP member, you can receive a discounted membership. When you talk with your CEO or supervisor, ask him or her to support your professional growth and budget SHRM dues for 2008. It is a worthwhile investment! Visit www.shrm.org for more information or feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks! – Will Patton, VP Membership THRP Newsletter Page 3 LEGISLATIVE CORNER FMLA TO BE EXPANDED – NEW LEAVE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES by Tom Scroggins and Ashley M. Emerson Tanner & Guin, LLC Summary: New legislation was recently passed to expand workplace leave benefits for employees with family members in the military. Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) regulations are likely to be expanding soon due to a recently passed bill. On December 14, 2007, the Senate passed legislation which will expand workplace leave immediately upon the President signing them into law. When the legislation is passed into law, FMLA eligible employees will then be entitled to the following types of leave: Caregiver Leave –26 weeks of FMLA leave during a single 12-month period for a spouse, parent, son, daughter, or nearest blood relative caring for a recovering service member. A “recovering service member” is defined as a member of the Armed Forces who suffered an illness or injury while on active duty that may render the individual unable to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating. Active Duty Leave – 12 weeks of FMLA leave to a spouse, parent, son, or daughter on active duty or who has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation. Such leave may be taken for any issues related to a call-up, and the leave may begin as soon as an individual receives a call-up notice. benefits to employees with family members in the military. It is expected that President Bush will sign the legislation into law within the coming days. Already passed by the House, the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1585), was approved by the Senate by a 90-3 vote. The bill’s purpose is to expand the FMLA to include leave for employees caring for an injured serviceman or woman and for employees who have a family member called to active duty service. Although regulations must be issued in order to fully implement the new law, employers and human resource professionals should consider the new provisions effective Both new leave categories allow employees to use the leave on an incremental basis or in the smallest increment that the employer’s payroll system tracks. Employers and human resource professionals should follow this new legislation in the days to come to determine when exactly it is signed into law by the President. Look for an update on these important new regulations in the next issue of Workplace Law Alert from Tanner & Guin, LLC.