Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
Greetings, 2009 Corporate Partners
On August 5 and 6 I had the opportunity to attend the GOLD
State Leadership Conferenc e with four of my fellow board
members. It is one of many developmental opportunities Boardman Law Firm
GMA SHRM offers board members throughout the year. Galaxy Technologies
The conference allows time for personal development,
networking and the opportunity for us to gather best The Payroll Company
practices from other Wisconsin SHRM Chapters.
I asked each of our board members that attended to Hays Companies
provide a brief summary of their experienc es:
Lee Hecht Harris on
“I have had many opportunities over the years to work M3
with many of the professional leaders within our chapter
Physicians Plus Insurance
and the state council. The State Leadership Conference,
however, provided me a chance to interact with ou r student chapter
leaders as well. If we are pleas ed with our progress in advancing our Virchow Krause Employee
profession and chapter over the past several years, then I can say our Benefits
future looks very bright. The student chapter leaders I spoke with are
smart and understand how to bring the value of HR to every organization. BRONZE
With that in mind, I am very excited about what they will bring to SHRM Bunbury & Associates
once they become the next generation of leaders. The ex perience has
taught me the value of our past efforts to work with student chapters and Career Momentum
to continue to do so going forward.” Gardner & White
David Furlan- President Elect
Higgins Insurance Group
“After attending the 2009 Wisconsin State SHRM Leaders hip Conferenc e, Liberty Mutual
I came away feeling a great appreciation for what a difference the
organization makes to our local corporations and the community! One Melli, Walker, Pease &
thing that really stood out was a presentation by Michael Layman - Ruhly, S.C.
Manager, Employment & Labor for SHRM's Legislative Affairs. Michael Stark Company Realtors
walked the conference participants through legislation that is currently
being considered and the details behind the possible outcomes if put into The Alliance
law. He (S HRM) predicted that our 111th Congress will have the most
active HR public policy agenda in 30 years. What a crucial time to be Thank you!
affiliated and active in our S HRM chapter! Simply being on t op of these
changes from day-t o-day and being part of these discussions that could
educate and influenc e our law mak ers is vital. Additionally, I enjoyed and took away many ideas on rapidly
changing social media.”
Jake Siudzinski Vice President of Communications & Marketing
“First and foremost, I was able to meet Tami Nielson from the State SHRM board. She's the Representative for
the Government Affairs group. I now can cont act her if needed for additional guidance or questions . When it
comes to the programming, I really enjoyed the Social Media presentation - it opened my eyes to the various
methods professionals and the public are using to communicate. I found it a little intimidating to realize how out of
touch I am with most of these tools and th e potential they could have for our chapter if we could tap int o them.
Second, I enjoyed Michael Layman and his style of explaining Congress and the legislative updates we need to
be aware of. He made this topic fun and interesting. Finally, I learned a few things about how the SHRM
Foundation works and what they provide. I was undereducated in this area of S HRM and see things a little bit
Mike Leibundgut – Director of Government Affairs
“I think the State Leadership conferenc e was a gre at way to connect with members of other Boards and fellow HR
professionals and share best practices. It was really nice to see what other chapters are doing in times like this to
promote the profession and its value to the community as a whole, not just within our own companies.”
Melissa Wieland – Director of Workforce Readiness & Diversity
I felt several facets of the conference were very interesting. The first of which was the opportunity to further
explore some of the areas of the chapter in which I am less familiar. Namely the Governmental A ffairs breakout
session where we focused on the resources we have available to our members either through National SHRM or
WISHRM. We also began the initial stages of planning a legislative conference in 2010 which should offer our
members a unique look at upcoming changes in employment and labor laws. This is an exciting opportunity for
our chapter since Government Affairs is a newly defined area and there is so much we can do to serve our
members during these turbulent times. We are certainly off to a great start!
I was also excited for the opportunity to attend my first WISHRM State Council Meeting. It was great to hear the
ties we have to the council and hear about their upcoming events/offerings. A main topic of discussion was the
upcoming WISHRM State Conference which will be held at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells October
14-16 . Volunteers are extremely busy planning for that event. If you haven’t heard… they have arranged for a
special dinner and entert ainment for Thursday evening. (Check out the “Activities” section of the conference
website to see who will be there!)
The state leadership conferenc e offered so much to me both personally and professionally. I look forward to
watching the best practices be put into practice over the upcoming year!
Kari A Lauritsen, SPHR
GMA SHRM President
2008-09 GMA SHRM Board
Dave Furlan, PHR Cassy Van Dyke, S PHR John Komosa
President Elect Past President Secretary Treasurer
Kari Lauritsen, S PHR
Kris S chmitt Chris Berg Thacker, PHR Mike Leibundgut, S PHR
Director, Education & VP, M embership Director, Government
Development Affairs Zach Penshorn, PHR
Jake Siudzinksi Melissa Wieland
VP, M arketing & Communications Director Workforce Readiness &
Additional information, including board cont act information can be viewed at:
Government Affairs Update
Beware of this crime against public health and safety. . .According to State Statute 941.10, it is a class A
misdemeanor to handle fire or burning material in a "highly negligent manner in which a person should realize that
a substantial and unreasonable risk of serious damage to another's property is created"
September 15, 2009 – GMA SHRM Summit
Topic: Employment Law Update
At the GMA SHRM May One Day Conference Elizabeth Erickson Pevehouse of Melli Law conducted an
employment law update breakout session. Since that session there have been multiple new developments and
changes at the local, state and federal levels.
The Sept ember GMA SHRM Summit will feat ure Ms. Erickson Pevehouse as she provides an update that no HR
professional res ponsible for employment law can afford to miss, as she will focus on providing information to help
you deal with the following changes to:
Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA)
WI Family Medical Leave Act (WFMLA)
WI Non-Competition Agreements
Federal Minimum Wage Law
Additionally, the September GMA SHRM Summit will provide you the latest information on proposed legislation
Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)
Paycheck Fairness Act
Healt hy Families Act
Americans with Disabilities Act
Milwaukee Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Again this session is a can’t miss for you to ensure your organization remains complaint with recent and
upcoming changes in employment law. To register for this event, click here.
Status of the 2009 Healthy Families Act
Cont ributed by Tammy L. Barden, Employee Relations Specialist, WPS Health Insurance
The Healthy Families Act was first proposed in a session of congress on March 15, 2007. The bill was never
passed but was reintroduced in 2009. The purpose of the bill is to allow Americans to earn paid sick time so that
they can address their own health needs and the health needs of their families.
If passed by Congress, the bill would impact employers with 15 or more employees for each working day during
20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Those employers are required to
provide each employ ee at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers would not need
to provide an employee with more than 56 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year, unless the employer
chooses to set a higher limit.
The Healthy Families Act would allow employees to use this paid sick time for the following:
I. To meet their own medical needs;
II. To care for the medical needs of certain family members; or
III. To seek medical attention, assist a related person, take legal action, or engage in other specified activities
relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Currently, this bill is in the first step of the legislative proc ess. It has been referred to the House Administration
and Committee on Health, Educ ation, Labor, and Pensions for deliberation, investigation and revision before
going to general debate. The majority of bills never make it out of committee. For the official bill text, go to
The Government Affairs Committee would like your input on this proposed bill. How would the Healthy Families
Act impact your organization? Would it have a positive impact, negative impact, or no impact at all? Do you
support or oppos e this bill? Email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will share your responses in
the October newsletter.
Case Study - “I Can’t Drive, So I’m Disabled”
Cont ributed by Mik e Leibundgut, Director, GMA S HRM Government Affairs
“Wilson” worked as a Public Health Nurse for Cook County. Hired in fall of 2001, she took leave in 2003 for
major surgery but then returned. After a car accident in March 2004, Wilson didn’t need or seek any medical
care, but she complained to her psychiatrist of panic attacks. He diagnosed her wit h post -traumatic stress
disorder and sent her managers repeated notes to the effect that she could not be required to drive to clie nt’s
homes without experiencing full -blown panic attacks.
The county tried many solutions such as part-time work, moving Wilson to an office nearer her home and sharply
restricting her workday driving. But she continued a pattern of tardiness and poor at tendance. Managers then
gave her four choices: resign and apply for disability benefits, resume full -time work as a public health nurse,
including driving to clients; take a demotion to clinic nurse; or bec ome a part -time registered nurse. Wilson chose
disability leave from June to December 2004. Lat er, her attendance was still poor, and she complained that co-
work ers asked too many personal questions about her leave.
So in June 2005, Wilson, who is African American filed a charge wit h the EEOC of race and disability
discrimination. By spring of 2007, her attendance still had not improved; given a disciplinary not e about it, she
quit – and sued. A federal district court found no evidence of bias and dismissed her case. She appealed to the
7 Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
What the Court Said?
Appellate judges studied A DA language, both before and after the amendments of January 2009, and EEOC’s list
of “major life activities”. Unlike sleeping, breat hing, and working, driving isn’t listed anywhere. So they joined
nd th th
three other circuits – the 2 , 10 , and 11 – in ruling that driving is not a major life activity. So Wilson did not
have a disability. Furthermore, judges could find no evidence of racial bias or retaliation, so her case was again
Point to Remember:
Judges no doubt look ed favorably on the county’s efforts to accommodate the nurse, even though they were not
obligated to do so. Treating all employees with the same standards assist s greatly when retaliation and bias
claims are made.
For Full Details on This Case See:
Wilson vs. Cook Count y, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7 Circuit, No. 08-2339 (4/22/09)
Compensation and Benefits
2009 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey
Last year GMA SHRM partnered with Enetrix, a Gallup Company, to provide premier on-line surveys. The 2008
GMA SHRM Compens ation Survey is a comprehensive on -line survey that has the flexibility to produce reports
based on revenue size, industry, type of ownership, and number of FTE’s. The 2008 GMA SHRM Compensation
Survey had over 100 companies of all sizes in the greater Madison area that provided salary information for more
than 200 benchmarked jobs. Our hope this year is to increase the number of participants. Participating
members receive a significant discount on the cost of the survey !
If you would like to participate, please go to http://gmashrm.enetrix.com. Select “Click Here to Register” on the
right to creat e an individual and company profile and create your username and password. If an individual from
your company has already registered for an account, they will need to grant you permission to enter and review
data for your company. Select “Participation” and follow the steps to enter your survey data.
Technology in HR
Learning and Development
Recruitment and Staffing
Interested in career possibilities for you or have an HR opening in your company?
Visit the GMA S HRM website and click on “Job Board” under the Resources to learn about opportunities all over
Wisconsin or to advertise your opportunity in Wisconsin, inviting other SHRM members to apply. E ven the fees
$100 per job – if affiliated with a local Wisconsin SHRM Chapter
$200 per job – if no chapter affiliation
For more information on the fees and how to have your opening posted, click here.
2009 ATHENA Young Professional Award
The Business Forum (TBF) is pleased to announce that it is accepting nominations for the 2nd annual ATHENA
Young Professional Award. The A THE NA Young Professional A ward honors emerging community leaders
whos e professional and personal achievements make them ideal role models for young women. Both men and
women between the ages of 25 and 40 are eligible for the award.
Any individual, business, or professional group c an nominate someone for the A THENA Young Professional
Award. The criteria are:
o The individual clearly serves as a role model for young women, personally and professionally.
o The individual is an emerging leader who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in his or her
business or profession.
o The individual provides valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for
others in the community.
Click here to view the nomination form.
SHRM News / Announcements
Want to get more involved?
The Work force Readiness Committee meets at The Park Bank Support Center loc ated at 1815 Greenway Cross.
Please contact Rhonda Schemm at email@example.com if you’re int erested in attending eit her of
the following meetings.
Wednesday, October 21 8:00a.m.-9:00a.m.
Wednesday, December 9 8:00a.m. -9:00a.m.
2009 has proven to be a year of significant change. Whether impacted by company layoffs/closures, volatile
housing markets or just a new opportunity many of us have made changes to our personal or professional contact
information. Please take a minute to make sure that your contact information is up to date in your Profile on the
GMA SHRM website. Simply log-on to www.gmashrm.org; click on “log-in”; and “manage contact and profile
information.” Beginning in late September we will be moving to an on -line directory and we want to ensure that
each member has updated information prior to rolling-out. Thanks for your help!
GMA SHRM Member of the Month
Name: Kristina Kaker
Where do you currently work?
What is the focus of your posi tion?
My focus is split between HR (managing employee hires/exits, answering employee questions, administering
COB RA, tracking metrics, writing the company newsletter, organizing employee events, etc.) and accounting
How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
About 2 years.
Which of your career accomplishments makes you proude st?
Managing my company’s HR role by myself for four months while my supervisor was on maternity leave…it was a
challenge, but everyone survived.
I am also very proud of obtaining my PHR certification.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
It's okay to say, "I don't know, but I will get back to you with the answer to your question."
Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
I wanted to belong to a professional organization that would provide me with educational and networking
opportunities. It doesn't hurt that GMA SHRM also provides a lot of opportunities for fun, too!
If you’d like to be featured as the Member of the Month in an upc oming issue of HR InTouch, please e -mail Kate
Karre at KKarre@park bank.com.
GMA SHRM i s LinkedIn
Come join our GMA SHRM Chapter group on LinkedIn! What is LinkedIn? It’s a business-oriented social
networking site that can be used to connect with friends (old and new), find or post jobs and get information. In
order to join, sign in at www.linkedin.com and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapt er.
Check the GMA SHRM Calendar of Events at: http://www.gmas hrm.org/website/calendar/index.asp.
Welcome New Members!
GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter
through July 2009.
Theresa L. Dilley Executive Search Associate The QTI Group
Debbie J. Haines HR Director Dean Health Systems, Inc.
Andrea L. Holznagel HR Manager Kerr, Inc
Jennifer L. Jackson Resource Manager Kforc e, Inc.
Jennifer C. Peters, PHR HR Manager Cascade Asset Management
Tina M. Root Regional Rec ruiter Upper Iowa University
Gary R. Sawyer President Growthplus, LLC
Kristina Kaker, Human Resource Generalist at TeamS oft, Inc recently received her PHR certification.
If you are a member who is in between jobs, or who is currently employed but seek ing new positions or career
paths, write us a brief description of your sk ill set, areas of expertise, what you’re look ing for, etc. Send us an e-
mail. We’ll publish your inf ormation in the next HR InTouch.
What’s Cool in HR in the Greater Madison Area?
What’s going on in HR in your workplace?
completed a major project,
implemented something new,
managed a change,
Is there something…
your company/dept does really well,
interesting about your company culture
that makes your company an employer of choice
We want to hear about it! Share it with your HR colleagues in HR InTouch. Send us an e-mail.
HR InTouch Guidelines
Do you have an interest in writing for the HR InTouch? We have an interest in learning more about your area of
Why should you volunteer? Top three reasons: 1) to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others; 2)
to become more connected in t he HR and Dane County communities; and 3) to contribute towards the
advancement of GMA SHRM and the HR profession.
The first step is for you to choose a submission option: you can pre -submit an article to GMA S HRM at any time
for us to use in any of the upcoming newsletters, you can sign up to write for a particular month, or we can put
you on a list of people to contact in future months whenever we need articles.
Because the HR InTouch is now in an online format, the size is flexible. The article should be engaging and hold
readers’ attention. Include the core information in your article, and we will advise if it is too l engthy.
GMA SHRM is conscious not to allow solicitation through the articles, in an effort to protect the interests of our
partners and members. The nat ure of the article should be educational (i.e., what are the business advantages of
having a product like yours) or informational. Otherwise, if you truly are interested in advertising through the HR
InTouch, you can work with our Marketing Committee. As a rule of thumb for article writing, if the submission
relates t o a for-profit event, or specifically markets your company (vs. y our industry), it is an advertisement, and
should be purchased. If it is a not-for-profi t event that your company is hosting, or an announcement (i.e., a
SHRM member recently joined your company), it is an acceptable addition to the HR InTouch content. If you have
any questions related to the appropriateness of your submission, please contact us.
If you have questions, or to submit an article, contact GMA SHRM at firstname.lastname@example.org.