Quick Shots for #HR and #Business Pros – 2017 HR Law Edition

Regardless of who you voted for and your feelings about the election process, here in the United States, we have a new President and Congress. And I’m sure that, at some point, we will find ourselves dealing with changes to HR law.

I know from professional experience there’s nothing worse than sitting around trying to predict what government is going to do. The good news is we don’t have to do that. We can become educated, get involved, and influence policy.

Now, I’m not here to tell anyone how they should think. You guys are smart. I did want to share with you some resources that put much of the information you might want in a single place. I’ve read the Federal Register before. It’s not easy reading. So anytime I can quickly and easily get the information I need to form an opinion, I’m all for it.

If you haven’t already seen it, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has published a 2016 Post-Election Overview. This guide addresses the main themes facing human resources such as labor and employment, workplace flexibility, and health care reform. It outlines the status of current HR law as well as SHRM’s position on those issues.

You can also visit the SHRM Policy Action Center. I particularly like SHRM’s Public Policy Guide, which provides background info and outlook for major issues facing our profession. I have this page bookmarked so I can quickly read up on issues as they make the news headlines.

Looking ahead in 2017, it might be helpful to stay engaged and advocate on HR public policy issues by registering for the SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference, taking place on March 13-15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. One of the hallmark features of this event is a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with your newly-elected or returning members of Congress. I had the chance to do this during another SHRM event and I felt it was a valuable use of my time.

If going to the conference isn’t in the cards, you can still be very effective at influencing HR law by speaking or meeting with your congressional representatives. Lifehacker published a couple of posts recently, written by a former congressional staffer. They are focused on how to communicate with your government officials.

How to Effectively Lobby Your Congressperson

The Best Ways to Contact Your Congress People, From a Former Staffer

Keep in mind while we’re talking at the federal level, this information applies to state HR law as well. The SHRM Policy Action Center includes state information and the process for contacting your state representative is similar if not the same.

HR-related legislation is proposed on a regular basis. That legislation then gets passed, changed, amended, and/or repealed on a regular basis as well. Part of our role is to educate ourselves on the issues, form an opinion about them, and make sure our government knows that opinion. Our organizations and our employees rely on us to do that.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at SHRM Annual 2016 and shortly before the running of the interns in Washington, DC