HR InTouch

The Monthly Newsletter of the Greater Madison Area SHRM

In This Edition

President's Message

By Mike Leibundgut, SPHR GMA SHRM President

Government Affairs Update

Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act

Department of Labor is Seeking Your Input

Compensation and Benefits

The Latest Health Care Reform Update

Revisiting Grandfather Status for 2012

Professional Development

PHR/SPHR Certification Study Group

Community Events

Calling All Mock Interviewers

GMA SHRM Social Media

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Forward HR

GMASHRM is LinkedIn

GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

GMA SHRM Strategic Summit
Topic:  Effective and Sustainable Rewards Strategies for Difficult Economic Times
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

HR Roundtable
Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

GMA SHRM Announcements

SHRM Foundation News

In Business Wisconsin Blogging Opportunity

GMA SHRM Member News

GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Welcome New Members!

Movin' Up

In Transition

GMA Membership Poll 


Printable version


President's Message

2011 Corporate Partners

Gold Level
American Family Insurance
Boardman Law Firm
First Choice Dental Group
The Payroll Company
Remedy Intelligent Staffing
Wisconsin Rx


Silver Level
Career Momentum
Cottingham & Butler Employee Benefits
Lee Hecht Harrison
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Ultimate Software Group


Bronze Level
The Alliance
Delta Dental
Edgewood College
Express Employment Professionals
Higgins Insurance Group
Hemb Insurance Group
Metro Transit
Melli Law, S.C.
Unity Health Insurance
UW Credit Union
The QTI Group
Wegner CPAs & Consultants


Thank you!

Good Day to All,

As HR professionals, we need to be flexible and adjust to change every day… nothing new to any of you, however an interesting “change” is upon us. It finally happened; the state of Wisconsin has adopted the Concealed Weapon law joining nearly all other states in the Union.

If you were unaware of the timing of the Concealed Weapon Law, it goes into effect on November 1st of this year which probably results in you, the HR representative, business owner or legal counsel, making some recommendations to company senior management on adjustments to your existing policy.

From what I understand and the preliminary research I’ve done, this law will force all companies to make difficult decisions on whether they will allow clients or customers to enter their buildings with a firearm under their coat, inside a purse or otherwise hidden from view.

We in HR play an important role in these decisions by acting as the information collector, the brainstormer/idea generator, and the risk manager. While you contemplate your recommendations, keep in mind that you are not alone! You are connected to a large group of very experienced, knowledgeable HR “SHRM” members.

We have various methods and sites where you can collect and/or share information on topics such as the one I mentioned above. The SHRM website may be able to assist from a national and legal standpoint, our GMA SHRM members have a LinkedIn network where you can post a question and get real life examples from companies in the Madison Metro area, and the Peer Advice Network can offer you contacts from those members who are subject matter experts.

I encourage all members to use the tools and benefits we receive with our membership to GMA SHRM or SHRM, especially when we are forced to deal with unusual or difficult laws, situations or circumstances.

If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or concerns, I invite you to email me at or call (608-278-2872).

Let’s inspire someone today!

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
Melissa Wieland
President Elect
Dave Furlan, PHR
Immediate Past President
Wendy Brendel, SPHR
Secretary Treasurer
JoAnna Vanderpoel, PHR
VP, Membership
Tara Conger, PHR
VP, Marketing & Communications
Jeff Russell
VP, Programming
Jake Siudzinski
Director, Education & Development
Michelle Thoren
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity
Tammy Barden
Director, Government Affairs

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Government Affairs Update

Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act (HR 2587)

Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act (HR 2587): The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from ordering any employer to close, relocate or transfer employment under any circumstances. If passed, this bill would amend the National Labor Relations Act related to the authority of the NLRB. The amendment would include the following provisions so the Board would have no power to:

• Order an employer (or seek an order against an employer) to restore or reinstate any work, product, production line, or equipment;
• Rescind any relocation, transfer, subcontracting, outsourcing or other change regarding the location, entity or employer who shall be engaged in production or other business operations;
• Require any employer to make an initial or additional investment at a particular plant, facility or location.

This bill appears to be moving quickly through the legislative process. In order to follow its progress, go to

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Department of Labor is Seeking Your Input

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in order to invite the public to provide input on the development and implementation of a compensation data collection tool. The purpose of the tool is to provide insight into potential problems of pay discrimination by contractors that warrant further evaluation by OFCCP. It would allow them to identify supply and service contractors whose compensation data indicates further review to ensure compliance with the non-discrimination requirements of the Executive Order and would provide contractors with a self-assessment tool to evaluate the effects of their employee compensation decisions. The data collected could be instrumental for identifying potential noncompliance by contractors and executing OFCCP’s authority related to compensation discrimination.

OFCCP seeks to maximize the value of this data collection tool while also considering the reporting burden created for contractors. Therefore, they encourage interested parties to comment on a series of specific questions related to the possible design of its new data collection tool. Consistent with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, OFCCP is specifically seeking input from small entities, including small businesses, small nonprofit organizations and small governmental jurisdictions with populations under 50,000. All comments must be received on or before October 11, 2011.  To submit your comments, go to

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Compensation and Benefits

The Latest Health Care Reform Update
Provided by Scott Wieland of Hemb Insurance Group (legislative update provided and written by their affiliate partner attorney firm, Spencer & Fayne)

HHS Releases Guidelines on Women's Preventive Health Services to Be Received at No Cost Under PPACA
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced new guidelines ( that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost. Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine and delivered to HHS last Wednesday, the new guidelines are in addition to the rules released last summer by HHS requiring all new private health plans to cover several evidence-based preventive services like mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure checks, and childhood immunizations without charging a copayment, deductible or coinsurance.

The new guidelines include:
• well-woman visits;
• screening for gestational diabetes;
• human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
• sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
• human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling;
• FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
• breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and
• domestic violence screening and counseling.

New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2012. The rules governing coverage of preventive services which allow plans to use reasonable medical management to help define the nature of the covered service apply to women's preventive services. Plans will retain the flexibility to control costs and promote efficient delivery of care by, for example, continuing to charge cost-sharing for branded drugs if a generic version is available and is just as effective and safe for the patient to use.
HHS also released an amendment to the prevention regulation ( ) that allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services. This regulation is modeled on the most common accommodation for churches available in the majority of the 28 states that already require insurance companies to cover contraception.

HHS welcomes comment on this policy; comments are due 60 days after the amendment's publication in the Federal Register.

For more information on the HHS guidelines for expanding women's preventive services, please visit:

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Revisiting Grandfather Status for 2012
Provided by Scott Wieland of Hemb Insurance Group (legislative update provided and written by their affiliate partner attorney firm, Spencer & Fayne)

2011 has been a big year for grandfathered and non-grandfathered group health plans alike. A number of significant changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) took effect for both types of plans. Now, 2014 looms as the next big milestone in health care reform. But losing track of the grandfathering rules is a trap for the unwary. While there are no major health care reform changes taking effect in 2012, sponsors of grandfathered plans should revisit the rules governing grandfathered status to ensure that they do not inadvertently lose that status in 2012. 

There are several ways in which a plan can lose grandfathered status. A key point as we await the 2014 changes is that all of these criteria are measured against a static point in time: March 23, 2010 (the day that the ACA was enacted). Thus, incremental changes to a plan over time will accumulate, and each year it may be harder for a plan to preserve its grandfathered status. 

For example, a plan will lose its grandfathered status if the rate of employer contributions to the plan (for any tier of coverage) decreases by more than five percentage points. Under this rule, the employer may not decrease the rate of its contributions by five percent each year. 

Instead, if the cumulative decrease in employer contributions over two or more years results in a decrease of more than five percentage points below the rate in effect on March 23, 2010, the plan will lose its grandfathered status. Thus, if an employer has already reduced its contribution rate by three percentage points in 2011 (say, from 65% to 62% of the total premium), it may reduce its contribution rate by only two additional percentage points in 2012 if it wants to preserve the plan’s grandfathered status. 

Sponsors should also keep in mind that the regulations condition a plan’s grandfathered status on the sponsor taking the following affirmative steps: 

* Including “in any plan materials provided to a participant or beneficiary that describe the benefits provided under the plan” (such as a summary plan description) a statement that the plan believes it is a grandfathered health plan; and 

* Maintaining records that document the terms of the plan as in effect on March 23, 2010, along with any other documents necessary to verify, explain, or clarify the plan’s status as a grandfathered health plan. (Such records must then be made available for examination upon request by a participant, beneficiary, or government agency.) 

Plan sponsors should carefully consider the ongoing nature of the grandfathering rules when setting contribution rates and making plan design decisions for 2012. 
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Professional Development

PHR/SPHR Certification Exam Study Group

The GMASHRM study group will be meeting at QTI’s downtown office (702 East Washington Avenue) from 5:45pm – 7:45pm on Thursday evenings beginning March 8, 2012 for a 10 week period.  If you will be joining the study group please respond to this email prior to March 7, 2012.

We will focus on Module 1 (Strategic Management) on March 8th.  Please bring your study tools to the study group. 

Prepare for the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), Professional in Human Resources (PHR), or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification examinations by joining the PHR/SPHR study group offered by Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resources Management Chapter.
In the study group you will interact with fellow HR professionals who are also looking to advance their career by preparing to take the PHR/SPHR Study Group.
Methods used in the study group include group discussions, answering practice questions and opportunities to discuss the test taking experience with HR Professionals that have successfully passed the examination.
The study group sessions last 10 weeks and are held in both the fall and spring.
For more information please contact Jake Siudzinksi at

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Community Events

Volunteer Opportunity!
Calling all Mock Interviewers!
We have a couple of volunteer opportunities for September:
• The Urban League has mock interviews from 9:30-11:30 on 9/28. If you are available e-mail Vernon Blackwell at
• Omega High School is having mock interviews on 9/14 from 9-11. If you are interested e-mail Michele Thoren at
These organizations greatly appreciate your help!
These are great opportunities for those of you who may be Pay It Forward members. 
Thank you in advance for volunteering!
 GMA SHRM Social MediaGMA SHRM Social MediaGMA SHRM Social MediaGMA SHRM Social Media

GMA SHRM Social Media

‘Like’ us on Facebook!

Do you have a Facebook page? Be sure to search for Greater Madison Area SHRM and “like” our page! Another great way to stay connected to GMA SHRM and your HR ‘friends’.

Please note - By “liking” the Greater Madison Area SHRM page you will not be sharing your personal Facebook page with the other users that “like” GMA SHRM.  If you have your settings set to friends only, only those you “friend” will see your page.

Follow us on Twitter!

Do you tweet? Maybe you are a Twewbie (Twitter newbie) and are looking for organizations to follow. Whatever your tweeting experience, you can now follow GMA SHRM on Twitter too!

Forward HR

WI SHRM has a new blog, Forward HR. Click here to take a look.

GMA SHRM is LinkedIn

Are you on 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 and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapter.

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GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 20, 2011, GMA SHRM Strategic Summit
Topic: Effective & Sustainable Rewards Strategies for Difficult Economic Times
Location:  Alliant Energy Center

Some organizations are reducing headcount in a desperate attempt to realign costs with reduced revenues and financial resources. Others are freezing or dramatically reducing budgets for base pay increases, incentive awards and/or benefits. Few are business as usual, at least for the present.

This Summit will discuss all of the alternatives….their advantages, their disadvantages and where they should be used. Bring your own challenges and share them with the group. What worked well and what you may have done differently. Given that there is no best answer for everyone, we will discuss strategies that can help meet your challenges. 

Our presenter:  Robert J. Greene, PhD, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, CBP, GRP is the CEO of Reward $ystems, Inc., a consultancy whose mission is “Helping Organizations Succeed through People.” He is also a faculty member for the MBA and MSHR degree programs for DePaul University and serves on the advisory boards for these programs. He has over 30 years of industry and consulting experience, has authored over 100 articles and book chapters, and speaks and teaches globally on human resource management. He was awarded the first Keystone Award for achieving the highest level of excellence in the field by the American Compensation Organization (now WorldatWork) and has designed professional development programs for numerous associations. He was a principal developer of the PHR and SPHR certifications for the Society for Human Resource Management and the CCP and GRP certifications for the American Compensation Association (WorldatWork).

This program has been pre-approved by HRCI for 3.0 hours of strategic recertification credits.

To register click here

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 HR Roundtable
Topic: Employee Engagement Strategies
Location: M3 Insurance Solutions

Are your employees engaged? Are they motivated, interested in their work and willing to go the extra mile?

If you answered “No” or “I don’t know” you are not alone!! This topic is more important than ever. A 2011 global study by Blessing White found that more employees are disengaged and looking for new employment than in previous years.

Join us for the October 5th Roundtable on Employee Engagement to share and collaborate on engagement strategies. This informal peer group will discuss methods that have been implemented and the outcomes, how to measure engagement, and what factors influence the level of employee engagement. We will share ideas on hot topics such as re-engagement and retention in a rebound economy, engaging high performers, and effective communication strategies to improve engagement.

To register click here

Moderator: Jennifer Peters
HR Manager, Cascade Asset Management
2008 SHRM Best Place to Work
2008 Madison Magazine Best Place to Work

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GMA SHRM Announcements 

SHRM Foundation News:  Generating Research-Based Knowledge

The SHRM Foundation is the leading funder of HR research grants--providing funding for high-impact, original HR research that advances the knowledge base of the profession. In the past 12 years, the SHRM Foundation has funded more than $2.8 million in research grants for over 105 research projects. Topics for research include:

• Making virtual teams more effective.
• Increasing the success rate of new executives.
• Employee engagement in multinational corporations.
• Retention of an older workforce.
• Impact of HR practices on organizational social performance.

Much of your every day work is influenced by research, even if you have never read a research paper. The cumulative effect of multiple research studies is to discover and document what practices work best and under what conditions. In this way, research ultimately influences the practice of human resource management.

To learn more and to review the results of recently completed SHRM Foundation research, visit the foundation website (

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In Business Wisconsin Blogging Opportunity

Have a perspective on human resources and looking for an outlet to share your ideas? In Business Wisconsin is looking for anyone interested in blogging on human resources and/or employment law issues for their forthcoming website. If interested, please contact Cassy Van Dyke at

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GMA SHRM Member News

GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Rhonda Schemm

Where do you currently work?
I am currently the Human Resources Manager at Employee Benefits Corporation.

What is the focus of your position?
My focus is really on all aspects of Human Resources. Additionally, we are very employee centered, so I focus a great deal of time on supervisor and manager trainings, companywide team building and projects focused on employee engagement.

How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
I have been in Human Resources for 10 years.

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest?
I am most proud of my current role and the impact I have been able to make on the organization.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is to always push beyond my comfort zone to get to the next level.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
GMA SHRM is a great resource for information. I also have used it to network and have been able to connect with many knowledgeable people within the HR field.

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in July of 2011!


Keri Braithwaite
Benefits Specialist
QTI-Human Resources
Robert DeCock
Q-College Program
Holly C. Pomraning
Attorney-Labor and Employment
Foley & Lardner
Thomas A. Vergeront
TAV Enterprises
Sarah A. Weitz
Vice President
Vitense Golfland
Nikki I. Wermuth
HR & Payroll Specialist
State of WI Investment Board


Movin' Up

Pat Barone, of Catalyst Coaching® LLC, recently became Madison's first Master Certified Coach (MCC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF). The MCC designation is the highest credential available from ICF. Congratulations Pat!

Have you started with a new company? Has your organization recently promoted you to a new position? Or do you want to recognize a new person or promotion within your department? If so, we want to hear about it. Send us an e-mail, and we’ll publish your good news in the next HR InTouch!

In Transition

If you are a member who is in between jobs, or who is currently employed but seeking new positions or career paths, write us a brief description of your skill set, areas of expertise, what you’re looking for, etc. Send us an e-mail. We’ll publish your information in the next HR InTouch.

GMA SHRM Member Poll

Do you have a burning HR question that you’d like to see featured on our GMA SHRM Member Poll? If so, please submit your questions to Tar Conger at

HR InTouch Guidelines

Article Writing:

Do you have an interest in writing for the HR InTouch? We have an interest in learning more about your area of expertise!

Why should you volunteer? Top three reasons: 1) to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others; 2) to become more connected in the 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 SHRM 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.

Article length:

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 lengthy.


GMA SHRM is conscious not to allow solicitation through the articles, in an effort to protect the interests of our partners and members. The nature 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 to a for-profit event, or specifically markets your company (vs. your industry), it is an advertisement, and should be purchased. If it is a not-for-profit 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 .