May 2017 Newsletter Print

President's Report

Kimberly Prescott, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
President, HoCo Human Resources Society

“Human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they're not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.” - Ken Robinson

This month's HoCoHRS Chapter Meeting is focused on changes in legislature that may affect how work gets done in your organization. It brings to my mind the  quote above. As an HR practitioner, this is where you get to prove your strategic value for maximizing excellence in your organization-through your knowledge of changing employment mandates-internal and external: State and/or Federal. You know that it is your job to be up-to-date with best workplace practices and with changes in employment laws--both having impact on how work gets done in your organization or your clients' organizations. This is where HoCoHRS and SHRM can make your life easier by virtue of your memberships. You get to take advantage of on-line and in-person programs that can help you be the expert and go-to person in your organization when it comes to determining innovative approaches to engaging the workforce toward changing organization priorities. And this month, Cheryl Brown, Esq, HoCo HRS Legislative Chair. will be presenting the Chapter's Annual Legislative Update . You will want to hear all the recent changes in the laws that are being enacted (or being proposed): from wage requirements , paid sick leave, minimum wage, and other legislation. You are the HR expert for your organization-and we want to help you build or maintain your reputation for being the expert for minimizing liability for your organization. 

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Calendar of Events

Please join us as we welcome Cheryl Brown, Esq., from Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny.  Cheryl is also the Legislative Chair of Howard County HR Society.

Cheryl will present the most recent developments out of the last Maryland legislative session and touch on other local jurisdictional laws as well. 

 About the Speaker:

 Cheryl Brown represents employers and management in labor and employment related matters, including the Cheryl Brown, Esq.defense of state and federal discrimination claims, workplace and sexual harassment charges, wrongful discharge, ADA and ADEA claims, wage and hour issues, 

FMLA disputes, employment contracts, restrictive covenant agreements, general contract claims, employment-related, and other business tort claims.

She represents clients from a broad range of business industries including non-profits, municipalities, and educational institutions throughout the federal, state, and local court system and administrative agencies. Cheryl represents government contractors in employment matters. She has successfully handled Department of Labor, OFCCP, and other federal agency investigations and subsequent charges related to I-9s, EEO Compliance and FLSA wage and hour issues under the Service Contract Act.

Cheryl advises clients in virtually every facet of employment law including implementation of policies, recruitment and selection of employees, hiring procedures, wage and hour compliance, counseling and disciplinary actions, family and medical leave act management, disability accommodations, compliance with anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws, Affordable Care Act, performance evaluation and review process, investigations resulting from allegations of harassment, and termination of the employment relationship, including mass layoffs.  Cheryl provides ongoing employment advice, strategies and training seminars to companies to implement and develop effective employment policies and procedures and create positive work environments.  She also regularly advises clients on the design, implementation, and regular reviews of employee handbooks, policies, and procedures.

In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, skiing, reading books and spending time with her family. 


Thank you to The MWE Partnership for sponsoring our May meeting!

At MWE our mission is to help companies and associated brokers to strategize, implement, and service the entire voluntary benefits process. Our process is turn-key and seamless. We are the partner you need whom specializes in this unique niche.

This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please Howard County Human Resources Society (HoCoHRS) is recognized by SHRM to offer professional development credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. 


This meeting has been approved by HRCI for 1.5 general credits.  The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.


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Community Service

Thank you for your donations and time! Our 1st becHaRitable event held on April 20th was a great success – we packed more than 200 lunch bags for delivery to Simple Sacrifice who handed out the bags to homeless people in downtown Baltimore on Sunday, April 23. 

We received many donations, had lots of stuff to pack, the assembly line was smooth and we had a great time. 

 Special thanks to -- the Charitable Events committee for pulling our 1st event together, our friend Terri Carpenter from the Chamber of Commerce – she forwarded our invite to Michael Anderson of the Doubletree HotelColumbia, who donated a box of travel size shampoos, ReThink Water donor, special guest Meg (Brian Barrett's wife) for joining us to help, Cheryl Brown for donating the conference room space to pack, a cash donation from chapter member Dawn Weglein and Katherine Mooney for hauling it all home and then downtown Baltimore to the homeless.

 We are planning our next charitable event for July.  Stay tuned for additional details. 

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Would you like to get your company message out to over 300 Human Resource Professionals in Howard County?

Are you ready to take your engagement of HR professionals to the next level in 2017? Partner with the Howard County Human Resources Society (HoCo HRS), an affiliate chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and gain access to over 300 of Howard County's best and brightest in the field of Human Resources. Like our members—our sponsor partners come from a mix of industries and specialties, and we offer several sponsorship options so you may find the one that’s the right fit for you. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to generate new prospects, strengthen relationships with existing customers, and create brand awareness in the Howard County community.


  • Generate new leads & open doors
  • Build brand awareness for your organization
  • Position yourself against your competitors
  • Enjoy powerful advertising & media exposure via our website & social media pages
  • Gain access to our relevant, targeted audience via sponsored email
  • Become a thought leader for our membership


If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor, please visit or email

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Legislative Update

The 437th session of the General Assembly of Maryland ended Monday, April 10, 2017.  The following is a recap of just some of the employment related bills followed by Maryland SHRM during this 90-day session.

HB 01, Healthy Working Families Act – Passed but not enacted (as of this writing). While there were several bills, including the Governor’s own addressing paid sick leave mandates this bill was passed.

    • The latest report is that the Governor still intends to veto the bill
    • Some legislators want a Special Session to discuss medical marijuana licenses
    • If a Special session is held, then the state Constitution allows other issues to be addressed, meaning that paid sick leave, if vetoed, could be voted on to override the veto.
    • Presently, there are exactly enough votes to override the veto.  


HB 665 / SB 607 – Exemptions From Overtime Pay - Administrative, Executive, or Professional Capacity. This bill would have essentially put into place the DOL’s EAP regulations, changing increasing the minimum salary for an exempt employee to $47,476 or $913/week. On the morning of March 2nd MD SHRM sent a letter to each member of the Senate Finance Committee opposing SB 607. Approximately two hours later the hearing was cancelled.  Four days later the bill received an unfavorable report and was withdrawn. 

HB 317 – Wages & Benefits - Pre-Emption of Local Authority –. Limiting the authority of the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to enforce a local minimum wage law; prohibiting a county or municipality from enacting a law that regulates wages or benefits for employees other than employees of the county or municipality; and prohibiting a law enacted by a county or municipality that regulates wages or benefits for employees other than employees of the county or municipality from being enforced if the specified provision was enacted on or after January 1, 2017. This bill received an unfavorable report and was withdrawn

HB 398 / SB 404 – Equal Pay - Job Announcement and Salary History Information Disclosures - Requiring employers with 15 or more employees to include specified information in a job announcement to recruit an employee or independent contractor to fill a position within the employer's organization; prohibiting specified employers from paying less than the minimum rate of pay included in a specified job announcement to a specified employee; prohibiting specified employers from seeking salary history information for an employee by specified methods; etc. HB 398 received an initial favorable report in the EMC but the hearing in the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) was cancelled. The bill died there. SB 404 received an unfavorable report in the SFC.

HB 440/ SB 555 – Employers of Ex-Offenders - Liability for Negligent Hiring or Inadequate Supervision – Immunity - Establishing that specified employers are not liable for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee based on evidence that the employee has received probation before judgment for an offense or has been convicted of an offense under specified circumstances; providing that the Act does not limit or abrogate specified other immunities or defenses; applying the Act prospectively; etc. HB 440 received an unfavorable report in EMC; SB 555 also received an unfavorable report in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

HB 506 / SB 468 – Noncompete and Conflict of Interest Clauses - Providing that specified noncompete and conflict of interest provisions that restrict the ability of an employee to enter into employment with a new employer or to become self-employed in the same or similar business or trade are null and void as being against the public policy of the State. HB 506 passed out of the House Committee on 2/24 but its hearing in the SFC was cancelled and never rescheduled. SB 468 received an unfavorable report the same day.

HB 531 – Labor Organizations - Right to Work - Prohibiting an employer from requiring, as a condition of employment or continued employment, an employee or a prospective employee to join or remain a member of a labor organization, pay charges to a labor organization, or pay a specified amount to a third party under specified circumstances; prohibiting an employer from threatening an employee or a prospective employee with specified action; providing that a specified violation of law is a misdemeanor and is subject to specified penalties; applying the Act prospectively; etc. This bill received an unfavorable report.

HB 1614 & 1615 / SB 1116 – Fair Scheduling, Wages & Benefits Act - Requiring a specified employer to provide specified employees with specified estimates and work schedules within specified time periods and notify employees of specified changes to specified schedules; authorizing an employer to make specified changes to a scheduled shift within a specified period of time; requiring an employer, except under specified circumstances, to pay specified predictability pay under specified circumstances; providing that the predictability pay is in addition to specified other pay; etc. None of these bills ever moved out of their respective Rules Committee.

SB 231 - Hiring and Promotion Preferences - Veterans of Commissioned Corps - Altering the definition of "eligible veteran" to include the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the purpose of granting a preference in hiring and   promotion to eligible veterans, spouses of eligible veterans, and surviving spouses of eligible veterans. This bill received an unfavorable report in the EMC.

SB 490 – Labor Organizations - Right to Work (see HB 531 but not cross-filed with it). This bill died in committee; it was heard in the SFC but not further action was taken.

SB 726 - Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law - Awards of Certain Fees and Costs and Prohibition Against Retaliation - Authorizing a court, on a specified finding in an action on behalf of an employee for a violation of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, to award the Attorney General reasonable counsel fees and other costs; authorizing a court, on a specified finding in an action by an employee for a violation of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, to award the employee reasonable counsel fees and other costs; prohibiting an employer from taking specified adverse action against an employee under specified circumstances; etc. This bill died in committee; it was heard in the SFC but not further action was taken.

SB 1192 -  Unemployment Insurance – Independent Contractors  and Severance Pay – this bill sought to redefine independent contractor status and modify whether severance is a bar to unemployment insurance when received in exchange for signing release of claims. The hearing for this bill was cancelled (twice) and no further action was taken.

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Maryland SHRM State Conference


2017 MD SHRM State Conference Save the Date! 

Navigating The Sea of HR Change: Surviving the Storm

October 15th-17th, 2017 
Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland

Registration is open!

Register NOW to take advantage of the early bird rate - ends June 30th: early bird rate - $419.00. Regular rate: $545 after June 30th. (full conference rate includes Opening Welcome Reception, Monday Night Happy Hour/Tiki Party/Dinner and all meals during the meetings.)

For More Details Visit:

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News from Maryland State Council


MD SHRM is thrilled to be partnering with The Daily Record and Best Companies Group to produce the first annual Best Employers in Maryland program. This is the only statewide initiative dedicated to identifying and recognizing Maryland’s best employers. We are working to shine the light on the hard work our HR community is doing to create environments where employee love to come to work. Positive workplaces are vital for Maryland to compete in both national and global arenas.

This statewide competition is open to all Maryland for-profit and not-for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in MD. Being headquartered in Maryland is not a requirement.  Registration deadline is June 16, 2017.


Find details about the process, registration, the survey, the Employee Feedback Report and how this program can help your organization at


Questions? Contact Lauren Kissinger at Best Companies Group at 717-909-1570  or 


Don’t miss out!  Deadline to register is June 16, 2017.

Are You Hiring?  Use MD SHRM’s job posting board to reach qualified candidates in and around Maryland!  Click here for more information and competitive rates.

Earn, Learn and Save! The Maryland State Council, Inc. continues to partner with SHRM‘s e-Learning program. In fact, we are the test case for this project. While earning recertification credits, obtaining at least 1 recertification hour for each course successfully completed, members enhance their skills through these expertly designed programs. ALL 60 recertification credits can be earned through this program. The courses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so it is very convenient for even the busiest person. Members are encouraged to register with code SHRMMDSC to take advantage of the SHRM e-Learning program. Fliers for this program are being distributed to the local chapter CLAs for their upcoming programs. 

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