August 2020 Newsletter Print

A Message from Our President

To Return or Not to Return: Office Protocol during COVID-19

Many businesses have begun the process of reopening their workplaces for employees and customers.  This has been met with various emotional reactions including trepidation, relief, cautious optimism and hope for safety and a new normalcy of the workplace.

Operating a business during a pandemic presents unique issues for employers seeking to protect themselves, their employees and their customers.   Employers should consult state and local laws and regulations for re-opening plan guidance. According to the CDC and state reopening plan guidance, safety is key and there are three areas in particular to take into consideration: (1) cleaning and sanitizing; (2) social distancing and hygiene in the workplace; and (3) screening employees and visitors. 

In addition to the overarching safety considerations, there are a host of other considerations and legal questions for employers:

  • How can you support employees who can not return to the office for family, non-medical reasons or medical reasons?
  • Will offering telework as an accommodation now set a precedent for future disability requests?
  • If schools don’t reopen in the fall, what leave will employees be entitled to?
  • How will you provide support to employees in situations where both employees and children are working/learning from home?
  • What work-from-home expenses should be reimbursed?
  • Can you tell older workers to stay home for their own safety?


For the latest news and advice on handling COVID-19 in the workplace, visit SHRM’s Coronavirus Resource Center, as well as the updated list of articles SHRM has published on the pandemic.

Stay healthy and safe,

Elicia Wood

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Upcoming Events

Government Policy – HR’s Impact In Developing And Advancing Public Policies That Improve The Lives, Livelihoods & Futures Of Millions Of Americans

Join us Thursday, August 20th as we welcome Emily Dickens from SHRM.  Emily Dickens is the Corporate Secretary, Chief of Staff & Head, Government Affairs.

This interactive session will include networking and time for Q&A!

Click here for details and to register

Thank you to Paylocity for sponsoring our July webinar!

At Paylocity, caring is in our makeup. It’s who we are. We’re more than a cutting-edge HR and payroll tech company with crazy good reviews (just sayin'). We're people. Because people matter most. And people have always been at the heart of our business. Since our founding in 1997, this is the thing that's stayed the same, from our employees to the millions of users nationwide that access our platform every month. We pride ourselves on partnering with our clients to build the workplace you and your employees crave. That's us, in a nutshell. It's nice to meet you. Let's go forward together.

Do you know any recent college graduates?  Please spread the word about this exciting event!


Wednesday | August 26, 2020 | 3 - 5 pm

Keynote Presentation: Job Search Strategies That Work! 

Naomi Schmuckler, MHRM - Senior Director of Human Resources, American Institute of Physics

PLUS 3 Breakout Sessions

Networking in a Pandemic – Taylor Langley, Marketing Manager, Chesapeake Contracting Group

Ace the Virtual Job Fair & Interview – Kacie Lawrence, Associate Director of Internships & Employment - UMBC

LinkedIn Best Practices – Pam Drury, PHR, Director of Human Resources, Vytex Windows

Space is limited! Register Today!

Submit your resume to [email protected] when you register & receive a FREE resume evaluation from an expert after the event! 

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News You Can Use

Register today to hear from 40+ speakers in 15+ sessions, virtually network with thousands of peers, and earn SHRM & HRCI credits.

Plus, it’s free!  Register here!

2020 Tina L. Pavlish Memorial Scholarship

It has been two years since we lost our beloved chapter leader Tina Pavlish, yet her spirit carries on.  We are honored to offer a $2,500 undergraduate scholarship in her name.  If you are, or know of a dynamic Maryland resident majoring in Human Resources, Business, Psychology, Organizational Development or related major at an accredited university in the state of Maryland, please click here for application details.

Applications must be in by midnight on August 14th.

For questions, please email [email protected].

Calling All HR professionals working in first responder services & essential businesses

Apply for the SHRM Cares Scholarship by September 2nd:

Howard County HR Society Awarded For Elevating Human Resources, Improving Workplaces

Columbia, MD; June 1, 2020 — SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) recently awarded Howard County HR Society its prestigious EXCEL Platinum Award for the Howard County HR Society’s accomplishments in 2019.   Howard County HR Society has been the proud recipient of this award for the past four years in a row. 

The EXCEL award is given to state councils and chapters to recognize major accomplishments, strategic activities, and tactical initiatives that elevate the profession of human resources.  

“So much of SHRM’s impact on the world of work can be traced back to the dedication and hard work of our chapters and state councils like Howard County HR Society. These leaders took the initiative and drove changes to make workplaces where employers and employees can thrive together,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and chief executive officer of SHRM. “The Platinum EXCEL Award is not only a celebration of the great work done by Howard County HR Society - it’s also a recognition of the grit it took to do it.”

The EXCEL Award can be earned at four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each level has a prescribed set of requirements and accomplishments that must be met. Howard County HR Society will receive recognition in SHRM publications and at conferences, a logo to display on its website, and information to share with its members about the significance of this award.

From our Chapter President, Elicia Wood: “For almost 20 years, our chapter has continued its mission of advancing the HR profession and serving the HR professional. We strive to serve our members in various ways, whether it be in-person or virtually. Our growing membership base is attributed to our work and commitment of making our chapter a well-known and premier resource amongst our local HR and business professionals. We are proud to receive the Platinum EXCEL award from SHRM for 2019, and we look forward to achieving this accomplishment in 2020!”

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Professional Development

Looking for a way to grow your network and leadership skills?

Leadership Essentials is recruiting for the class of 2021! 

We are excited about the response to our program year kickoff and are looking forward to a diverse class of dynamic emerging leaders, who are committed to their development and impacting their organizations. 

Learn more about the Leadership Essentials program: 

  • Find out how LE can benefit you and your organization 
  • Meet and network with other interested candidates, LE alumni, and representatives from sponsoring organizations 
  • Identify criteria to select an ideal candidate(s) from your organization 


Program applications are due October 12 

The LE 2021 program begins with an orientation in December 2020.  

For further information, please contact [email protected] To complete the Leadership Essentials 2021 Participant Application, please visit their website:

Invest in Yourself with a SHRM Certification

Is 2020 your year to obtain that SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®) or SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP®) certification you have been thinking about? SHRM’s credentials offer growth, advancement and recognition. 

We are pleased to announce that HoCoHRS is planning to offer a SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP study group starting in mid to late September using the 2020 SHRM Learning System. In order to ensure we can offer this program, we have to have a commitment from 5 participants minimum in order to be able to launch this program. 

Our competitively-priced program combines the leadership of an experienced facilitator with learning modules based on the SHRM BoCK and interactive study tools that test your knowledge and decision making skills for comprehensive and effective SHRM certification preparation.

This twelve-week virtual study group is designed for HR professionals interested in preparing for the SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP exam, achieving professional advancement, and building confidence in addressing today’s HR challenges.

Target Dates



Non-Member Price

Member Price

9/15/2020 - 12/1/2020

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Live Zoom meetings

$820 (includes one year of membership with HoCo HRS)



For more information or to register, please complete our Google Form. You can also contact our Professional Development Chair, Rachel Carey at [email protected] or visit the Professional Development page on our website.

For more information on SHRM's Certifications, visit

Did you know the SHRM Foundation offers two FREE certificate programs on hiring individuals with disabilities and hiring veterans?  

Learn more about Employing Abilities @ Work Certificate here:

Learn more about the Veterans at Work Certificate here:

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Diversity and Inclusion

DE+I Intentionality

Global social movements towards anti-racism have encouraged employers to reevaluate commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This August, let’s all take a closer look at our personal networks to reevaluate our individual commitments to DE+I. We all have a natural tendency to socialize with persons that look and think like us. But there is a greater benefit from having a diverse network! Curating professional and social networks that include persons with different experiences and ideas will help you and others to grow beyond the confines of homogeneity. 

For tips on being intentional about diversity, checkout Be Intentional About Diversity by Brian Hilliard.

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Career Corner

Check out these job opportunities!

Maryland SHRM State Council Job Resources

HR Manager

Positions at Impact Automation, Inc

CISA - HR Internships

If you have any opportunities that you would like to have us include here, please email [email protected].

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Welcome New Members!

Jay Polaki is on a roll! She was featured for a second time in Forbes - check out her article, 14 Noteworthy Aspects Of Digital Transformation In HR

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Get Involved with HoCo HRS

Why Volunteer?

Gain New Experiences and Insights
Give Back and Help Others
Create Connections with People
An Overall Sense of Accomplishment


Our chapter is a great place to get more involved with the HR community in Howard County. We have several committees, listed below, who are seeking volunteers to assist with our various initiatives. Complete our Volunteer Application today or you can reach out to our Volunteer Chair, Michele Gipson, at [email protected]

  • College Relations  
  • Communications and Social Media  
  • Diversity and Inclusion  
  • Legislative Affairs  
  • Membership  
  • Professional Development  
  • Programs
  • Workforce Readiness


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Stay Connected With Us!

If we can't connect in person...let's connect online!


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