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Fall 2015

In This Issue!

Upcoming Events

December 8th The Future of HR: Talent as a Strategic Catalyst & Annual Holiday Celebration

January 27th Legal/ Legislative Update

March 22nd
Poverty Simulation Exercise


Looking For a New Career Opportunity?
Need to Hire an HR Professional?

When you are ready for a transition, or when you need to hire an HR professional at any level, remember that CNY SHRM offers a free job posting service! Click here to check out the latest postings. 

Employers—send any requests to post your HR openings to [email protected].

Board of Directors

Executive Committee
Susan M. Beebe

Vice President:
Mary Stone, PHR

Kristen E. Smith, Esq
Amanda Cooper

Immediate Past President:
Pamela E. Gavenda, SPHR

Board of Directors 
Diversity and Workforce Readiness:
Melanie Woodward, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Professional Certification & College Relations:
Pamela E. Gavenda, SPHR

Mary Stone, PHR

Legal/Legislative Advocate:
Katherine Schafer, Esq.

James N. Jerose

Lisa Reedy

Janelle Fields

Senior HR Advocate:
Jack Matson

Total Rewards:
Louise Hand, MBA, SPHR

Chapter Management Professional:
Laura Abert

Need to Renew your Membership?

• To renew your National SHRM Membership, click here

• To renew your CNY SHRM Membership, please complete the Primary Chapter Designation Form.

Please email the form to: [email protected]

Volunteer Opportunities

CNY SHRM operates through the leadership of our volunteers who give their time to further the mission of the association.  Serving as a volunteer is a great way to give back to the HR community and to network with your peers.  It is also a great way to broaden and build your leadership skills. Get Involved!


Up Next: CNY SHRM Year-End
Program & Holiday Celebration

peopleJoin us on December 8th at 2pm for an afternoon discussion on HR leadership.  This program, delivered by Renee Downey Hart, PhD, of LeMoyne College, will explore how HR can help lead and shape an organization with today’s workforce. It will highlight how HR can continue to play a strategic role in talent acquisition and management; help to shape or sustain the culture of the organization; and have a measurable impact on an organization through effective practices.  1.5 General Credits available.
Following the program, stay for our annual Holiday Celebration from 4 – 7pm.  Network with your HR colleagues over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, try your luck at our annual raffle of fun and valuable prizes, and chat with our sponsors to learn more about the ways they can help your organization.  The raffle benefits a worthy local non-profit.

We are seeking raffle prizes.  If you would like to donate a prize, please contact [email protected] and we will be delighted to arrange a pickup.

Marketing Committee Update

networkingYour Marketing Committee is reviewing current and past CNY SHRM event and program sponsors for potential renewals, and actively prospecting many leads for future sponsors.
At this time of year we are supporting the Membership Committee which is charged with organizing the December Program and Holiday Celebration on December 8th at the Doubletree East Syracuse. Several sponsors from last year plan to return, but our work to solicit is ongoing and our Committee task is to have a good array of sponsors at this event. Attendees always learn about products and services designed for all aspects of the Human Resource profession.
Sponsor leads for our events and programs are always appreciated. Many leads as well as sponsors come from our membership, so if your company or organization would like to discuss sponsorship benefits and costs, please contact Committee Chair Jim Jerose at [email protected] or 315-447-1177.

Legal Q & A

Katie Schafer, Esq.By: Katherine Schafer, Esq., CNY SHRM Legislative Chair
[email protected]

Question: What can I do to prepare for the new overtime exemption rules?
Answer: As most of you are well aware, the U.S. Department o
f Labor recently published proposed rules updating the regulations governing which "white collar" workers are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and which are entitled to Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay protections.

The proposed rules update the salary and compensation levels needed for white collar workers to be exempt.  Specifically, the Department proposes to increase the required salary level for exempt employees to a projected $50,440 per year in 2016, and to establish a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels on an annual basis going forward.  Additionally, while not proposing specific changes at this time, the Department solicited comments and additional occupation examples on the current duties test requirements. The Department estimates that nearly five million employees who are currently classified as exempt will immediately become eligible for overtime pay if the proposed rule is adopted as the final rule.

The Department received nearly 250,000 comments during the two-month comment period on the proposed rules, underscoring the deep divide in public opinion
as to whether the new rules will provide help to underpaid workers or bury businesses in unanticipated costs.  The Department must now wade through those comments before releasing a final rule, but in the meantime, employers can start making preparations for compliance.

First, identify those current exempt positions with salaries that would fall below the Department’s proposed $50,440 per year (or $970 per week) threshold.

Second, for those whose current salary is below the proposed minimum, start making preliminary determinations as to whether employees will be reclassified as non-exempt or receive a bump in salary to remain exempt.  For those employees likely to be reclassified, start trying to understand how many hours per week they are working to help anticipate costs going forward.  For those in line for a pay increase, start thinking about how to ensure their pay remains above the automatically-adjusted minimum threshold each year.

Third, start thinking about how these newly reclassified positions will be compensated. Will they receive an hourly rate that is equivalent to their current weekly salary divided by 40? Or do you need to lower the hourly rate to account for anticipated overtime pay?

Fourth, determine if you have a sufficient mechanism in place for these newly reclassified workers to record their time.

Fifth, consider whether potential expanded overtime pay can or should be offset by hiring more full-time, part-time or seasonal non-exempt employees. 

Sixth, for reclassified employees, consider whether any of their exe
mpt duties can be reassigned to exempt employees.

Finally, start thinking about how these changes will be communicated to your
workforce. Understandably, there is lots of uncertainty and anxiety surrounding this issue for employers and employees alike.  An effective communication strategy will be key to managing future changes.

Diversity & Workforce Readiness

CNY SHRM Diversity & Workforce Readiness Committee members Erik Lilly SHRM-CP, PHR and Shaun Crisler are pictured with Allison Smith from ISSI Technology Staffing Professionals at the NYS Business Education Teachers and Work Experience Annual Conference at the Doubletree in Syracuse on October 15, 2015.

Sue Gubing of Career Smarts, Creative Innovator for Career and Workforce Development and co-chair of the SHRM-Long Island Workforce Readiness Committee invited CNY SHRM members to participate as panelists for a breakout session titled What are employers looking for when hiring high school or college graduates.” This was a 45 minute panel with much interaction with the audience of high school business education teachers.  The panel had a great time, did some networking and answered the following questions.

  1. What does it mean to be workforce ready?
  2. What are the skills employers are looking for in employees who come from the entry level, high school graduation level?
  3. Do you use social media to check candidates’ backgrounds?
  4. How do you publicize your job openings?
  5. What are the “hot” jobs for 2015 and later?

Already Certified?
SHRM Certification Online Tutorial Pathway

certificationIf you are a current holder of an HR generalist certification* in good standing and you obtained your certification by January 31, 2015, you are eligible for SHRM’s new certification—at no cost—by completing three simple steps by December 31, 2015. To get started, visit
*Eligible HR generalist certification programs include:

PHR, SPHR, GPHR, HRBP and HRMP are registered trademarks of the HR Certification Institute and are not SHRM certifications. SHRM has no rights to the “IPMA” trademark, and IPMA-CP is not a SHRM certification. Other HR generalist credentials may also qualify based on SHRM’s review. Please e-mail [email protected] for more information.
Considering SHRM Certification?

Earning your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential makes you a recognized expert and leader in the HR field—and a valuable asset to your organization, keeping you and your organization more competitive in today's economy. This professional distinction sets you apart from your colleagues, proving your high level of knowledge and skills.  To get started, visit

SHRM-CP & SHRM-SCP Certifications
SHRM Preferred Provider

CNY SHRM is now recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. More information regarding these certifications is available on the National SHRM website.