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Winter 2016

In This Issue!

Upcoming Events

Transgender in Central New York
Tuesday, Mar 22nd, 2016
8:00 AM

Totally Responsible Leader: Serving and Empowering Others
Friday, Apr 8th, 2016
8:00 AM

Drive Business Success with Workplace Flexibility - SHRM National Speaker
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
8:00 AM

Board of Directors

Executive Committee
Mary Stone, PHR

Vice President:
Amanda Cooper

Kristen E. Smith, Esq

Jay Jerose


Board of Directors 
Diversity and Workforce Readiness:
James Branche
Professional Certification & College Relations:
Kirsi Donovan

Beth Reilly

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!


A New Year Brings Many Changes in
Leadership for CNY SHRM 

2016 brings new leadership to the CNY SHRM chapter. Mary Stone, the Chief Quality Officer for  Hematology Oncology Associates of CNY, assumed the role of President on January 1st.  Mary has served on the CNY SHRM board for 12 years in a variety of roles, including Programming, Professional Certification and College Relations, and Vice President.
“Participating in the role of president at CNY SHRM is an honor for me,” said Stone. “I’ve been in HR most of my career, and am happy to share what I’ve learned to help improve the professional practice for human resource professionals in the Syracuse area.”

Amanda Cooper of Syracuse University, who has served as Treasurer, has assumed the role of Interim Vice President.  Amanda will also continue to serve in the Treasurer role through the spring.

As Amanda transitions into the role of Vice President, Jay Jerose, of the Bonadio Group will assume the role of Treasurer.  A graduate of University of Buffalo, Jerose has been with the Bonadio Group (formerly Testone, Marshall & DiScenza), since 2012. He specializes as a Small Business Advisory accountant and says he “looks forward to contributing his expertise at CNY SHRM.” Jerose said he was encouraged by his employer to contribute to a not for profit organization where he could provide concrete skills and expertise.

Kristen Smith, a member with Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, begins a second term as Secretary on the Executive Board.  Kristen is formerly the Chair of the Legislative Committee and is a frequent presenter at CNY SHRM events.
In addition to these changes on the Executive Board, there are several new faces on the Board of Directors.  In 2016, Kirsi Donovan of CPS Professionals, joins the Board as the Chair of the Professional Certification and College Relations Chair.  CNY SHRM thanks Pam Gavenda, former Chair of the Professional Certification and College Relations Chair, former President and longtime Board member, for her many years of service. James Branche of United Radio also joins the Board as co-chair of the Diversity Committee.  Finally, the Board welcomes Janelle Fields, President of JFields Marketing, as the Publicity Chair.

As always, there is always a need for new and future leaders! Visit our Committees page or contact any of these Board members for information on how to join a committee and obtain valuable leadership experience.  



CNY SHRM Event to Explore
Transgenderism in the Workplace  


At CNY SHRM’s March event, the chapter will explore the issue of transgenderism and how it impacts the workplace.  The event will feature a panel of experts who will address the issues from their varied perspectives.  Two transgender individuals will discuss their personal experiences in the workplace, while Christa Richer Cook, Esq. of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC will discuss the legal considerations that employers should take into account.  Finally, Tarina McQueeney, HR Manager for the Syracuse division of Wegmans Food Markets will discuss her experience implementing and managing various best practices. Please join us for what promises to be an engaging, informative and timely discussion!
The event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at the Doubletree Hotel in East Syracuse.   Registration and networking breakfast begin at 8:00am, with the presentation running from 8:30 – 10:30am. Click here to register today!



Legal Q & A

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

Question: What does the EEOC’s Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation mean for me and my organization?

Answer:  It means we can expect a much more aggressive approach to claims of retaliation, the most frequently alleged type of violation raised with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  The Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues was published in late January 2016, aimed at what EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang has called a “persistent and widespread problem in the nation's workplaces.”

The last time the EEOC issued guidance on retaliation was 1998. Since then, there have been a number of significant court decisions concerning the scope of anti-retaliation protections under federal statutes and the percentage of retaliation charges has nearly doubled.  While the guidance document does not carry the weight of a law or regulation, we can certainly anticipate that, once adopted, the guidance will establish the standards the EEOC will apply while investigating charges of retaliation.

Generally, the guidance takes a broad, claimant-friendly approach to the application of federal anti-retaliation statutes, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.  For example, the guidance indicates that an employee’s knowingly baseless internal complaint of discrimination would be protected activity.  In contrast, most courts have required that an internal claim of discrimination must be made in good faith in order for that conduct to be protected by law.   

The draft guidance also lists several “best practices” which it suggests employers follow, including maintaining a written anti-retaliation policy with examples of prohibited retaliation and a complaint procedure and providing anti-retaliation training for all managers, supervisors, and employees.

The material contained in this column is intended to provide general information and understanding about the law for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be used or relied upon as a substitute for consultation with competent legal counsel.


CNY SHRM Continues to Make Career Connections

Did you know that one of the many valuable services of CNY SHRM is our free job posting service?  Employers seeking to hire HR professionals can contact [email protected] to post any HR related job opening for free! Job seekers and those who are merely curious about the HR job market can explore the openings here. We encourage all our members to take advantage of this valuable service!


Local & State SHRM Conferences Offer the Perfect Opportunity for Learning and Networking!

peopleAs you plan your conference budget for 2016, keep in mind that both CNY SHRM New York State SHRM offer excellent opportunities for professional development.  As always, CNY SHRM will present a full day program in June.  This year, the conference is scheduled for Friday, June 17th at the Doubletree in East Syracuse.  The theme is Navigating Human Resources Change, Challenge and Opportunity: A Roadmap to Success.  Perennial favorite Lou DiLorenzo, Esq. will deliver the morning keynote, and a fresh line-up of breakout sessions are already planned.  Presentation topics will include Social Media Recruiting, Effective Open Enrollment Strategies, Workplace Wellness, and Background Investigations.  Our afternoon keynote address will be given by Dr. Scott Vinciguerra on Building a Transformational Culture.  Mark your calendars now! Registration opens soon.
For an even more in-depth conference experience, consider attending the three-day 2016 NYS SHRM Conference in beautiful Lake Placid, New York. The state conference offers a valuable opportunity to connect with your peers from across the state and hear from some of the top experts in a variety of HR disciplines.  This year, the conference is scheduled for September 18-20.  We hope to have a strong showing from CNY SHRM chapter this year. Click here for more details!


 HR Mentoring Program Expanding


One of CNY SHRM’s newest initiatives is a mentoring program that pairs up-and-coming junior HR professionals with more highly practitioners for professional guidance and mentoring.  This program, managed by the Senior Advocates Committee is growing!  If you are a junior HR professional looking to learn and advance in your career, let us know! Contact the chair of the committee, Jack Matson for more information.


CNY SHRM is Proud to Support Charity for Children

Every other year, CNY SHRM selects a worthy local charity to support with the proceeds of a raffle at the December holiday event.  This past December, CNY SHRM supported Charity for Children.  The raffle raised nearly $1,000, which was presented to a representative for Charity for Children at the event.  Charity for Children provides services for families of CNY children with serious illnesses, including financial assistance for treatment related travel expenses.  Thank you to our generous prize donors and to our CNY SHRM members who generously participated in the raffle. We look forward to supporting Charity for Children again in December 2016!

SHRM-CP & SHRM-SCP Certifications

SHRM Preferred ProviderCNY 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.