June 2018 Newsletter Print

Letter from the President

Verlinda J. Henning, President SHRM Memphis


SHRM-Memphis members, it’s a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as your chapter president for 2018 and 2019.

Our focus this year is “Growing HR Excellence”, and through the talent, commitment and hard work of your leadership group, all of us are experiencing multiple opportunities to grow and develop our skills, knowledge and expertise in our chosen profession.

Through innovative programming, including topics such as “Subtle Bias”, “Executive Presence” and “Innovative Benefits”, we have the opportunity to hear from highly-regarded thought leaders about these critical HR areas, and in upcoming programs, the spotlight will be on Strategic Leadership Development and Succession Planning.

Our partnerships with other local non-profits are growing as we work collaboratively to benefit our organizations and the greater Memphis community. Beginning later this year, Junior Achievement’s BizTown will be the site for our member orientations, while Choose 901 will be present at our July networking event to spotlight their mission of talent recruitment and retention for Memphis, and our strategic alliance with the Memphis Chamber continues to grow, as we partnered with them to present a panel discussion about the opioid crisis in Tennessee and its impact on businesses and health care.

We’re also honoring excellence among our members through the 3rd annual HR Awards Ceremony, held in February at Memphis BioWorks and through our recognition of newly certified professionals, who were honored at our most recent social event held at Zebra Lounge.

As great as our year has been so far, none of it would have any meaning without you—our membership, who have engaged with us, supported us and challenged us to continue our growth in excellence.

Thanks to all of you, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet you at a SHRM-Memphis event soon!

Yours in service,

Verlinda J. Henning

President, SHRM-Memphis

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What's New With SHRM-Memphis!

SHRM Memphis is more than 'mixing and mingling'; instead, we are all connectors within our industry, our businesses, and within the 901. As such - we are relaunching our regular networking after-hours and calling it HRCONNECT!

Come see what this is about. Enjoy the air conditioning at The Bluff on Highland and learn about how we can sell this great city of Memphis to potential employees.


July 17, 2018
5:30 PM CDT to 8:30 PM CDT

The Bluff
535 South Highland Street
Memphis, TN 38111

Memphis Branding Initiative - Connect with HR professionals and learn more about how we can positively sell our city to incoming employees.

This event sponsored by: 




1st Annual HR Executive Conference Cruise 2018

Join us for our 1st Annual HR Executive Conference Cruise!

We are combining a robust Human Resources Executive Conference with an exciting cruise to the Bahamas October 22-26. You can earn a boat-load of HRCI business recertification credits and SHRM * PDCs, learn from a line-up of top-notch keynote speakers, and network with your peers from Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and other states in the US for this innovative concept in HR conferences. It is everything that a land-based conference offers - except that it moves!

We will be sailing on the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas from Miami.

Register before June 1, 2018 to obtain the early bird registration rate of just $599 (plus the cost of your stateroom).

We have four stateroom options including an interior room for $499, a promenade room for $549, an ocean view room with balcony for $649 and a Junior Suite with balcony for $919. The cost of your stateroom is “all-inclusive” based on double occupancy and includes your lodging, all meals, most ship activities, taxes, port fees, pre-paid gratuities, security fees and licenses. Does not include alcohol or Internet. These may be purchased separately.

Please email [email protected] or give Cynthia a call at 901.598.0123 if you are interested in attending our 1st Annual HR Cruise and Executive Conference!

Or, if you are ready to make your purchase visit hrcruise.com!

HR Professionals Magazine is partnering with Aspect Marketing and Communications, Inc. for this innovative conference and will assist in managing the HR Executive Conference Cruise for our guests.

Save $100 - Register by June1!

October 22-26, 2018

October 22-26

Day 1 Mon. Oct. 22 Miami: EMBARK Depart 4:00 pm

Day 2 Tue. Oct. 23 Nassau: DOCKED

Arrive 8:00 am

Depart 11:59 pm

Day 3 Wed. Oct. 24 Coco Cay: TENDERED

Arrive 7:00 am

Depart 5:00 pm

Day 4 Thu. Oct. 25 Cruising: CRUISING

Day 5 Fri. Oct. 26 Miami: DEBARK

Arrive 7:00 am


www.HRProfessionalsMagazine.com 3


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Chapter Monthly Meeting

Succession Planning with Judy Bell

If you were at June’s SHRM breakfast, you received a treat!

If you missed June’s SHRM breakfast, well, you missed out on something special. Or should we say “someone” special. Judy Bell – Consultant Extraordinaire!

L-Angela Lamb, Porter Leath; R-Judy Bell, Speaker, HR Consultant

Citing references from SHRM to First Tennessee Training Program to the Harvard Business Review, Judy covered the essentials of identifying ‘high potentials’, to the three-legged stool of leadership to developing your own leadership identification plan for your own business.

A few key takeaways included:

  • The top 1% of employees account for 10% of organizational change.
  • The top 5% of employees account for 25% of organizational change.
  • The top 20% of employees account for 80% of organizational change.
  • Studies indicate that only 50% of High Potentials can full engage employees.

For more information on Succession Planning or Judy Bell Consulting services, go to judybellconsulting.com.

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Monthly Meeting/Event Information

JobLINC Career Fair

July 26, 2018
10:00 AM CDT to 2:00 AM CDT

Pipkin Building
940 Early Maxwell
Memphis, TN 38104

You are invited to participate in the 2018 JobLINC Career Fair, in collaboration with SHRM-Memphis and Workforce Investment Network at the Pipkin Building (940 Early Maxwell, 38104) on Thursday, July 26, 2018 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Employers:  Please register only if you have positions available and are actively hiring for your company.  Companies recruiting for commission-based and independent contractor positions are ineligible to participate.

Training Providers:  Please register only if you are on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Eligible Training Provider List.

Registration Deadline:  Friday, July 6, 2018 or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first.

We look forward to your participation.  For questions or additional information, please contact JobLINC at (901) 415-2700 or email [email protected]


$50.00 Job - Fair Vendor Ticket
$60.00 after 12:00 am July 16

$5.00 Additional Lunch Ticket - Purchase



Joint SHRM-Memphis/ATD Meeting

August 14, 2018
7:30 AM CDT

Special Keynote Speaker -Dr. Trish Holliday
Doubletree Memphis
5069 Sanderlin Avenue
Memphis, TN


August Member Orientation

August 21, 2018
5:30 PM CDT

Member Orientations are held quarterly. Please plan to attend.
Junior Achievement BizTown
307 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN


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Welcome New Members

May Through June SHRM Membership Discount

Special SHRM membership offer for SHRM-Memphis’s members:  Save $15 on a new or renewal SHRM membership by 6/30 with promo code State18Q and get access to the HR tools and resources to help you be confident, compliant and current on all things HR.  https://membership.shrm.org/?PRODUCT_DISCOUNT_ID=STATE18Q&utm_campaign=membership_Ret.    


And don't forget to affiliate with SHRM-Memphis once you become a member!


Steps for Affiliating with SHRM-Memphis

To affiliate with our chapter please click on the Affiliate With Us button under “Quick Links” on the “Membership” page at www.shrm-memphis.org. You will need your current SHRM National Member Number. By completing this form, it allows our Membership Team to receive accurate information from National regarding your membership and allow us to add you to our membership mailing roster.  Please complete the form in its entirety, to ensure your application is processed timely.

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Legal Updates

The Supreme Court Validates Class-Action Waivers in Mandatory Arbitration Agreements! What Should Employers Do?

On May 21, the Supreme Court decided 5 to 4 that there is no violation of the National Labor Relations Act when an employer requires an employee to sign a waiver of class actions in workplace arbitration agreements. The Court held that these individual agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. In Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis and in two other consolidated cases, the Court knocked out the NLRB’s effort to prohibit mandatory class waivers.

So, employers, what’s the takeaway here?

The Supreme Court held that employees’ filing a collective or class action is not protected concerted activity under the Labor Act; thus, the Act doesn’t prevent employers from requiring employees to individually arbitrate FLSA claims, for example, rather than filing collective or class actions.

The Court affirmed the statement in the Federal Arbitration Act that “Congress has instructed federal courts to enforce arbitration agreements according to their terms—including terms providing for individualized proceedings.”

So, employers now can feel free to require their employees to utilize class-action waivers in their individual mandatory-arbitration agreements. While such agreements must be designed carefully, to avoid a court’s overturning the agreement for over-reaching, employers at last can protect their businesses with such agreements.

HR professionals, what should you do now?

Some of you already have in place at your companies signed mandatory arbitration agreements with your employees. First, you may want to compare your agreement to those in the three Supreme Court cases. Regardless of the new Epic decision, however, your agreements still must comply with State law on issues such as consideration, unconscionability, over-reaching, etc.

If you do not have such agreements in place, you should consider implementing them as a condition of employment for incoming employees (again ensuring your agreement meets the requirements in the previous paragraph).

But what about current employees who haven’t signed such agreements (or who have signed arbitration agreements that don’t include class-action waivers)? There is some Tennessee caselaw indicating that the continuation of employment can serve as consideration for restrictive-covenant agreements; however, I encourage you to consider ways in which you can ask current employees to sign voluntarily, by offering valid consideration for signing—in the past, we’ve used as consideration for a mid-term contract, cash ($500, for example), opportunity to sign onto a new and improved pay plan, etc. Tennessee and Mississippi courts are going to look more favorably at employer agreements with employees that were signed voluntarily, without any evidence of duress from the employer.

But are there risks to employers in having such agreements?

Unfortunately, while you should consider utilizing class-action waivers at your company, those waivers probably will not be a panacea for numerous workplace litigation threats. First, consider the costs of arbitrating. When you’re in federal court, much of the cost of the litigation process (judges, clerks, etc) is borne by the taxpayers; not so in arbitrations, where typically most costs are borne by the employers.

Then there’s the scary thought that, where there once was a single FLSA collective action, now the employees and former employees who would have been included in that single class, might file individual arbitrations. An employer might be faced with 50, 100, or more individual arbitrations. Locally, in fact, a prominent plaintiffs-side employment attorney has often told me in the past that there are situations where he favors filing multiple individual actions against an employer rather than filing a single class action.

We probably also will see litigation-funding groups and unions begin bankrolling individual arbitrations over wages—these funding groups have become serious players around the country in workplace wage suits and discrimination suits.

Of course, on the plus side, it’s also true that arbitrations almost always proceed far quicker to the finish line than class/collective actions do. In addition, I suspect that having to file individual arbitration claims rather than a single collective action might well discourage some plaintiffs-side attorneys from taking on these cases.

While some agreements also require arbitration of sexual-harassment (and other harassment and discrimination claims), this is riskier now, in view of the #MeToo movement. In fact, because of public pressure, many national employers are releasing their employees from mandatory arbitration agreements in sexual-harassment situations.


Fisher Phillips can provide your company with a mandatory arbitration agreement containing a class-action waiver; however, no agreement should be implemented without tailoring the agreement to your company, and review by your labor & employment counsel is essential. Should you want assistance in designing such an arbitration agreement, feel free to contact your Fisher Phillips attorneys. [email protected] or (901) 526-0431.

Jeff Weintraub is Legislative Advisor to the Memphis SHRM Board and is a long-experienced management-side labor & employment attorney with national employment-law firm Fisher Phillips.


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People Profiles

So you missed the last few SHRM Memphis events?

Take a guess at who is pictured below; send your guesses in to Shelley Kemp at [email protected]

Correct guesses will be collected and eligible for a prize drawing at the July HRCONNECT! event!

PHOTO 1: Guess Who?

Photo 1: Guess Who?


PHOTO 2: Gues Who?

Photo 2: Guess Who?


PHOTO 3: Guess Who?

Photo 3: Guess Who?


Submit your guess for who's in the pictures above for your chance to win a FABULOUS PRIZE at the HRConnect! coming in July. And yes - MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN.



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