Saturday, February 29, 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 00:00

The Fifth Annual HR Florida Day on the Hill

Written by Kara Palmer Smith

Capital Hill

Labor pools, texting/ use of wireless devices while Driving, and Florida Healthy Working Families Act were just a few of the bills and issues members of the HR Florida State Council focused on during the annual HR Florida Day on the Hill, April 1-2, 2015. This was the fifth annual “Day on the Hill” event organized to introduce legislators to HR Florida and inform them of the valuable resource HR Florida members can be to them, and to help shape legislation that affects the HR profession and the organizations represented.

Throughout this year’s day-and-a-half agenda, members engaged in discussions with key political and legal leaders, participated in legislative informational sessions, and met with key legislators who are sponsoring bills on priority issues for HR Florida.

“One of HR Florida’s key missions is to advocate for the workplace. Our Day on the Hill is an opportunity to meet face to face with key legislators to ensure that our organization is the voice for businesses here in Florida, large and small”, said Council president Carol McDaniel. “This level of advocacy also sends a strong message of support to those businesses.”

The event kicked off on April 1 at 1 p.m. with interactive workshops and briefings. Speaker Bob Carragher, Senior Advisor, State Affairs from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) spoke about SHRM’s state public policy outlook and the new SHRM advocacy app. The advocacy app, allows members to immediately take action on alerts using SHRM-provided templates, easily connect to state and federal lawmakers, view legislative issue information on key workplace issues, among other resources.

Bob McCormack, Esq., (Ogletree Deakins), Don Works, Esq., (Jackson Lewis, PC), Justin Sorrell, Esq. (Jackson Lewis, PC) spoke about key legislation. Some of which focused on Labors Pools, Texting/ Use of Wireless Devices While Driving, and Florida Healthy Working Families Act. HR Florida opposed the SB1490 & HB 1185: Florida Healthy Working Families Act (“Mini FMLA). This bill is requiring employers to provide sick and safe leave to employees and creating a complaint procedure, plus a civil cause of action for damages and fees in the event of a violation. Employers of more than nine employees must provide paid sick and safe leave, employers of nine or fewer employees must provide unpaid sick and safe leave. Employees earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, to a maximum of 56 hours in one year. No more than 80 hours can be used in one year. Leave may be taken for the employee’s own physical or mental condition, to obtain medical care, to care for an ill family member, if work or school is closed due to a public health emergency and for domestic violence (and resulting treatment or legal matters). The last action on this bill, it was taken to committee.

The next morning, a record number, 50 HR Florida members gathered for breakfast and then on to the Capitol for legislative visits. HR Florida members were encouraged to further develop relationships with legislators when they returned home.

The 2016 legislative session begins January 2016, so be on the lookout for Day on the Hill 2016.