April 22–25 2018 HR People + Strategy
Annual Conference, The Fairmont Scottsdale
Princess, Scottsdale, Ariz. This conference is
intended for senior HR leaders with 15-plus years
of HR experience who are responsible for their
organizations’ strategic direction. Attendees will
learn from, engage with and exchange ideas
with forward-thinking HR executives and thought
leaders committed to establishing effective HR
business strategies. For more information: HR
People + Strategy at www.hrps.org/executive-events/annual-conference.
May 6–9 ATD 2018 International Conference
and Exposition, San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego. This event will provide professionals
with the knowledge, strategies and solutions
needed to effectively train and develop talent.
Attendees will gain insights into the latest trends,
best practices and new solutions for designing,
delivering, implementing and measuring learning
programs. For more information: Association for
Talent Development at www.atdconference.org.
May 21–23 Worldat Work 2018 Total Rewards
Conference & Exhibition, Gaylord Texan
Resort & Convention Center, Grapevine, Texas.
This conference is for professionals in total
rewards, compensation, executive compensation,
work-life effectiveness and benefits. Attendees
will find the latest innovations and concepts on
how to reward and engage employees. Speakers
will share case studies, trends, analytics, new
strategies, practical tools and more to spark
creative thinking and find solutions. For more
information: Worldat Work at www.worldatwork.
June 17–20 SHRM 2018 Annual Conference
& Exposition, McCormick Place, Chicago.
Speakers will offer fresh points of view to help
shift perspectives and deepen understanding of
leadership, motivation and success. Attendees
will gain tools and resources to implement
successful HR practices. There will be a broad
range of topics designed to help organizations
become more compliant, delve into cutting-edge
trends and build a strategic talent-management
plan to increase engagement and retention. For
more information: Society for Human Resource
Management at http://annual.shrm.org.
Aug. 13–16 33rd Annual FDR Training, Orlando
World Center Marriott, Orlando, Fla. FDR has
been providing on-site training for more than 30
years in the areas of EEO, HR, LR, alternative-dispute resolution, legal compliance and more.
Each year, the program is crafted to ensure that
sessions zero in on the current issues affecting
federal agencies, including how to address
workplace conflict and avoid costly employment
claims. FDR also provides attendees the
opportunity to interact with government leaders,
industry experts and peers from across the
nation.;For more information: LRP Publications Inc.
Aug. 21–24 The National Ergonomics
Conference and ErgoExpo, Paris Las Vegas
Hotel, Las Vegas. A solid ergonomics program
is a smart investment, not a company expense.
Whether building a new program or strengthening
an existing one, ErgoExpo is an opportunity to
learn how ergonomics can reduce turnover,
decrease absenteeism and improve morale
at organizations. Whatever the company size,
industry or budget, attendees will explore more
than 50 sessions, delivering education and
product knowledge in the most pressing topics
in ergonomics. For more information: LRP
Publications Inc. at www.ErgoExpo.com.
Sept. 11–14 HRE’s HR Technology Conference &
Exposition®, The Venetian, Las Vegas. Whether
attendees are looking to increase their knowledge
to buy and effectively implement new HR
systems or to stay on top of this rapidly changing
industry—success starts here. As the industry’s
leading independent event for 20-plus years,;HR
Tech;has been a key catalyst for;tens of thousands
of HR and IT executives;in their quest to leverage
technology and secure HR’s role as a pivotal
component in their company’s overall success.
Hailed as the industry’s “Town Hall Meeting,”;HR
Tech;is a once-a-year chance to learn from—and
network with—respected thought leaders and
like-minded professionals. HR Tech;is;not;a user
conference and does not sell speaking slots.
That means each session gives practical and
actionable takeaways—minus the sales pitch and
vendor hype. Plus, home to the world’s largest
HR-technology expo—the size of seven football
fields—HR Tech;gives attendees the chance to
compare more products and services side-by-side
than any other event. For more information: LRP
Publications Inc. at www.HRTechConference.com.
Inside EEOC’s New
The jury is still out on the Equal
Commission’s public portal.
After being piloted in five field
offices last year—Charlotte, Chicago,
New Orleans, Phoenix and Seattle—
the EEOC’s public portal went live
late last year. It enables individuals to
submit online inquiries and requests
for intake interviews, which are the
first steps for filing discrimination
charges. However, people can’t use
the portal to file online complaints
against federal agencies or submit
discrimination charges that haven’t
been prepared by the EEOC.
People can digitally sign and file
a charge that the EEOC prepared
for them and then use the portal to
check in on the complaint. Others
can review their charges filed on or
after Jan. 1, 2016, that are currently in
investigation or mediation.
The federal agency responded to
more than 550,000 calls to its toll-free numbers and more than 140,600
inquiries in field offices in fiscal
Upskilling, the concept of getting
employees the ever-evolving skills
they need to contribute to an
organization’s success, is a workplace
trend that HR needs to embrace,
according to a new post on Forbes
written by Ed Krow, a member of
Forbes Coaches Council.
But HR leaders have so far proven
resistant to such concepts.
“The average HR person would
much rather throw an entire work
group into a meeting for an hour
and check a training box. But as fast
as business is changing today, that
kind of training doesn’t really work
anymore,” Krow writes.
Indeed, a disconnect of sorts
appeared when Randstad US recently
asked workers to consider a variety
of types of upskilling opportunities
over the last 12 months. It found that,
while 82 percent of employees say
lifelong learning is important, nearly
40 percent report their employers
don’t provide them upskilling
About 67 percent of U.S. employees
say they need more training and skills
to stay up-to-date and, without their
employers offering such programs,
40 percent say they wouldn’t arrange
for or pay out of their own pockets to
“It is in a company’s best interest
to help their people grow in their
profession or into leadership roles, as
this can offset the severe skills gap
happening in the market and increase
employee engagement and retention,”
says Michelle Prince, senior vice
president and global head of learning
and development at Randstad US.
—Michael J. O’Brien
year 2017. The portal aims to reduce
processing time and expenses.
“We do not expect the portal to
increase the number of charges filed
with us, because a human-to-human
interaction is preserved as part of
the process,” notes Martin S. Ebel,
director, EEOC’s field management
programs in Houston.
The portal enables investigators
to review potential charges prior to
speaking with those who filed them,
Ebel says, allowing for “sharply
While it’s too soon to determine the
portal’s success, this “instantaneous”
system might discourage employees
from resolving discrimination
problems in-house, says Mellissa
Schafer, an attorney at Hinshaw &
Culbertson law firm in Los Angeles.
She points to a disgruntled
employee who uses the portal to
immediately start the complaint
process, instead of cooling off, talking
with coworkers and notifying HR.
“This might be something where
the employer and employee can
work it out in the next day or two and
everyone calms down, everything is
fine,” she says.
Still, the new portal presents
an opportunity for HR to beef up
and promote its internal complaint
process. Make sure that HR staff
is trained in dispute-resolution
techniques, Schafer says, and that
they maintain open-door policies and
conduct unbiased investigations.
“If employees feel they’re being
listened to, are being heard and that
something is being done, you stand a
greater chance of them not going to
the EEOC portal,” says Schafer.
Other potential problems involve
portal staffing. Those handling the
initial complaints must be trained,
experienced and neutral when
interpreting or evaluating information,
says Demitrios Moschos, a labor
attorney at Mirick O’Connell law firm
in Worcester, Mass.
“In principle, the portal sounds
good, but the devil is in the details,” he
says. “A judgment will be made based
on the facts put forward. My concern
is that [the EEOC] will emphasize
efficiency rather than neutrality.”
In Massachusetts, he says, state
law mandates that employers mention
all employee alternatives for reporting
or filing discrimination complaints,
such as the portal. Whether required
or not, he believes it’s a good idea
for all employers to do so to avoid
employee perception that the company
is hiding information from them.
Moschos advises employers to
inform workers that HR will quickly
respond to their complaint and that,
although they have the right to access
the EEOC’s portal, they may not
experience as quick of a response from
the federal agency.
“You need a neutral system where
employees feel confident that, if they
make a complaint, it will be addressed.
That’s not what we’ve seen over the
last six months,” he says about recent
cases of workplace sexual harassment.