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LSHRM 60 Second Spotlight - October 2019

10/16/2019 8:00 AM | Deleted user

The “60 Second Spotlight” aims to give our most dedicated members an opportunity to share what makes LSHRM so great to them!

If you are interested in sharing your journey with LSHRM with us, please contact the Membership Engagement Committee at Membership@lshrm.org.

  • Member Name: Susan Huffmon
  • Member Job Title: Manager of Organizational Development 
  • Member Company Name: Rainbow Design Services 
  • What is your current role in LSHRM? President
  • How long have you been a member of LSHRM? 11 years
  • How did you first get involved in LSHRM? I attended a board meeting and then volunteered to be a chair for certifications and helped to get chapter programs credited for ce.
  • What are 3 words you would use to describe LSHRM? Collaborative, Committed and Community
  • What do you find the most challenging about your role in LSHRM? I find that prioritizing all of the things that our board, our members and the community wants done to be challenging because everyone has such great ideas and I'm the type that wants to do everything at once.  I’ve had to take a step back and prioritize what’s most important and what we have resources to do first and then work down the list. 
  • How has LSHRM helped you in your professional development? LSHRM has been instrumental in helping me  to develop into the HR professional I am today. I have several mentors that I have met through LSHRM who have guided and advised me on various situations throughout my career. I also have learned so much by attending the LSHRM Chapter meetings and the KY State and National conferences. There is always something new in HR. LSHRM, KYSHRM and SHRM have all helped me to keep up with these changes and to also grow professionally.
  • What do you wish other people knew about LSHRM?   I wish that others knew how hard our members and board volunteers work and have a good time while serving our community. People should come to a board meeting and get involved. It is so fulfilling.
  • Do you feel the interest in LSHRM seems to be growing or waning. Why do you think that is? Our membership is growing due to our focus in this area in 2019. We are trying to publicize all of the work we do and how HR professionals can get involved and volunteer. We want people to be involved. We’ve recently revived our student chapter so that college students can get more involved as well.
  • What are you most proud of accomplishing during your time with LSHRM? Aside from being elected President this year. I am most proud of the work I did with the SHRM foundation a few years ago when LSHRM was third in the nation for raising money. We were recognized at the Annual SHRM Conference and invited to a special luncheon.  I am also proud that I hold the SHRM-CP.  It's a very distinguished designation.
  • What changes do you think LSHRM has to look forward to over the next year? There are always changes in the world of HR and LSHRM will always be on top of the latest changes and trends. I feel that we are going to have to continue looking at employee engagement and retention over the next few years. Stay tuned for more on this in 2020.

Kentucky’s New ‘Reentry’ Law Gives Employers Clearance to Hire Workers with Criminal Backgrounds

Under a new Kentucky law that will take effect in July 2021, employers can hire qualified applicants with criminal records without fearing legal barriers and liabilities. Specifically, House Bill 497 creates a certificate program that will give employers relief from civil liability for hiring an ex-offender who was trained for a particular job. The goal is to enhance the ability of formerly incarcerated people to get jobs once they are in the community to further aid in their rehabilitation and reintegration. The bill was signed by Governor Andy Beshear on April 5 after being unanimously passed by the Kentucky Legislature in late March. Here’s what Kentucky employers need to know about this new law.

What Are “Certificates” and How Are They Granted?

HB 497 requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to equip persons leaving incarceration with the necessary documents and paperwork to ease the process of reentry, including documentation of their criminal history, institutional history, and other relevant information. The law also encourages the DOC to provide support for incarcerated individuals in preparing and writing job resumes. 

Importantly, HB 497 establishes a certificate of employability program for eligible individuals to encourage second-chance employment opportunities upon reentry into society. To receive a “certificate of employability,” HB 497 requires incarcerated individuals to complete certain vocational and/or educational requirements, including passing a skills assessment test administered by the DOC. Certificates are only granted if the individual has successfully maintained a crime-free record for a legally prescribed waiting period preceding their release. The certificate of employability will not be issued to sex offenders, and there are other exclusions in the bill as well. Employers can request the certificate of employability from a job seeker and can check the validity of the certificate by contacting the DOC.

What Does This Mean (or Not Mean) for Kentucky Employers?

The new reentry bill does not mean that employers are required to accept an applicant with a criminal record. Understandably, some Kentucky employers are likely reluctant to hire candidates with certain criminal histories. 

The bill does, however, provide legal protection from negligent-hiring lawsuits if you do decide to hire certificate of employability holders. This immunity means that you can feel confident that hiring a person with a criminal record will not create a legal liability. Rather, it gives you the discretion to assess an individual with a certificate of employability based on their qualifications and to treat them like any other applicant. 

For those employers who do decide to utilize this new certification, be sure to educate your Human Resources department, supervisors, and higher-level managers regarding the new law. You may also need to adjust your policies for hiring persons formerly incarcerated or setting up a program to actively recruit candidates with criminal histories.

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