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LSHRM 60 Second Spotlight - January 2020

12/18/2019 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: Rawleigh Richardson, Sr. 

Member Job Title: Sr. Associate Relations Professional

Member Company Name: Humana

What is your current role in LSHRM? 2020 President of LSHRM

How long have you been a member of LSHRM? 10 years

How did you first get involved in LSHRM? I was in transition in 2009 and finishing my master’s degree in Human Resources. I was looking to build relationships within the Human Resources community after being with an organization for several years in the Loss Prevention community. I joined LSHRM to get help from colleagues who later became friends in guiding me in my Human Resource career.

What are 3 words you would use to describe LSHRM? Intentional, Inclusive, and Collaborative.

What do you find the most challenging about your role in LSHRM? Figuring out how to effectively engage our current members and providing quality programs, training, development, and special events to connect with future members in the community and national SHRM members.

How has LSHRM helped you in your professional development? LSHRM has provided me the opportunity to learn as a chairperson and later as a director in various areas of HR that includes, but not limited to: Workforce Readiness, Professional Development & Certification, Diversity & Inclusion at the city and state level. Serving as the 2020 President of LSHRM is an awesome opportunity to lead some of the best HR and business professionals in the state.

What do you wish other people knew about LSHRM? I wish that people understood they must be the change they want to see in the world by participating in the various initiatives, programs, and volunteer opportunities to improve the communities that we work and live in.

Do you feel the interest in LSHRM seems to be growing or waning. Why do you think that is? Our social media presence is improving thanks to members and community contacts registering and liking our content on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. There are a lot of specialty associations for HR which may be impacting our attendance at our meetings and events. LSHRM will continue to work on being the most inclusive HR association affiliated with national SHRM. Our LSHRM board did a wonderful job in 2019 by increasing membership. We plan on increasing engagement with our current members and focusing on our at-large members that are only members of national SHRM. Keep in mind that LSHRM is better together with your national SHRM membership!

What are you most proud of accomplishing during your time with LSHRM? I really enjoy inspiring others in my various roles on both the KYSHRM Council and LSHRM Board. My best accomplishment is when someone shared that they achieved their certification after participating in a study group I helped facilitate.

What changes do you think LSHRM has to look forward to over the next year? LSHRM will be intentional in delivering programs, training, and resources that are inclusive to create a better workplace and a better world.

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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