President’s Letter



Hopefully, you were able to attend our May meeting. The best practices we learned from our round table discussion will be published on our website for your viewing pleasure. Thank you for your participation! We learned a lot!

At our June meeting we will be discussing how to hire veterans. June is also the last month for raising money for our second quarter community cause which is for the Wounded Warriors. So far, we have raised over $700!!! Thank you so much for your generosity!

As always, we are here for you, our members. If we can do anything to support you, please let me know.

Have a great summer!
Rich Williams
President, SuncoastHR

June Breakfast Meeting: Veteran Advocacy Panel

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
8:00am - 9:30am (Registration begins at 7:30am)

The goal is to help the HR professional learn how to understand and hire the military veteran. Do you know how to understand their resumes? Not all HR people are comfortable with hiring veterans because they don't know what their resume says and this panel will assist you in your efforts going forward.


Rich Williams,


Bernie Currie,




DJ Reyes


Kay Schwartz


Kelly Bonn

Sponsored by:

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Conducting Better Job Interviews with Veterans


Guidance for military-to-civilian hiring, transitioning, thriving

By Matt Davis
April 25, 2019



A quarter of a million service members transition from the military to the civilian workforce each year. While much has been written, studied and researched about veterans' employment, bridging the real-life divide can be daunting for HR professionals. Practical guidance to facilitate these candidates' move from their former "we will" military environment to their future "at will" civilian environment is available in From WE WILL to AT WILL: A Handbook for Veteran Hiring, Transitioning, and Thriving in the Workplace  (SHRM, 2018). 
Author Justin Constantine, a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, offers potential employers real-world case studies, expert recommendations and insights, and state-of-the-art resources and tools to demystify the culture and mindset of today's veterans and present the business case for hiring them. The book provides a clear roadmap to manage the hiring process and navigate the path from veteran-friendly to veteran-ready. 
Below is an excerpt from  From WE WILL to AT WILL.

Understanding the Veteran Across from You

  1. In the military, you never have to interview for a job. You take a whole battery of tests when you first join to make sure you are eligible, but during your time in the military there is a higher-ranking officer called a career planner who decides what position would be the best for you, initially based on the needs of the service and individual job fit. If a service member finds herself called to meet with her superior officer for a one-on-one conversation, it is often because something bad has happened. 
  2. The veteran probably will not have typical job stories. They will have, however, a set of skills and values that should be explored. Civilian candidates will likely come from companies similar to yours, and often provide examples of work they have done that correlate directly with the job description. But a veteran may very well have performed the same work in the military without necessarily realizing it and won't always know what skills to stress during the interview.
  3. Veterans are taught from day one the value of the team over individuals. It is unnatural for vets to openly discuss their accomplishments. In the private sector you understand that part of networking is not just identifying how you can help somebody, but also highlighting some of your personal accomplishments. Veterans don't think that way, because teamwork is so critical to success in the military. 
  4. Veterans often take their skill sets for granted. Many veterans are used to talking and hanging out with other veterans or service members, and therefore it does not occur to them that the skill sets they have picked up and sharpened in the military do not exist everywhere else. They are often unaware that the skills and experience developed in the military can be enormously beneficial in the private sector. 
  5. They also have soft skills. Our military spends a lot of time and money teaching and training leadership development, team-building, problem-solving, adaptability, and many other critical soft skills. From this sturdy foundation, you can train for industry-specific skills.

Davis, Matt, “Conducting Better Job Interviews with Veterans.” SHRM, Publisher, April, 25, 2019, Matt Davis is manager of book publishing at SHRM.



By: Ogletree Deakins

5 FAQs on the Equality Act and Employment Nondiscrimination
Author: Nonnie Shivers, Ogletree Deakins

A couple weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a bill that would amend federal law (including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

These frequently asked questions on the legislation consider the chances that the Equality Act will pass Congress, its potential impact on current law, and employer best practices in light of broader discrimination protections.

Q: What are the key points employers should know about the current version of the Equality Act?
A: The bill passed by the House and ready for the Senate’s consideration would amend federal law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, as well as in housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding and programs, and the jury system (including addressing the issue of peremptory challenges to LGBTQ jurors). Notably, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade associations and business groups have expressed support for the Equality Act per their letter of March 13, 2019. These groups, however, were careful to note that their backing of the Equality Act was specific to the proposed amendments to Title VII to provide employment nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These groups lauded the proposed Title VII changes as a “sensible approach” to complement businesses’ ongoing promotion of inclusion and equal opportunity, but also as a practical measure to enable them to recruit and retain the most talented employees.

Q: What are the chances of the Equality Act’s passing both chambers?
A: The bill passed the House, 236–173, with the support of nearly every Democratic representative. Moreover, several Republicans in the House also cast their votes in its favor. In all likelihood, however, the bill will die in the Senate, as it is not a high priority for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is laser-focused on confirming judges (President Trump’s 40th circuit court nominee was confirmed recently) and other nominees. Senator McConnell’s secondary focus is likely to be on “must-pass” legislation, such as government funding measures and the renewal of vital programs and the like, with his third and final focus being on Republican priorities. After these priorities, little legislative room will remain for the Equality Act.

Q: How has the business community’s support for such a law changed since earlier versions of this bill were introduced?

A: Compared to the level of business support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which was introduced in nearly every session of Congress for the past 20-plus years, along with previous iterations of the Equality Act, more of the broader business community endorses the current version of the Equality Act. Over the years, ENDA gained backing from many individual companies, but the national business associations stayed neutral. Now, many of these national associations are affirmatively supporting the Equality Act (or at least its Title VII provisions). This is occurring because (1) more and more members of these national groups are recognizing and advocating for these protections, so the associations are reflecting these changes, and (2) as new people have transitioned into leadership roles in these national associations, they are personally supportive of the proposed changes.

Q: Would the Equality Act still have an impact if the Supreme Court of the United States rules in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC?

A: The issues in Harris, which the Supreme Court agreed to hear in April 2019, don’t go nearly as far as the employment provisions and other federal protections contained in the Equality Act. Harris primarily focuses on whether Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex includes gender identity and protects transgender/transitioning employees and applicants. The Equality Act encompasses sexual orientation in addition to gender identity and far surpasses employment-specific issues, including discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity in public housing, juries, and public accommodation. It is possible that the Supreme Court’s review could implicate sexual orientation, but the Equality Act of 2019 as introduced is far broader than the issues that the Supreme Court is likely to address.

Q: What workplace compliance and best practice tips do you recommend to employers when it comes to LGBT rights in the workplace?
A: Employers will likely want to thoroughly understand the laws of their cities, counties, and states of operation and, of course, comply. These laws and ordinances may cover sexual orientation and/or gender identity and/or gender expression—all three unique and standalone but potentially overlapping attributes. Due to the patchwork quilt of laws and differences among them, employers may consider developing a knowledge base and adopting a compliance mindset. It may be appropriate to review and update training modules to maximize inclusivity messaging and realistic scenarios consistent with the laws in your jurisdiction(s) of operation and elect to comply at the highest level. The reality is that many employers have elected to be maximally inclusive and amend their policies in the absence of clear and consistent federal law and, by supporting the Equality Act of 2019, are asking Congress to reflect this operational reality in federal law.

Attention SHRM National Members!

Have you notified SHRM of your association with SuncoastHR?

Show your support of SuncoastHR by updating your SHRM profile and making sure they know SuncoastHR is your home chapter.  It is a quick process and it really helps our Chapter!



Total Rewards Management


Attract, Motivate and Retain Employees with an Effective Rewards Program

Learn what is required to formulate a rewards program that has the power to attract, motivate and retain — total rewards. Participants are introduced to the total rewards model and each of its components. Emphasis is given to the five elements of total rewards: compensation, benefits, work-life, perfor- mance and recognition, and development and career opportunities.

  • Gain an understanding of total rewards management

  • Discover the five elements of total rewards

  • Understand the critical role of the main drivers — organizational culture, business strategy and human resources strategy

  • Learn the process of designing a successful total rewards strategy

October 14 and 15, (Monday and Tuesday)
St. Petersburg, FL, location TBD
Suncoast HR Management Association
Contact Will Rives at



This course is designed for professionals new to human resources, as well as HR generalists or line managers who want a basic overview of the components that can create an effective balance in employee rewards tools.




■ Introduction to Total Rewards

■ Compensation
■ Benefits
■ Work-Life

■ Performance and Recognition
■ Development and Career Opportunities

■ Total Rewards — Putting It All Together


  • CCP: Required

  • CBP: Required

  • GRP: Required

  • Recertification: 2 course, .5 exam

  • CEUs: 1.5 course, .3 exam

  • CPEs: 16

  • CPT: 12 points

  • PHR/SPHR/GPHR Recertification

    Hours:16 (Traditional Classroom); 14 (Instructor-Led Live Online)



For more information visit


P.O. Box 2111 Pinellas Park, Florida 33780
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