Pre-Order Indiana Chamber’s 2017 Legislative Directory App or Handbook

The Indiana Chamber’s 2017 Legislative Directory allows Hoosiers interested in legislative affairs to stay connected with their state legislators during the upcoming General Assembly session. The publication is available as an app, for Android and iPhone users, and the traditional booklet format.

The Legislative Directory includes bios, contact information, committee assignments and social media profiles for House and Senate members. Color headshots, seating charts and leadership lists are also provided.

The Legislative Directory app has several additional benefits – most notably it will be current and ready for use on the first day of the General Assembly in January; that’s weeks before the handbook is scheduled to ship. And the app will have real-time updates throughout the session.

The app is available for purchase at (not via app stores). Cost starts at $8.99 per download; bulk discounts are available. The handbook can be pre-ordered at; bulk discounts are also offered, with the price starting at $9.99 per copy.

Are Your Policies and Procedures Up to Date?

ModelEmployee7The new seventh edition of our popular handbook, Model Employee Policies for Indiana Employers, is almost here! Authored by attorneys from Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, this guide is designed to help employers understand the legal implications of an organization’s written policies and procedures, the costs and benefits of placing informal practices in an employee handbook and how to communicate an organization’s values and goals. It includes a compilation of legal commentary and numerous sample policies.

Here’s a list of some of the topics being updated in the new edition:

  • Practical policies for dealing with new white-collar wage/hour regulations
  • Updated policies attempting to balance employer authority with the increasing overreach of the National Labor Relations Board
  • Revised EEO policies addressing expanding LGBT rights and protections
  • New technology-driven policies recognizing employee preferences for using their own devices for work-related purposes
  • Expanded complaint procedures focused on increasing whistleblowing protections in the workplace
  • Revised policies taking into consideration recent Supreme Court decisions on religious, disability and pregnancy discrimination and accommodations

Place your pre-order now: The book is $109 ($81.75 for Indiana Chamber members), and an ePub (online only) version will be available for $79. We expect to ship/publish the book in July.

M.J. Schuetz Insurance Services: Maximizing Chamber Investment Through Compliance Resources

Wolcott_Vickie“I trust them.”

That’s why Vickie Wolcott relies on a variety of Chamber resources to help keep M. J. Schuetz Insurance Services, an Indiana Chamber member since 1994, in compliance with state and federal laws.

She began working at the Indianapolis firm, which specializes primarily in commercial insurance, 37 years ago as a receptionist. Today, she’s one of the owners and serves as president.

Purchasing mandatory state and laminated poster sets has become a tradition.

“Whenever they come out, I make sure I order them immediately because I really trust them,” Wolcott declares.

The Chamber’s Indiana Employment Forms publication is another favorite.

“We have our agency policies and things like that in place, but it’s always nice to have them (forms) on hand as a backup and an extra resource,” Wolcott asserts. “I look at those to make sure we’re in compliance with everything. They make it very easy for me.”

She cites one more valuable tool: free, confidential helplines.

Wolcott reveals, “It’s always (provided) good feedback for me and been a trusted resource.”

Chamber Offers Triple Crown of Compliance Books

HThe Kentucky Derby is fast approaching, and it will likely be another great event — especially for all those in the Kentuckiana area who love a good time. But if you’re tired of the horse race of trying to keep up with regulations and the myriad issues employers and human resources departments must keep tabs on, you’re not alone.

The Indiana Chamber is offering three new books this spring that can help you pace the field.

Authored by attorneys at Ogletree Deakins, The Immigration Guide for Indiana Employers – Fifth Edition (formerly known as the Indiana Guide to Hiring and Managing Foreign Employees) is currently at the printer and headed toward the finish line. The book covers what employers need to know when hiring foreign workers. Some of the topics updated in this edition include:

  • temporary work visa sections: H-1B professionals and L-1 intracompany transfers;
  • Form I-9 completion and compliance;
  • information about President Obama’s pending executive order on immigration and what it means for employers;
  • Indiana-specific E-Verify requirements for certain employers; and
  • handling site visits from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services Fraud Detection Unit.

Ogletree has also authored a brand new title: Indiana Guide to Retaliation Claims. This ePub (online publication) features over 40 pages of instruction and case information that will help your company prepare against retaliation and whistleblower claims. Making a small investment in this guide can help prevent your company from becoming the next cautionary tale. This book is scheduled to be released later this month, but you can place your order now.

Additionally, the Performance Appraisal Handbook – Second Edition can help you effectively conduct appraisals on a regular basis. Authored by attorneys from Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, this book is ideal for HR professionals and small business owners who don’t want to take unnecessary chances in evaluating their employees. This book is slated for May publication.

You can order these respective guides via their web pages or by calling (800) 824-6885.

Child Adult Resource Services: Maximizing Its Investment Through Compliance Resources

Teri King

Knowledge is power – and empowering. Just ask Teri King, HR manager at Child Adult Resource Services (CARS), a Chamber member since 1991 that has around 250 employees. CARS provides Head Start, group homes, employment and other services to people with a variety of needs. Headquartered in Rockville, it covers 40 Indiana counties.

“I count on the Chamber to keep me up-to-date and out of trouble,” she declares.

King shares how an email from the Chamber helped keep CARS in compliance with Indiana’s smoking ban law, which went into effect on July 1, 2012. As part of the law, businesses are required to post signage at public entrances indicating that smoking is prohibited within eight feet.

“I had missed that (component of the) law,” King recalls. “Had it not been for her (the Chamber’s Rhea Langdon, manager of business resource marketing and sales) email telling me there was new signage available, I would have been out of compliance.”

King also is a fan of the Chamber’s ePubs (“I’ve enjoyed the forms and links to different topics,” she remarks) and completed the Chamber’s human resources and safety compliance certificate programs by attending a variety of training events.

“Being a nonprofit, training dollars are very tight. Whenever I’ve submitted a training (request) to go to the Chamber, it’s always approved. Other trainings may not be,” she emphasizes.

“In HR, you get all kinds of sales calls. You get all kinds of flyers from companies that are trying to sell their stuff. I always tell them, ‘I’m getting it from the Chamber. I know I have the right stuff that way.’ ”

Survey Says Leadership Development Remains Critical

During an economic downturn when money is tight and many organizations are in survival mode, it is nevertheless critical to look closely at investing in employees.

That was the result of a recent survey, conducted by Indianapolis-based HR Dimensions. The company asked human resource professionals from across the state to identify their top three concerns in human resources for 2011.

Leadership development was the overwhelming highest priority with 77% of respondents signifying it was their No. 1 concern. Second on the list was compensation/reward management at 49%, followed by recruiting at 46% and team building at 42%.

“We were not surprised by the top concern. Enlightened organizations have been investing in leadership development and coaching quite heavily during this economic downturn. They tell us that they feel the need to invest in the development of their ‘high potentials’ in order to retain them and to carry their organizations through and out of the difficult climate,” says Mark McNulty, president of HR Dimensions.

However, McNulty notes the additional results show that “it apparently reflects that companies feel they can no longer afford to freeze pay and that as the economy grows, they will need to react quickly to changing conditions.”

One way for companies and human resources personnel to invest is to take part in various seminars and webinars offered by the Chamber. Upcoming webinars for HR pros include Linking Learning and Development with Organizational Strategy on October 20 and, a week later, Social Media and HR Implications. View a complete list of conferences and seminars.

The Chamber also offers a number of HR-related publications

OSHA Ramping Up Efforts to Crack Down on Businesses

Chamber member Frost Brown Todd tells you what you need to know about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and how it’s heightening efforts to bust businesses who aren’t complying with safety regulations. What’s been allowed to slide in the past may get your company in trouble by today’s standards:

Employers should be aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been loudly broadcasting to everyone who will listen that it is stepping up its enforcement efforts. As the assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, David Michaels, proudly announced in a recent speech, OSHA cited almost twice as many employers for egregious violations in the first quarter of 2010 than it had in all of the previous fiscal year, and OSHA also issued the largest fine in its history to British Petroleum.

Recent developments indicate that, if anything, Michaels understated the current trend at OSHA. Not only is OSHA more stringently enforcing its existing standards, it is also expanding its enforcement efforts under the general duty clause, and maximizing penalties for employers charged with safety violations.

If you need information on safety and ergonomic information (federal and state), I’d advise you to look into acquiring our popular Safety & Health Guide, authored by attorneys at Ice Miller.

Tallying the Statehouse Scores

There are not too many games of any type played in which no score is kept. And while one might argue that crafting the laws that apply to Indiana companies, their employees and all Hoosier citizens is no "game" in the traditional sense, the antics that go into that process would suggest otherwise.

No matter the terminology, legislators run for office vowing to serve their constituents. The Indiana Chamber represents nearly 5,000 business organizations with 800,000 employee constituents. The Chamber tells the lawmakers what bills it is tracking, the business community’s positions on those important issues, why specific bills are supported or opposed — and then we keep score on how they vote.

The tallies are contained in the annual Legislative Vote Analysis, released today. It has 2010 and two-year vote scores for all 150 members of the Indiana House and Senate. The goal: let those employers, employees and all Hoosier voters know which legislators are supporting pro-economic development, pro-jobs initiatives. It removes the talk and the posturing from the equation. The vote totals speak loudly.

As the introductory letter asks: Was your legislator part of the solution or part of the problem? Scores range from a low of 33% (a certain long-time legislator from South Bend who doesn’t always vote because of his leadership position in the House) to a high of 93% (from a Fort Wayne-based senator). Overall, the totals are disappointing. Take a look for yourself, share the information with others and use it as a guide as the election process plays out this year for all 100 representatives and a portion of the senators.

Read today’s press release and access the full report.

What’s New in Unemployment Compensation?

Much has changed in Unemployment Compensation legislation since our last edition of the Unemployment Compensation Handbook was released in 2007. In just this past year alone, both state and federal lawmakers have impacted Indiana’s Unemployment Compensation system with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as well as Indiana House Bill 1379, which addressed the depleted UI Trust Fund and launched both increased tax rates and stricter eligibility rules for unemployed workers applying for UI benefits; and in 2010, Senate Bill 23, which delayed the tax increases on Indiana employers for one year.

Our new book, authored once again by the law firm Ziemer, Stayman, Weitzel & Shoulders, can be your go-to reference on this complicated subject.

We do, however, have different options for you to receive the book this year. In addition to our standard hard copy for $95 , we’ll offer this book as one of our new ePubs. By ordering the ePub, not only will you get access to the book the minute it’s officially released (which should be by the end of next week), but you can buy a year of access for just $69. That means if a new edition of the guide is released during that year, you’ll automatically have access to the new guide online. And better yet, this book is part of our NEW Human Resources ePubs package, which includes a total of 15 of our popular HR-related titles for just $499 for the year (over $450 less than if you bought these books individually).