Immigration Committee Hears from Business

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The Indiana Senate Select Committee on Immigration Issues conducted its third meeting recently; this time it was the business community which brought its case before Senate legislators. The Indiana Chamber made a very effective plea for Congress and the federal government to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.

At the Chamber’s request, subject experts Jon Baselice, Chris Schrader and Jenifer Brown testified – along with Chamber staff – on the impacts of immigration on companies.

Baselici is the director of immigration policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, served on the staff of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and assisted in drafting S.744, the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate. He testified that our immigration system is working abysmally. The U.S. Chamber sees four areas for reform on immigration:

  1. Controlling our borders and preventing individuals from overstaying their visas
  2. Modernization of our legal immigration system, placing more value on a potential immigrant’s skills and talents, along with temporary worker programs
  3. An enhanced employment verification system as long as there is a preemption of state and local E-verify laws, adequate safe harbors for employers who use the system and the creation of an agricultural guest worker program that provides agribusinesses meaningful access to lawful workers in times of need
  4. What to do with the current undocumented population of 11.3 million.

Chris Schrader, president of the Society for Human Resource Management, presented a perspective on E-verify. He discussed its limitations, that there was no safe harbor for employers and that it is unable to authenticate identity. Jenifer Brown of Ice Miller testified on the actions available to Indiana under federal law (including the Immigration Reform and Control Act); the pros and cons of the federal E-verify system – explaining the complexities of the mandatory versus the non-mandatory system; the effect of unauthorized aliens upon the economic well-being of Indiana and the effect of their removal and changes in federal law or policy regarding legal immigration that could improve the Indiana economy. The Chamber also provided a presentation on the difficulties and the process of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form.

Among others testifying before the committee: the Indy Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana State Building & Construction Trades Council, Indiana Builders Association and Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association. Three more meetings are expected before a report is prepared for the Indiana Senate.

Long-Awaited Overtime Rule is Issued; Opponents Weigh In

If you’re in or around the world of HR, you’ve been awaiting the details of the new overtime rule within the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — effective Dec. 1. This was done at the behest of President Obama, and executed by the Secretary of Labor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the new rule will:

  • Raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year), ensuring protections to 4.2 million workers
  • Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, increasing predictability
  • Strengthen overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime
  • Provide greater clarity for workers and employers

Here’s a video of Secretary Tom Perez explaining and advocating for the new rule:

Let it be known that not all are so enthusiastic, however. Opponents – a list that includes us at the Indiana Chamber, the U.S. Chamber, Society for Human Resource Management, many legislators and policy institutes  assert the new rule is unreasonable for several reasons, including the fact that some employees will lose their coveted professional exempt status.

UPDATE: Here’s more information from the U.S. Chamber on why this measure is so onerous. 

Telecommuting Now a Growing Part of the American Workplace

10061396As companies seek to become more worker-friendly, flexibility becomes more critical in retaining quality employees. The Learning House, on behalf of Grace College’s Department of Online Education, recently published an article on telecommuting and managing off-site employees.

The article includes statistics from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and includes comments from some leading business executives.

According to the SHRM, more companies began offering telecommuting in 2014 than any other benefit. The group also found that from 2005 to 2012, telework grew 79.2 percent. The largest growth year over year came from 2007 to 2008 with 14.1 percent, but the recession began to slow the growth of the practice. However, even as the total workforce declined, telecommuting grew and appears to bouncing back to new heights with the most recent figures.

Teleworkers by Sector
– Federal employees = 3.3%
– Private sector nonprofit employers = 2.9%
– Private sector for-profit employers = 2.6%
– State government workers = 2.4%
– Local government workers = 1.2%

Read the full article online.

2014 Best Places to Work in Indiana Named; Rankings Coming May 1

A record-tying 100 companies, including 27 new honorees from last year, have been selected as a 2014 Best Place to Work in Indiana, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce announced today. Actual rankings for the companies will be unveiled at a May 1 awards dinner, presented in partnership with Hylant, at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

These top companies in the state were determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. The Best Companies Group, which handled the selection process, oversees similar programs in 21 other states.

Winners were selected from four categories: small companies of between 15 and 74 U.S. employees; medium companies of between 75 and 249 U.S. employees; large companies of between 250 and 999 U.S. employees; and major companies with 1,000 or more U.S. employees. Out-of-state parent companies were eligible to participate if at least 15 full-time employees are in Indiana.

This year saw the most number of applicants ever for the program, says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

“We have a lot of great employers in Indiana that are providing a productive, employee-friendly work environment that also leads to success for the organization. We are happy to recognize those companies which took part in the program and encourage even more companies to join the process for 2015.”

For organizations on this year’s list that have displayed sustained excellence during the program’s nine-year history, there is additional recognition.

Hall of Fame companies are those that have been named a Best Place to Work in Indiana at least two-thirds of the time in the program’s history; a total of 23 organizations on the 2014 list meet that criteria. Two companies – Edward Jones and Katz, Sapper & Miller – have made the Best Places to Work list all nine years of the program. The Pinnacle recognition is reserved for those that have finished first in their category three or more times in a five-year period. The two Pinnacle companies are Microsoft (first in the major employer category in 2013 and in the large category in 2011-2012) and Edward Jones (tops in the large employer category from 2006-2008).

In addition to the May 1 awards dinner, winners will be recognized via a special section of the Indiana Chamber’s bimonthly BizVoice® magazine and through Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick – both of which reach statewide audiences. Additional program partners are the Best Companies Group, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana State Council of SHRM and the Wellness Council of Indiana. The 2014 Best Places to Work in Indiana awards dinner is open to the public. Individual tickets and tables are available at

All companies that participated in the 2014 Best Places to Work program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees. In turn, this report can be used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

For more information on the Indiana Chamber’s Best Places to Work program, go to

In addition to Hylant, Best Places to Work in Indiana is sponsored by: Moser Consulting, Inc.; Hays Companies of Indiana; ADVISA; Elfcu, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union; Jackson Lewis; Matrix Integration, LLC; Ogletree Deakins; and Smithville Communications, Inc.

Additional sponsorships are still available. Email for more details.

The 2014 Best Places to Work in Indiana companies listed in alphabetical order, no ranking:

*Hall of Fame companies

Small Companies (15-74 U.S. employees)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Apex Benefits / Indianapolis
Bassemiers Fireplace Patio and Spas / Evansville
Bierman ABA Autism Center / Carmel
BlueSky Technology Partners / Noblesville
Borshoff / Indianapolis
Catalyst Product Development, Inc. / Indianapolis
Conner Insurance / Indianapolis
Courseload, Inc. / Indianapolis
Cripe Architects + Engineers / Indianapolis
Cushman & Wakefield/SUMMIT / Indianapolis
Delivra, Inc. / Indianapolis
Design Collaborative, Inc. / Fort Wayne
Diverse Staffing / Indianapolis
Diverse Tech Services, Inc. / Indianapolis
E-gineering, LLC / Indianapolis
FirstPerson / Indianapolis
Formstack / Indianapolis
Hanapin Marketing / Bloomington
Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C. / Carmel, Inc. / Carmel
IDSolutions / Noblesville
Indesign, LLC / Indianapolis
Indiana CPA Society / Indianapolis
Indianapolis Indians / Indianapolis
Indigo BioSystems, Inc. / Indianapolis
Inovateus Solar LLC / South Bend
JA Benefits, LLC / Bedford
Leaf Software Solutions / Carmel
Mainstreet / Lebanon
National Trade Supply, LLC / Greenwood
netlogx / Indianapolis
Network Solutions, Inc. / Granger
Oak Street Funding / Carmel
One Click Ventures / Greenwood
PolicyStat / Carmel
Private Fleet Backhaul / Anderson
sgSolutions, Inc. / Indianapolis
Swagelok Indiana / Indianapolis
TinderBox / Indianapolis
Wessler Engineering / Indianapolis
Wilson Kehoe Winingham / Indianapolis

Medium Companies (75-249 U.S. employees)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Allegient, LLC / Indianapolis
Apparatus / Indianapolis
Community Bank Shares of Indiana, Inc. / New Albany
Elfcu, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union / Indianapolis
Financial Center / Indianapolis
Gibson / South Bend
HardingPoorman, Inc.* / Indianapolis
MJ Insurance, Inc.* / Indianapolis
MOBI Wireless Management / Indianapolis
Moser Consulting Inc. / Indianapolis
OurHealth / Indianapolis
Peoples Bank SB / Munster
Project Lead The Way / Indianapolis
Purdue Federal Credit Union / West Lafayette
Schmidt Associates* / Indianapolis
Software Engineering Professionals, Inc. / Carmel
Somerset CPAs* / Indianapolis
United Consulting* / Indianapolis
United Leasing Inc. / Evansville
United Way of Central Indiana / Indianapolis
Visiting Nurse and Hospice of the Wabash Valley / Terre Haute

Large Companies (250-999 U.S. employees)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Appirio / Indianapolis
Ash Brokerage Corporation* / Fort Wayne
Blue & Co., LLC* / Carmel
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company* / Fort Wayne
Centier Bank* / Merrillville
Draper Inc. / Spiceland
Duke Realty / Indianapolis
FORUM Credit Union / Indianapolis
Fusion Alliance* / Indianapolis
Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman, PC* / Indianapolis
Hancock Regional Hospital* / Greenfield
Hosparus Inc. / New Albany
Hylant / Indianapolis
Katz, Sapper & Miller* / Indianapolis
Kendall Electric, Inc. / Multiple
Magna Powertrain / Muncie
Monarch Beverage / Indianapolis
Shiel Sexton Company, Inc.* / Indianapolis
Sikich LLP / Indianapolis
Traylor Bros., Inc. / Evansville

Major Companies (1,000+ U.S. employees)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

Aerotek / Indianapolis
Cassidy Turley* / Indianapolis
Columbus Regional Health* / Columbus
Eaton Corporation / South Bend
Edward Jones* / Statewide
Emmis Communications Corporation* / Indianapolis
ExactTarget* / Indianapolis
Hendricks Regional Health / Danville
Hilliard Lyons / Multiple
Horseshoe Casino Hammond / Hammond
Interactive Intelligence* / Indianapolis
Microsoft Corporation / Indianapolis
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. / Indianapolis
RCI* / Carmel
Total Quality Logistics / Indianapolis
Union Hospital, Inc.* / Terre Haute
WestPoint Financial Group* / Indianapolis
WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone / Evansville

Internship Event You Won’t Want to Miss

This blog was originally posted at Indiana INTERNnation.

No matter how large or small, your company can benefit from hiring an intern. Now more than ever, today’s challenging business environment offers opportunity to access talented student interns willing to put their creative energy to work for your organization. Learn how easy it is to get an internship program designed and implemented!

On October 7, Indiana INTERNnet joins forces with IndySHRM to present a workshop designed with you in mind.  An interactive panel of experienced internship employers, former interns, and career services staff will highlight how to make a solid business case for hiring an intern.

Hiring managers, career services professionals, and students are invited to attend the event in downtown Indy which includes time for networking, six easy steps to creating an internships program, practical tools to help you get started and lively conversation from panelists with internship experience.

We hope you will join us!  To learn more or register, click here.