Welcome to our first 2009 edition of our e-newsletter, RESOURCES. We are excited to produce this exciting forum for the communication of issues pertinent and relevant to HR Professionals.


We hope you enjoy the newsletter. It can only get better with your input and comments. If you have any articles for inclusion, comments or requests, please email them to Barry Lippold with the subject: "Resources Article" to:




Momentum is growing for the 6th Annual Diversity Awards! 

If your company initiated or maintained a Diversity program, demonstrated a significant contribution towards diversity, demonstrated an outstanding efforts to promote and environment free from bias and discrimination in 2008, then your company is eligible for the Diversity Awards.


To Nominate and Apply for a Diversity Award, please complete and submit all portions of our application form no later than February 15, 2009.  If you have any questions, please contact Leonard Wilson, Diversity Committee Chairperson at

Starting a new Diversity tradition, the Southern Nevada Human Resources Association will present the premiere of our new award entitled the OYA Award.  The OYA Award will be given to the company that demonstrates the highest level of Diversity. In Africa, Oya is the Yoruban Goddess of weather, especially tornadoes, lightning, rainstorms and transformation. She is also one of the most powerful of Brazilian Macumba deities. SNHRA will proudly present our first annual OYA Award in our Diversity Awards Luncheon 2009!


Be sure to be there to witness history! Nominate/Apply Today




As you are well aware, SNHRA new website is up and running!

The new website not only looks dramatically different but functions more smoothly. The website uses the most modern web technology to manage accounts and process RSVPs. The behind-the-scenes administration area allows for quick and easy management.  The Member Area tools for SNHRA members are now easier than ever to use including: our Member handbook, Member directory, Certification and Discount Areas. 

The Membership data from the previous website has been carried over, but because of the technology of the new accounting system, existing members need to claim their accounts in the new website. If you are a prior member of SNHRA (before January 2009), you should have gotten an email with instructions. Once you have claimed your account be sure to head into the Member Area and change any incorrect information, as well as your password.  If you did not receive an email, please email with the subject: “NEED MY CLAIM ACCOUNT EMAIL SENT MANUALLY”.  We will configure your account manually and you will be sent your claim account infomation.




By: Patrick H. Hicks, Founding Shareholder of the Reno and Las Vegas offices of Littler Mendelson and Jeanine Navarro, Associate of the Las Vegas office.
Firmwide:88047053.1 999999.2661


Department of Labor Issues Final FMLA Regulations

The much-anticipated revised DOL regulations on the Family and Medical Leave Act have been released and are effective as of January 16, 2009. While the new regulations do not dramatically change what is often considered a frustrating law, they do provide some clarity on employee eligibility issues, family military leave requirements, employers and employees respective notice obligations, and what conditions qualify as a “serious health condition.”

Clarification of FMLA Eligibility Requirements

The FMLA has always afforded eligible employees the right to take job-protected leave for up to 12 work weeks in a 12-month period. The Act defines the term "eligible employee" as an employee who has been employed for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months. The Act excludes from eligibility any employee who is employed at a worksite with fewer than 50 employees if the total number of employees who work within 75 miles of that worksite is also under 50. In most situations, an employer can determine an employee's eligibility for FMLA leave by answering three basic questions: (1) Was the employee hired more than one year ago? (2) Did he or she work at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months? (3) Do at least 50 employees work at or within 75 miles of his or her worksite? The revised regulations provide clarity for more complicated situations, such as determining eligibility for employees who work remotely rather than at a fixed worksite.

When is Eligibility Determined

Revised section 825.110 continues to state that the determination of whether the employee has worked 1,250 hours in the past 12 months must be made as of the date the FMLA leave is to start, not when leave is requested. Courts have been split on whether an FMLA-ineligible employee may become eligible for FMLA leave while on non-FMLA leave. The revised section incorporates the more liberal construction of the FMLA, declaring that an employee's non-FMLA leave may ripen into FMLA leave (meaning the employee may have greater reinstatement and other rights as compared to when the leave started). Time missed from work before the employee attained eligibility is not protected by the FMLA, but it also may not be counted against the employee's allotment of FMLA leave. In short, the employee given discretionary leave prior to being FMLA-entitled gets a full 12 weeks upon entitlement, even if the discretionary leave morphs into FMLA leave.

Determining Whether 50 Employees Are Employed Within 75 Miles

Revised section 825.110 continues to state that the determination of whether 50 employees are employed within 75 miles must be made as of the date the FMLA is requested, not when the leave is to start. An employee's eligibility is still unaffected by fluctuations in staffing after the determination has been made (e.g., a reduction inforce).


Revised section 825.111 covers the standard for determining an employee's worksite when the employee is jointly employed by two or more employers. The worksite is the primary employer's office from which the employee is assigned or reports, unless the employee has physically worked for at least one year (presumably a calendar year, not the primary employer's FMLA leave year) at a facility of a secondary employer, in which case the worksite is that location.

This section continues to state that the standard for determining an employee's worksite when the employee has no fixed worksite (e.g., salespersons) is the home base, from which work is assigned, or to which the employee reports, not the employee's personal residence. Employees who "telecommute" are now expressly encompassed by this section. Revised section 825.111 confirms the DOL's prior opinion that the 75-mile distance is measured by surface miles, using surface transportation over public streets, roads, highways and waterways, by the shortest route from the facility where the employee needing leave is employed.

Practical Steps for Employers


The revised regulations will require employers covered by the FMLA to make
changes to their policies and practices. It is recommended that employers, at a
minimum, take the following steps:

  • Review their FMLA policies and forms to make sure they comply with the new regulations. Discuss changes with counsel to ensure compliance with the law. Any handbook changes should be communicated clearly to all employees.
  • Review other policies and procedures that may be affected by the FMLA regulations, such as bonus policies, perfect attendance policies, and call-in procedures.
  • Educate and train human resources and other employer representatives responsible for ensuring compliance with the FMLA, including the newly enacted revisions to the FMLA.
  • Employers may wish to create forms to deal with the notice provisions of the regulations. Talk with counsel about whether and how to use or create such forms.
  • To the extent the employer uses specific health care providers for second opinions or medical certifications, make sure those providers are knowledgeable of the revised regulations. Fitness for duty analyses will have to be specific and focused on essential job functions.



The Southern Nevada Industry Liaison Group (SNILG) was established to create a partnership between The Department of Labor/OFCCP and EEOC of the public and private sector. SNILG would like to invite our Members to their seminars, when scheduled, at no charge! 

The SNILG’s main objective is to attract equal employment, affirmative action, diversity, human resources professionals who have similar interests regarding EEO and diversity in the workforce.  As well as developing a helpful and collaborative relationship among this group of professionals.  The SNILG provide a forum for networking with federal and state government compliance agencies, local contractors, educational institutions and private and public entities doing business in Southern Nevada.

As well are providing continuous education to its members on topics such as affirmative active compliance, EEO regulations, cultural diversity, and updates from the OFCCP the SNILG develops or shares innovative best practices or programs designed to create guidelines for the on-going progression of equal employment and diversity and to eliminate programs that hinder the progress of equal employment. The SNILG communicate technical expertise or technology designed to address cross-industry issues of mutual concern and promote professional and ethical performance standards in the field of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.

The Industry Liaison Group is holding its 2010 National Conference in Las Vegas on August 2. Save the Date!

For more information or to be added to the interest list for free seminars for SNHRA Members, please contact Flossie M. Christensen at




The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) invites you to attend its Professional Development Session... SNHRA members get a reduced rate!

What is CUPA-HR?
CUPA-HR was founded in 1946, CUPA-HR serves more than 11,000 high education HR leaders at more than 1,600 institutions, as well as others interested in the advancement of human resources in higher education.  At the national level CUPA-HR includes close to 90% of all U.S. doctoral institutions, around 70% of all master’s institutions, over 50% of all bachelor’s institutions, and almost 500 two-year and specialized institutions.

The Nevada chapter was founded in 1992 with a small group of future-minded HR professionals with the express purpose of bringing together human resource professionals in higher education to exchange best practices, establish a mechanism for networking with others in the field, and provide meaningful educational opportunities on topics important and relevant to the human resources field in higher education.

The Nevada Chapter includes 9 member institutions:

  • College of Southern Nevada
  • Desert Research Institute
  • Great Basin College
  • Nevada State College
  • Nevada System of Higher Education
  • Truckee Meadows Community College
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Western Nevada College

The CUPA-HR National Conference & Expo 2009 is being help on October 19-21, 2009 at the Rio Hotel & Casino. CUPA-HR hopes to see you there!
For more information, visit




[Ed. Note] For our member spotlight this month, we spoke with Ronna Timpa of Workplace ESL Solutions. We keep seeing Ronna all over the place, so we thought it was time to make her take a breath, have a coffee, and tell us more about what she does...


Q: How did you hear about SNHRA?   
A: Word in the industry is that SNHRA is the go-to place for networking with HR professionals and to keep abreast of HR laws and challenges, and staying up to date with changes in the industry.


Q: Why did you join SNHRA?
A: In my company, we communicate with HR Managers and Directors as we talk about our services and it’s critical that we speak their language. For example, we speak about succession planning and strategic development because we don’t just teach employees English how to go shopping for tomatoes. We teach them specific English so they can get promoted and gain valuable customer service skills so that customer service standards are adhered to.


Q: I heard you have an amazing offer to members of SNHRA?
A: Yes! For the months of February and March, we are offering FREE two hour Workplace Spanish workshops to SNHRA member companies. If you have a training room to spare for two hours and between 10 and 30 people, I can offer you two hours of entertaining, but effective Spanish training. You may wonder what you can learn in two hours, but I promise you – you will walk out smiling and speaking some Spanish! Here is a quote from a workshop last week from an HR professional at one of the local hotels:

"…..As expected, your instructor rocked the house and blew the shoes off my Director. I have never seen Spanish taught like that."

Ronna Timpa is founder and CEO of Workplace ESL Solutions.  She has a BA in HR Management and a MA in TESOL. They offer Workplace ESL, Workplace Spanish, Translations & Interpretations and Citizenship Exam Preparation.   Workplace ESL Solutions has published three textbook series:  Workplace Spanish, Hotel English and Workplace English.  Ronna can be reached at or (702) 873-3520.




Employee Evaluation


E-mail One
Attention: Human Resources


Joe Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
hard at work in his cubicle. Joe works independently, without
wasting company time talking to colleagues. Joe never
thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always
finishes given assignments on time. Often Joe takes extended
measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping
coffee breaks. Joe is an individual who has absolutely no
vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Joe can be
classed as a high-calibre employee, the type which cannot be
dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Joe be
promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
executed as soon as possible.

Susan, Project Leader



E-mail Two
Attention: Human Resources


Joe Smith was reading over my shoulder while I wrote the report sent to you earlier today. Kindly read only the odd numbered lines [1, 3, 5, etc.] for my true assessment of his ability.

Susan, Project Leader



Courtesty of





We hope that all of our Members and Friends find the articles contained within R E S O U R C E S  useful in your HR environment.
Many thanks to all of you who responded to our requests
for articles and research for this newsletter.

If you have anything you wish to contribute to the next issue, please do not hesitate to email Barry Lippold at




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Newsletter: 2009 Edition 1