TUCKER, Ga. — “Don’t believe that someone else is going to take care of the problem. Make sure you are involved,” remarked Jack Kelly, director of government affairs for Perdue Farms. He presented to human resource managers at USPOULTRY’s 2012 Human Resource Management Seminar.
Kelly’s presentation provided a Washington Update and discussed how the industry can be more proactive. He began with a description of today’s Washington environment and continued with how the industry can be more proactive educating community leaders on the positive impact poultry plants and facilities have on the community. “Poultry is more than just agriculture. We are jobs and millions of dollars in wages. So every chance you have, tell your community about what you do and the impact you have,” Kelly concluded.
Mark Reed, CEO of Border Management Strategies, gave a presentation on ICE/I-9/Immigration Laws. Reed observed that ICE had initiated thousands of investigations and Notices of Inspection against employers in 2011. He remarked that immigration reform continues to be a driving force of government policy. He elaborated on the use of E-Verify and Self E-Verify, noting that Self E-Verify would replace the need for I-9s if employers were allowed to integrate it into the hiring process. Reed also discussed No Match Letters, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and immigration reform. He concluded by remarking, “So no matter the talk, access to unauthorized workers will dwindle while exposure to sanctions will increase.”
Chris Lauderdale, an attorney with Jackson Lewis LLP, gave “An Attorney’s Perspective on Emerging Issues in Discrimination Law.” Lauderdale remarked that the next big threat is the EEOC’s new attitude toward enforcement, particularly pursuing developing cases for systemic discrimination. He remarked that there were three sets of factors creating risk: the EEOC’s new enforcement attitude, new statutes, and a false sense of security in dealing with the EEOC. Lauderdale provided information on how to protect against systemic claims, remarking that periodic self-audits should be conducted of human resources policies and practices. He concluded by commenting that with exposure to systemic discrimination being the “new normal,” employers can no longer “look away” and hope for the best.
Other topics included a State of the Industry Update; Workers Compensation: Mitigating Costs; Dealing With OSHA Inspections; Stress…Are You In Control?; Post Offer of Employment Testing; The EEOC’s Perspective on ADA/Occupational Limitations/Aging Workforce Issues; and a series of roundtable workshops covering areas such as Conducting Internal Investigations, NLRB/Union Activities/Election Process, Healthcare Reform, New Recruiting Trends/Hiring Process, Immigration Issues, and more.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is an all-feather organization representing the complete spectrum of today’s poultry industry, with a focus on progressively serving member companies through research, education, communication, and technical assistance. Founded in 1947, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is based in Tucker, Ga.