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January, 2020


HR Tampa Chapter #0074 is a mega chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. We are the premier professional association for human resource professionals in Tampa Bay and one of Florida's largest and most active chapters.


  • President's Message
  • Sweetening Lives Update
  • Legislative Update
  • Membership Special
  • SHRM Renewal
  • SHRM Learning System Champion
  • HR Florida Conference & Expo
  • HR Tampa Conference & Expo
  • Call for Volunteers!
  • HR Tampa Members in Transition

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Greetings from your HR Tampa President,

Happy 67th Birthday HR Tampa! Just like we celebrate or acknowledge our birthdays we should celebrate our chapter!

I am honored and privileged to serve my second term as HR Tampa President. 2019 was an exciting year and look forward to an even better one this year! We have several new Board members and would like to take a moment to introduce our 2020 Board, you are encouraged to connect with them and expand your network:

  • Ana Swiger is our Immediate Past-President.
  • Chris Cavaliere will be the President-Elect. 
  • Carol Brnich will continue in her role as chapter Secretary. 
  • Dr. Patti Sullivan is returning as the Certification Director.
  • Michelle Griffin will continue in the role of College Relations Director.
  • Trish Groves will serve as the Communications/Social Media Director.
  • Brenda Cogdell will serve in the role of Diversity Director.
  • Alora Caminiti is joining us as the Hospitality Director.
  • Dee Anna Hays is returning Legislative Director.
  • Brittany Bollinger is returning as Membership Director.
  • Marian Morlock is returning as the Program Director.
  • Brian McCaman will serve as the Sponsor Co-Director. 
  • Chadd Peckham will also be the Sponsor Co-Director.
  • Ashley Pullon will be our new Technology Director.
  • Mimi Tran will be the Workforce Readiness Director.  

We are also celebrating 2020 with our 20th Annual Conference Anniversary! The HR Tampa Conference & Expo will be on the 1st or 2nd Friday in October; save the Fridays!

There is a call for dynamic and informative Speakers and a call for Sponsors. Check our conference website as it will be updated as information is received.

My Best,

Layla Bonis, SHRM-CP, PHR



In the fall of 2018, a group of HR Tampa members volunteered  at the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent.  Our duties were to help the clients fill their grocery list with the approved items for their family size.  We all noticed that dessert items were very limited. At the beginning of 2019, HR Tampa decided to “Sweeten Lives in 2019” by collecting dessert items at the monthly chapter meetings and at every opportunity to increase the Metropolitan Ministries food pantry with goodies.  Our members have proved to be the caring group of HR Professionals we know them to be.   We donated 1,070 dessert items and raised $1,541 to benefit the Metropolitan Ministries food pantry.

Thank you to each HR Tampa member who donated to help us reach our goal.


Renew your premium membership now and save! Premium Membership is all-inclusive of all of meeting fees, HR Tampa Conference & Expo and the annual holiday party. Renew or join today!

Benefits of Premium Membership:
  • Access to the HR Tampa Website
  • Directory
  • Newsletter
  • Free Job Postings for your company
  • All monthly Meetings
  • HR Tampa Conference & Expo
  • Annual holiday party
  • Most special events are included with this membership
Renew / Join


SHRM has recently changed their membership system and are replacing the SHRM ID with your email address. Due to this change, you will need to update this information in your HR Tampa profile to the email address that corresponds to your SHRM membership.

HR Tampa is a 100% chapter of SHRM your SHRM membership is a requirement to be a member of HR Tampa to remain in good standing.



HR Tampa is thrilled to announce that we were awarded 2019 SHRM Learning System Champion.


What does it mean to be a SHRM Learning System Champion?

The SHRM Learning System Champion status is a recognition of our Chapter’s hard work to elevate the HR profession through professional development and HR knowledge among members, gained from SHRM certification. The competency-based SHRM-CP®and SHRM-SCP®credentials are the new global standard in HR certification. These credentials are among the first HR certifications focused on teaching and testing the practical, real-life information HR professionals need to advance their organizations, and excel in their careers today, including knowledge, skills, and behavioral competencies.


HR Tampa has 315 certified members.


The 2020 Florida Legislative Session

By: Dee Anna D. Hays, Legislative Director (Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins)

The 2020 Florida Legislative Session will convene in Tallahassee on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Shortly thereafter, on February 12th and 13th, several representatives from HR Tampa will take part in HR Florida’s Ninth Annual Legislative Conference (formerly Day on the Hill). We will meet with legislators and/or their staff to advocate on public policy issues of importance to the HR profession.

This session will be one to watch as 16 workplace bills have already been filed covering: discrimination and retaliation; minimum wage increases; pre-employment verification and background screening; tax credits and refunds; medical marijuana protections; paid family leave, and heat illness prevention. Below is a brief summary of the pending bills. We encourage HR Tampa members to share their comments with us at so that we can voice them during the Legislative Conference.

Discrimination and Retaliation

  • Discrimination in Labor and Employment- H.739 (Thompson, D-044)/S.90 (Stewart, D-013): would create the “Senator Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act”; prohibits an employer from providing less favorable employment career advancement opportunities to employees based on their sex; provides exceptions and civil penalties.
  • Florida Competitive Workforce Act- S.206 (Rouson, D-019)/ Prohibited Discrimination- H.161 (Toledo, R-060): would add sexual orientation and gender identity as impermissible grounds for discrimination in public lodging establishments and public food service establishments; provides an exception for constitutionally protected free exercise of religion. H.161 would also revise the purpose of the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Whistleblower’s Act- S.450 (Brandes, R-024): would revise the short title and legislative intent of the Act; revising, reordering, and providing definitions; revises the actions that an agency or independent contractor is prohibited from taking against an employee who participates in protected activity or discloses certain information. Changes references to “adverse action” to “retaliatory action.” Revises definition of “employee” to include applicants. Expands the definition of “protected activity.” Expands the time for Charging Party to bring suit following notice by FCHR to 180 days.
  • Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (CROWN) ACT- S.566 (Bracy, D-011)/H.761 (Brown, D-045): would make it unlawful for sponsors under the Housing Finance Corporation Act to discriminate against any person or family because of a protected hairstyle (defined as “hair characteristics historically associated with race, such as hair texture and styles, including, but not limited to, braids, locks, or twists”); adds protected hairstyle as impermissible grounds for discrimination with respect to specified unlawful employment practices.
  • FCRA- S.644 (Braynon, D-035)/H.635 (Watson, D-107): would prohibits discrimination on the basis of height or weight in public lodging and food service establishments; revises the general purpose of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.
  • FCHR and Pregnant Employees- H.795 (Joseph, D-108): would prohibit certain unlawful employment practices against specified pregnant employees and job applicants; requires an employer to provide a written notice of rights to employees and post such notice in conspicuous places on its premises; requires the State Commission on Human Relations to develop certain education and outreach programs.

Minimum Wage- S.456 (Rodriguez J, D-037) and H. 691 (Jacquet, D-088): would revise the formula for the adjusted state minimum wage; increases the state minimum wage by the rate of inflation for the 12 months preceding September 1 of that year plus 80 cents.  Beginning September 30, 2028, and each September 30 thereafter, the Department of Economic Opportunity would increase the state minimum wage by the rate of inflation for the 12 months preceding September 1 of that year.

Employment Conditions- S.1126 (Gruters, R-23) H.305 (Rommel, R-106): would prohibit a political subdivision from establishing, mandating, or otherwise requiring an employer to offer conditions of employment which are not otherwise required by state or federal law; specifying that the regulation of conditions of employment is expressly preempted by to the state, etc.

Pre-Employment Verifications

  • Verification of Employment- S.664 (Lee, R-020): would require employers to register with and use the E-Verify system beginning on a specified date to verify the employment eligibility of new employees; requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to order certain agencies to suspend an employer’s license under certain circumstances.
  • Background Screening- H.473 (Omphroy, D-095)/S.616 (Powell, D-030): would prohibit employers from excluding applicants from an initial interview for employment under certain conditions; provides a civil penalty, applicability, and exceptions; requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to enforce the act.

Tax Credits and Refunds

  • Tax Credits- S.642 (Powell, D-030): would designate the Internship Tax Credit Program; provides a corporate income tax credit for qualified businesses employing degree seeking student interns, if certain criteria are met.
  • Sales Tax Refund- S.654 (Lee, R-020): would provide a sales tax refund for eligible job training organizations; specifies the percentage of sales tax remitted on certain sales which may be refunded to such organizations; limits the use of the refund by such organizations to certain purposes.

Medical Marijuana- S.962 (Berman, D-031) and H.595 (Polsky, D-081): would prohibit an employer from taking adverse personnel action against an employee or job applicant who is a qualified patient using medical marijuana (with important exceptions for safety and impairment that is affecting job duties); requires an employer to provide written notice to an employee or job applicant who tests positive for marijuana of his or her right to explain the positive test result and to confirm testing before taking adverse action if no response by employee or applicant as to the result.

Florida Family Leave Act- S.1194 (Cruz, D-18) H.889 (Davis, D-13): would require employers to allow certain employees who work an average of 20 or more hours per week and have been employed for at least 18 months to take up to three months of paid family leave to bond with a minor child upon the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement; provides for civil action & penalties & criminal penalty; prohibits specified employment practices on basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth; provides for leave, maintenance of health coverage, reasonable accommodation & transfer, & return rights for employee who is disabled from pregnancy, childbirth, or medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Heat Illness Prevention- H.513 (Smith, D-049)/S.882 (Torres, D-015): would require certain employers in industries where employees regularly perform work in an outdoor environment, including, but not limited to, agriculture, construction and landscaping, to provide drinking water, shade, and annual training to employees and supervisors.  Requires the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Department of Health to adopt specified rules.

HR Tampa, Local Insight

Interview of Crystal Winkler, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Which of these pending bills would have the biggest impact in your industry and why?

In my personal opinion, I think the paid family leave bill would have the greatest impact on the healthcare industry. As a working mother, I empathize with new parents because our country does not provide the generous benefits that others do when it comes to parental leave—and I certainly appreciate the importance of bonding with a child. However, this bill is concerning to me because it covers employees who work 20 or more hours per week on average, which would include part-time employees who are normally not eligible for this type of benefit and does not define a look back period. Many healthcare employees work PRN or part-time, and this could impact an employer’s profitability and staffing ratios, potentially adversely affecting patient care. I also question how these requirements would interact with short-term disability benefits, and am concerned that the bill does not address how spouses/parents who work for the same employer would be treated.







We are celebrating our 20th year conference anniversary in 2020! Planning has begun and we need your help with collecting photos from any event from the past 20 years. Email photos to Layla Bonis at

The conference will be the first or second Friday in October 2020. Save these dates until they are finalized.


Volunteers are an important part of HR Tampa's success. A big thank-you for those who have donated their time at the many events and helping to make the events a positive and meaningful experience for our members, guests and sponsors. There are many volunteer opportunities. For more on the available roles, please contact or visit the HR Tampa website.


HR Tampa is dedicated to help members get the most out of their membership. Here are some ways to jump start your next opportunity:

  • Check out our job boards for the latest HR jobs available in this market
  • Bring your resume and personal business cards to the monthly chapter meetings and NETWORK
  • LinkedIn with other HR Tampa members

If you are in transition and haven’t renewed your membership with HR Tampa due to financial restrictions, HR Tampa provides prior-year active members who are unemployed at the time of the membership renewal, a one-time opportunity to rejoin as a Basic member for up to one year!

For complete details, click HERE


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HR Tampa is the premier professional association for human resource professionals in Tampa Bay and one of Florida's largest and most active chapters. We are a vibrant group of over 600 HR professionals who are seeking to promote greater understanding of the human resource function through group interaction and the presentation of various related topics at our monthly meetings, network happy hours, new member orientations, and educational expos. Visit HR TAMPA Online at

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