SHRM Foundation

COHR recognized as "2013 Super Star!"


March 2018 Print


  We are pleased to announce two new members of the COHR Board: Michelle Ellis joins us as VP of Programs and Darlene Borges, Brookgreen Gradens, as VP of Social Media and Communications.  Both Michelle and Darlene will bring invaluable knowledge and passion to our board.  Welcome!

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"Leading a Culture of Change"

Thursday, April 12, 2018
11:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Pine Lakes
5603 Granddaddy Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Public safety in the 21st century is rapidly changing and evolving.  Modern police organizations are experiencing a massive shift in the areas of leadership, structure, culture, policy and technology.  Recent deaths involving police use of force have resulted in the law enforcement community coming under extreme scrutiny.  Law enforcement agencies today have a new level of transparency that a decade ago was non-existent.  Many police departments have traditionally functioned in antiquated organizational pyramids with unnecessary procedures that have made them inefficient and reactive.  To meet the changing demands and community expectations, departments are beginning to re-examine the way they are structured.  Pete Mainzer will provide you with my insight about these challenges as he helped to transform his agency and lead a culture of change. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. To affect change, you must know the way, show the way and go the way.  The first person you lead is yourself.
  2. Leadership at all levels. Everyone in the organization is valued and empowered to be a leader.
  3. Change requires buy-in. Getting stakeholders to understand the vision and focus on the big picture.
  4. What is your new 'brand' and do you market yourself to your customers.

Presented by Pete Mainzer, Retired Law Enforcement 

A career law enforcement officer with over 34 years of public sector service, serving as a Military Police Officer with the United States Army and most recently as a senior executive level commander of a local law enforcement agency in Virginia consisting of 130 sworn officers serving a diverse population of 105,000. 

Assigned as a District Commander, responsible for planning, coordinating, managing, and leading all law enforcement activities within a geographic patrol district.  Responsible for developing effective crime reduction and prevention strategies and highway safety initiatives that enhance the overall delivery of police service to community members that is consistent with constitutionally based policing practices.

A demonstrated and deep commitment to relational policing, the practice of building effective police-community partnerships and relationships.

REGISTER NOW to save your seat!


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 Sheila Gaque   Employment Coordinator Conway Medical Center 
 Mark Burlinson  Leadership Coach  Mark Burlinson Leadership Coaching
 Kendall Johns  Administrative Associate  Georgetown County Water & Sewer District
 Latasha Gause  Employment Coordinator  Coastal Carolina University
 Sasia Qualls  Location Administrator  S&ME, Inc.
 Tamika Vance  HR Master's Student  
 Erica Dumont  Account Talent Manager  Kelly Services
 Michelle Ellis  Human Resources Manager  
 Stephanie Medlin  AVP, Financial Wellness Consultant II  BB&T
 Rhonda Chrisley  HR Assistant  Ocean Lakes Services Corp.
 Shannon Detzler  HR Coordinator  The Jackson Companies
 Frances Perkins  HR Manager  WasteZero
 Cara Carlucci  HR Assistant  Plantation Resort
 Marina Darminio  Associate Relations Case Specialist  Ahold Delhaize
 Hillary Smith  HR Assistant  Ripley Entertainment
 Tom Maillet  Branch Manager  Manpower
 Catherine Harris  HR and Benefits Coordinator  Strand Hospitality Services
 Stephanie Sebring  Recruiting Coordinator  City of Myrtle Beach

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Attention COHR Members!

COHR is exited to share that we are offering our SHRM Certification Study Group in Fall 2018, for those interested in testing for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certifications. 

Participants must be COHR members and SHRM Certification eligible to attend.  The study group is FREE and offers a huge SHRM Learning System discount to participants. 

Through this offering, participants will be able to buy the SHRM Learning System (used to study for the exam) at a discounted rate of $495! This is a savings of $300 for SHRM Members and almost $500 for Non-SHRM Members.

Our FREE study group will begin late August 2018 and we be held 1 night per week, for 12 weeks. The study group is scheduled to prepare you for the Winter Exam window.

If you are interested in the joining the 2018 COHR SHRM Certification Study Group (and haven't already submitted your interest), please email Jeff Mullins at

The deadline to express interest is April 15, 2018.


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2018's off to a great start!  Check out these photos to see what COHR has been up to at our monthly meetings.





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How to Prevent Workplace Retaliation Claims

Retaliation claims can be difficult for employers to defend

When employees complain about discrimination or harassment, employers must ensure that workers aren't retaliated against for raising these issues. Otherwise, businesses may face legal liability even when the underlying claim isn't proven.

Under federal and state laws, job applicants and employees have the right to work free from discrimination based on age, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex and other protected characteristics. Employers also may not punish workers for asserting their right to be free from employment discrimination. That's considered retaliation.

Workplace retaliation can take on many forms, as the legal threshold for what constitutes a retaliatory act is very low, said Christopher Moore, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in New Orleans. 

Additionally, the alleged protected activity—such as filing a discrimination complaint—often happens close in time to the employment action—such as a termination or poor performance review—which makes juries perceive a connection between the two events, Moore said.

"HR professionals can never ensure that retaliation does not occur, but businesses and entities can take steps to reduce its likelihood," noted Matthew McNicholas, an attorney with McNicholas & McNicholas in Los Angeles.

Know What Constitutes Retaliation

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is unlawful to retaliate against job applicants or employees for:

  • Filing or being a witness in an equal employment opportunity (EEO) charge, complaint, investigation or lawsuit.

  • Discussing employment discrimination with a supervisor or manager.

  • Answering questions during an employer investigation of alleged harassment.

  • Refusing to follow directions from a supervisor that would result in discrimination.

  • Resisting sexual advances or intervening to protect others.

  • Requesting a disability or religious accommodation.

  • Asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages.

The list is not exhaustive. "Other acts to oppose discrimination are protected as long as the employee was acting on a reasonable belief that something in the workplace may violate EEO laws, even if he or she did not use legal terminology to describe it," according to the EEOC.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Managing Equal Employment Opportunity]

Retaliatory acts include giving an employee a lower performance evaluation than merited, transferring an employee to a less desirable position because of a complaint or changing an employee's work schedule to times that conflict with family obligations.

Evaluate Policies

Employers should ensure their incentive programs don't unintentionally encourage retaliatory action. For example, if a manager's performance is measured by the sales numbers of his or her subordinates, that manager can suffer personal financial detriment when employees take leave, McNicholas said. This creates an incentive to keep people from taking time off and might lead to retaliation or perceived retaliation when employees take job-protected leave.

Additionally, there are some benefits to tracking employee data about issues like unexcused absenteeism, but employers have to look beyond the numbers. Perhaps workers are getting sick or otherwise absent from the workplace because of a hostile work environment, McNicholas noted.

"Creating and promoting a culture of compliance and nonretaliation is important," Moore said. HR policies should say more than, "We don't retaliate." Company policies should actively encourage employees to come forward, and HR professionals and supervisors should be trained to promote these policies to employees each time there is a complaint or investigation, he added.

Create a Hotline

Creating an employee complaint hotline is one effective way for an employer to minimize exposure to retaliation claims, Moore said. Many of these hotlines give the employee the ability to complain anonymously, which can allow employers to solve problems quickly and with minimal disruption. 

"I've seen serious issues solved through these channels before a supervisor ever has a chance to retaliate," he said. 

Take Action

"When an employer receives a retaliation claim, there are myriad steps necessary to respond," Moore noted. For example, employers should:

  • Preserve evidence. Save e-mails, personnel files and other documents that can allow you to tell your side of the story and back it up with concrete proof.    

  • Assess whether additional retaliation might occur. For instance, if the complaining employee is still employed, steps should be taken to minimize further retaliatory action.

  • Investigate the claim. Depending on the situation, an internal investigation or one conducted by outside counsel may be appropriate.  

Employers should also carefully consider their response. Common mistakes employers make in response to such claims or charges are that they:

  • Leave out details and facts.

  • Submit erroneous information.

  • Justify the challenged employment decision on an incomplete or incorrect understanding of the facts. 

"These mistakes are often fatal to the employer's chances to prevail in a retaliation case, since counsel for employees will exploit these mistakes to show that the employer is not telling the truth," Moore said.

HR should be trained to recognize situations when retaliation is likely and take swift action to prevent it, such as separating supervisors and subordinates when the situation calls for it, or requiring additional approvals for actions taken by supervisors who have been accused of wrongful conduct, he added.



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How Diversity Can Drive Your Organization Forward

Presenters: Rusty Lindquist, BambooHR; and Michelle Reed, SkillSurvey

View live: March 29 2018, 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT (available for on-demand viewing through July 2018)

Register now

Organizations recognize how important diversity is, and most spend a lot of time talking about it. But those conversations (and most diversity initiatives) revolve almost entirely around race and gender, only two components of a much larger spectrum.

In this program, Rusty Lindquist of BambooHR and Michelle Reed of SkillSurvey take a broader look at diversity -- diversity of opinion, skill, experience and more. They will talk about the role this kind of diversity has in organizational health and market success. We’ll talk about what you can do to encourage, architect and accommodate diversity. They also discuss biases, the most common cause of diversification difficulties.

Our organizations need us to begin to think more holistically, to drive toward larger outcomes, and to help insulate ourselves against risk. Join this webinar and come away with a new perspective on diversity and practical, immediate approaches to start achieving it.

Learn about our speaker About the Presenters: Rusty Lindquist is the vice president of thought leadership at BambooHR where he speaks, writes and teaches about how to elevate HR and increase employee value. He's focused on setting HR free to do the work their organizations really need from them: things like culture, engagement, performance, recruiting, retention, as well as building influence, and being more strategic

Michelle Reed is the chief marketing officer at SkillSurvey. She is responsible for the development, oversight and execution of SkillSurvey’s overall marketing strategy, leading a talented team of dedicated marketing professionals to drive the company’s market positioning, demand generation, thought leadership and integrated marketing programs. She also works closely with product management, engineering, customer and partners to serve SkillSurvey’s clients’ needs and earn recognition for the company’s solutions. Reed has also held roles in software development, product management, communications, college recruiting and human resources.

Register now

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