Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak at the HR Ohana Meeting to about 100 human resources professionals from all campuses of the University of Hawaii, which included the Manoa campus, as well as all neighbor island campuses and community colleges.
The meeting took place at Windward Community College, and man, I had no idea that WCC had such a beautiful campus. On one side of the campus, you have a majestic view of the Koolau mountain range. On the other side, you have a magnificent view of the ocean. It was incredible, to say the least.
I was asked to speak about current hot topics in labor and employment law, so I included the following four topics in my presentation: (1) 2014 legislative update; (2) social media and the workplace; (3) the possible unionization of Northwestern University football players and (4) employment law rights of same-sex couples in Hawaii following the Windsor court decision and legalization of same-sex marriage in Hawaii.
One of the speakers who presented before me talked about the “HR Tsunami” and how the duties of HR professionals in the workplace are becoming more significant as they take on more active roles in the strategic planning and management of corporations. In other words, HR professionals are not just performing administrative functions. I felt that this particular topic was a great segue into my presentation, because it gave me an opportunity to discuss the importance of being proactive in employment-related decisions and reinforce my motto that “the best defense is a good offense.” It was also good to see that so many people chose to attend the meeting; considering that it was voluntary, having 100 attendees is fantastic because it shows that these HR professionals are doing their own part to be more proactive about their job functions.