7 ways employers can encourage employees to go vote
The 2020 election season has been volatile, but the one theme that breaks through the chaos is how important it is to go out and vote.
Election Day is not a guaranteed day off for all employees. Each state has different statutes for paid time off on Election Day, but there is more employers can do to encourage employees to head to the polls in November. READ MORE
By Amanda Schiavo | Employee Benefits News | 10/05/2020
No one should have to choose between their paycheck and their vote.
Talking Politics at Work: Election 2020, a Primer
You won’t be able to prevent political discourse entirely, but here’s how HR can help keep the peace during this election season.
The Dos and Don'ts of Supporting a Coworker with Cancer
Wanting to Help Is Natural; Knowing How Is Difficult
It’s not unusual when you learn that a coworker has been diagnosed with cancer to immediately want to help and simultaneously feel helplessness asking, “What can I do to help?” READ MORE
Kit Herrod | tinypulse.com | September 13, 2016
How HR Can Support Employees with Cancer
Cancer is a devastating diagnosis — and often an uncomfortable topic at work. Here’s how HR can help.
It was September 2008 when Eileen Z. Fuentes, then 34 and a mother of three young girls, received stunning news: She had stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease.
At the time, she was a human resources manager at a New York hospital. Though she received good medical care and support from her supervisor, she says she witnessed some unfortunate mistakes by her colleagues.
Steve Bates | SHRM | 2016
What to Do When Your Employee Is Diagnosed
with Cancer

All managers know that they need to help their employees through challenging times – whether it’s a tough work situation like a tight deadline or high-stakes client, or a demanding personal situation, like a new baby or a sick parent. But almost no manager is prepared for when one of their direct reports announces that he or she has cancer...

Anne Sugar | Harvard Business Review | January 2018

BREAST cancer survivors return to work two weeks earlier
A top cause of disability leave is better managed with supportive employers.
A supportive employer makes a big difference in recovery, along with early detection and advances in medical treatment. READ MORE
UNUM.com | October 13, 2020
How employers can ease the strain of COVID-19 isolation
By Alyssa Place | Employee Benefits News September 29, 2020

How employers manage employee mental health could be the most important strategy companies devise now, and workplace experts say doubling down those efforts may be the key to successful return-to-work plans for 2021.
Strategies employers can utilize to trim health benefit costs in 2021
By James Denison | Employee Benefits News 9/30/2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic affects the global economy, employers are increasingly searching for innovative ways to help employees trim their health insurance costs. As employers make choices about health benefits options for 2021, they must navigate a rising tide of healthcare costs and offer options that support a weary employee base that can ill-afford benefit cuts.
Remote workers aren’t lazy. They’re humans responding to a crisis…
Don’t assume that remote workers feel like they’re on vacation now. They’re dealing with the very real consequences of COVID-19.
Andie Burjek | workforce.com | April 2020
If remote employees aren’t living up to productivity expectations right now, employers shouldn’t immediately jump to “slacking off” as the reason. 
Not only is this skewed worldview insulting to employees, but this degree of virtual micromanagement is insensitive to remote workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 
When a co-worker receives a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s often hard to know how to respond. Unless you or a loved one has gone through cancer treatment or a similarly devastating disease, it’s understandable that you may be at a loss for words and wonder what you should do, if anything.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can support an employee with breast cancer. Here’s our list:
AiRS.com | 2020
Working During Treatment

While some people choose to take some time off from work during treatment for breast cancer, others decide to work through treatment. If you’ve chosen to work during your treatment, let your doctor know. Your doctor may be able to schedule treatments around your working hours or give you suggestions on dealing with work stress while in treatment. Also, you can ask your doctor if any of your treatments have side effects that could affect your daily routine. Side effects such as nausea and fatigue may have an influence on daily work routines. Learn how to manage side effects associated with some breast cancer treatments.
Telling Your Boss and Co-Workers About Your Breast Cancer Diagnosis
The first question you may want to ask yourself when thinking about talking to your boss or coworkers about your breast cancer diagnosis is “Should I tell?” You don’t have to tell anyone at work, unless it is apparent that your diagnosis or treatment will interfere with your ability to work or your work schedule. Keep in mind that if you decide not to discuss your health at work, some questions may be raised if your productivity level is affected, or if you miss a lot of time at work due to treatment appointments.
Taking Time Off Work for Treatment

Some people decide to take time off from their jobs in order to better concentrate on their breast cancer treatment. Finances may become a concern. However, there are ways to take the time off that you need and still maintain your job and financial security.

Recognizing and Responding to Discrimination at Work

Sometimes, because of misconceptions about cancer, people who’ve been treated for cancer may be treated differently at work. Biased actions, such as passing up a capable employee for a promotion, paying employees unequally for the same job, or even off-colored jokes or comments, can be considered discrimination. 
Create a safe space for employees with breast cancer
Two years ago, Melody Sutton attended a staff meeting, and it saved her life.
“It’s true,” says Sutton. “At that meeting, a leader in my department shared a story about her personal battle with breast cancer. It was so impactful. I remember thinking, ‘I am turning 40, it’s time for a mammogram.’"
Sutton scheduled a routine exam with her physician, and soon after, had her first mammogram. There was no reason for concern, as she had no family history of breast cancer and no signs or symptoms of the disease. However, the results were not what she expected.
"We are a public entity employer that is considered “essential” during the pandemic. A local bank wanted to give our employees gift cards to recognize their service to our community. Is this a problem because they are public employees?"

READ MORE Brought to you by IEC Sponsor Davis Brown Law | JoEllen Whitney | 10/07/2020

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA Announces $1,603,544 in Coronavirus Violations

Inside the DOL’s changes to the final rule interpreting the FFCRA
The Department of Labor has revised its final rule to clarify paid leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in light of a New York court’s decision striking portions of it. READ MORE
Jaclyn Kugell, Jaclyn McNeely | workforce.com | Sep. 24, 2020
  • Employer Action Required on Tentative Non-confirmations within 10 Federal Government Working Days...

E-Verify’s New Campaign Provides Information on TNC Requirements...

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2020 Fall Virtual Conference Prize Lucky Winners!

UKG Grand Prize Winner $250 Apple Gift Card -
ROBIN BILLERBECK - Human Resources Specialist, Central Rivers AEA

HealthPartners Unity Point Winners -
AMBER DAY - Deputy Auditor - Human Resources Coordinator, Washington County     
SHERRY GOMIS - Chief Human Resources Officer, Primary Health Care, Inc.       
CHRISTAL HILLS - Human Resources Technical Assistant, Iowa Department of Public Safety      
MOLLY HEWITT - Regional Director, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach   

Delta Dental of Iowa Swag Bag Winner -
MICHELLE DOWD - Chief Financial Officer, Prairie Lakes AEA       

ATW Training Solutions Winner -
SHERRY GOMIS - Chief Human Resources Officer, Primary Health Care, Inc.

Iowa Employment Conference Winners -
TRICIA ANDERSON - SR HR Generalist, Black Hawk College - Swag bag
JAKE MCENTEE - Recruiter, CO-OP Financial Services - Swag bag
SARAH SPERRY - Associate HR Director, LLOYD, Inc. - Free registration for the spring conference
Nearly $4.4 million awarded to Iowa colleges and universities to expand student access to technology,
increase internet connectivity...

Information and guidance relating to COVID-19 for member schools and participants of IHSAA activities in the winter 2020-21 seasons.

Celebrate 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! in October
It’s all about 5-2-1-0 in October! Whether your school, community, early care program or health care clinic is new to 5-2-1-0 or already registered and ready for more, there are a variety of ways your staff and students can make “Healthy Choices Count!” during Healthiest State Month. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT HEALTHIEST STATE INITIATIVE

  • dinner for patients and their family on chemotherapy treatment days
  • house cleaning services approximately once per month during treatment 
  • a web site for patients to learn what they need to know after a breast cancer diagnosis
  • motivational support for patients throughout treatment 

Within a matter of weeks after a breast cancer diagnosis, many patients begin chemotherapy and undergo surgery, all the while trying to learn about breast cancer. This can be an overwhelming time. Medical information is provided to patients via health care providers. Can Do Cancer provides practical information and services to help women navigate through cancer and make the journey a bit easier.
Thank you so much! We enjoyed the conference immensely! The virtual exhibit was very creative. We look forward to the Spring conference!

Shannon Freeman
UnityPoint Health
Nan, thank you SO much for the honor and privilege of presenting. The safe space of belonging you create for the audience and speakers alike is blissful!!!!!

TEDx Speaker/International Mental Health Educator, Trainer, and Advocate
David Woods Bartley
Great conference and wonderful job to you and your staff for pulling it off virtually. You and your crew put on the best conferences of the year and we appreciate being able to be a part of them. 

Dave Zahn – Account Executive
Delta Dental of Iowa
Thank you so much for your hard work on the Iowa Employment conference. What a great group of people! 

Renee Schulte LMHC
Workforce Specialty Coordinator
COVID Recovery Iowa
You did such a great job putting on a meaningful, fun, and effective conference, Nan!

Skye Mercer HR Consultant / Leadership Coach / Recruiter Career Coach

What a great conference today. Thanks to the Iowa Employment Conference team!

OneSource the Background Check Company
In spite of what I miss about the live experience, I am exhilarated after speaking to the audiences with the Iowa Employment Conference - I was met with kindness, openness, and excellence. People who want to make a change within themselves and make a difference for others.
I feel like we are going to emerge from this moment, thriving. Thank you for who you are!

Elizabeth Parayil-Nead
DEI and Leadership Specialist, Keynote Speaker, Transition Coach, Author
KELLI FOSTER | thekitchn.com OCT 1, 2020
Ina Garten | Food Network


As you may have read in the September newsletter, my brother in law Jerry, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last month. Jerry is a hard working farmer and is now suffering from his unexpected illness. Fall is harvest time, the busiest time in farming and the crops need tended.

More than 20 selfless friends and neighbors volunteered their time to get Jerry’s corn out of the field. There were 6 combines, 5 grain carts, 8 semis, 3 tractors and 6 wagons = 200 acres in less than 4 hours! The local bank donated food for all the volunteers.

THIS is small business owners helping small business owners.
THIS is what selflessness looks like.
THIS is what the world needs.
THIS is heartwarming.
THIS is friendship.
THIS is kindness.
THIS is respect.

NONE of them wanted notoriety. None of them wanted to be on the local news. They ALL volunteered because of their love and respect for Jerry and the family...

THIS is what I call AMAZING!

Brian and I are grateful for all the friends and volunteers.