Harbert College of Business senior Kendal Sides (third from left) had the opportunity to discuss two pieces of
human resources-related legislation with members of Congress last spring on Capitol
Sides, and 13 members of the Alabama Society for Human Resource Management, showed
support for the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147) and Forty Hours is Full-Time Act (S.30),
and shared views on the legislation with Alabama Congressmen Mo Brooks, Mike Rogers
and Gary Palmer.
“These pieces of legislation will make huge impacts in considering employees as exempt
and non-exempt as well as how overtime will be dealt with within corporations,” said
Sides, a human resource management major from Birmingham. She was selected by faculty to make the trip, which was funded
by the East Alabama Chapter of SHRM. Sides is an officer in Auburn University’s SHRM
The Legal Workforce Act amends the Immigration and Nationality Act relating to the
regimen used to verify the work eligibility of job applicants.
“There are a lot of issues with the current E-Verify System and the I-9,” she said.
“I was able to speak with HR professionals who had been exposed to direct problems
with employees falsifying I-9 documents such as Social Security cards, but they were
unaware and found themselves in trouble. H.R. 1147 will give employers the opportunity
to do photo recognition verification and provide some protection for if an employee’s
documents are falsified.
The Forty Hours is Full-Time Act (S.30) defines a full-time work-week as 40 hours,
“It’s extremely important that 40 hours is considered as full-time,” Sides said. “By
considering 30 hours as full-time, many employees are losing their hours so that employers
do not have to consider them full-time and provide them with benefits. The original
Internal Revenue Code was passed to try to help employees receive benefits, but companies
just found a way around that and cut a lot of employees’ hours.”
Sides said the trip piqued her interest in HR politics.
“I’ve now taken much more interest in the politics that surround HR and how they
impact us in the workforce,” she added. “I’ve even considered moving to D.C. after
college and working as an intern under one of the members of Congress.
“I’ve always been interested in business as I’ve grown up with a father who has a
degree in Accounting and works for Alabama Power. When I started exploring the different
majors in business he suggested Human Resources because I’ve always been an outgoing
person who likes hands on work with other people. I researched HR and decided to give
it a try and absolutely loved it once I took my first HR class. Since then I’ve been
reassured of my choice to pursue HR with every class I take!”