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Real Time with IPELRA

Real Time with IPELRA

The podcast where we talk about HR topics and issues facing public employers in Illinois.
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Recent Supreme Court Decision Regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Real Time with IPELRA

Recent Supreme Court Decision Regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Real Time with IPELRA

2021 Legislative wrap up
Cristina speaks with Clark Barid Smith partner Jim Powers with an overview of items covered at the IPELRA Legislative Wrap up.
December 19, 2021
Analyzing and Improving your 457 Plan
Megan and Cristina speak with Justin Pisellini, owner of the 457 Consulting Group, on ways employers can educate themselves and staff on investing as well as how to find savings by benchnmarking and analyzing your plans.  Justin can be reached at 630-808-0761.
December 06, 2021
The Great Resignation
Megan and Cristina speak with Candace Fisher from HR Source about the number of employees leaving the workforce.  Candace can be reached at  Make sure you include her name in your message!
November 29, 2021
Navigating a Harassment Free Workplace: Part III
Megan and Cristina speak with Elizabeth "Liz" Wagman from Tressler LLP in the third and final segment of the 3 part series on workplace harassment.  Liz can be reached at
November 22, 2021
Navigating a Harassment Free Workplace Part II
This week Megan and Cristina speak with Darcy Proctor, Partner at Tressler LLP in the second of our 3 part series in navigating a harassmnt free workplace.  Darcy can be reached at or 312-307-8595.
November 14, 2021
Navigating a Harrasment Free Workplace
In the first of a 3 part series on harassment in the workplace 'Real Time' speaks with Senior Counsel at Tressler LLP Kathleen Gibbons.  Kathleen can be reached at or 312-968-2280.
November 07, 2021
Public Salary: Online wage and benefit software
Megan and Cristina speak with Brad Folkens,, the man behind the curtain at the popular website, 
November 01, 2021
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Megan and Cristina speak with Mary Lynn Fayoumi, President of HR Source.  Mary recently authored an article on October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  Mary and the team at HR Source can be reached at 800-448-4584 or at
October 24, 2021
SCANDAL in the workplace
Senior Counsel Leigh Jeter from Michael Best & Friedrich Law firm talks about new Illinois laws and addressing SCANDAL in the workplace.  Leigh can be reached at or 312-596-5806.
October 19, 2021
Mandating Vaccination in the Workplace
This week Megan and Cristina speak with Keri-Lyn Krafthefer equity partner with the Ancel Glink Law Firm about mandating vaccines in the workplace.  This compelling episode covers a variety of issues that may impact an employers ability to mandate a vaccine in the workplace.
October 11, 2021
The Benefits of Wellness Programs in the Workplace
This week Megan and Cristina speak with Alli Arndt Wellness Manager for Assurance.  Learn the benefits of having a wellness program in your workplace.
October 04, 2021
Bullying in the Workplace--Yes, its still happening remotely!
In the Season Three Premiere Megan and Cristina speak with Amy Moor- Gaylord from Akerman, LLP about the very real issue of workplace bullying even while many people are working remotely.  Amy can be reached at 312-282-4646 or by email at  For more information on workplace bullying, please visit,  
September 27, 2021
Mental Health Awareness
Megan and Cristina speak with Geri Kerger, Executive Director of NAMI DuPage about the reality of mental health and what we as employers can do about it.  Director Kerger can be reached at 630-752-0066 X201 and can assist those outside of DuPage County as well.  Her email is 
June 07, 2021
Compensation Discrimination
Megan and Cristina speak with Angela Adams from HR Source about compensation discrimination.
June 02, 2021
Military Leave--what you need to know as an employer
Megan and Cristina speak with Ben Gehrt, partner at Clark Baird Smith about the importance of understanding military leave laws in employment.
May 20, 2021
Absorbing a Road District: The Village of Homer Glen Case Study
Megan and Cristina speak with Stacey Patrianakos, HR Manager for the Village of Homer Glen about the Village's recent absorption of the Homer Road district and subsequent creation of a Public Works Department.
May 14, 2021
New Illinois Law on Convictions and Background Checks
Megan and Cristina speak with Top Female Labor and Employment Lawyer Jill O'Brien about the new Illinois Law on convictions and background checks.  Jill can be reached at or 312-531-1151.
April 19, 2021
The Consolidated Appropriations Act
Megan and Cristina speak with Nancy Farnam, Area Senior Vice President and Compliance Counsel for the Great Lakes Region of Gallagher’s Benefits & HR Consulting division about the Consolidated Appropriations Act.  For more information please contact Joyce Janu Area Vie President and Public Sector contact at 
April 12, 2021
HR as a Strategic Business Partner
Megan and Cristina speak with Lake Forest Human Resources Director DeSha Kalmar on the role of HR as a strategic business partner in local government.  DeSha can be reached at until the end of April and than at
April 05, 2021
What are Safety Sensitive positions?
Megan and Cristina speak with Yvette Heintzelman, Senior Law Partner at Clark Baird Smith, about safety sensitive positions.  Yvette can be reached at or 847-378-7706.
March 29, 2021
Integrating racial equity in local government
Megan and Cristina speak with Kimberly Richardson, Deputy City Manager for the City of Evanston on what this topic means to her and why this has become a priority for the City of Evanston.  Kim can be reached at
March 22, 2021
The "sandwich" generation: How employers can support employees who are caring for their parents
Megan and Cristina speak with Anne Marie Gaura, Lincolnwood Village Manager about her experience caring for her parents while working as well as what employers can do to be proactive in addressing this issue.  Anne Marie can be reached at 847-745-4712 or Below are helpful resources for employers:
March 15, 2021
Police Outreach and Community Engagement: Lake County Sheriff's Office
Megan and Cristina speak with Lt. Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff's Office about their successful efforts with community outreach and engagement.  Lt. Covelli can be reached at or (847) 317-4180.
March 08, 2021
Conducting Employee Investigations
Megan and Cristina speak with Warrenville Police Chief Ray Turano regarding conducing employee investigations.  Chief Turano can be reached at
March 01, 2021
Aligning Policing with Community
Megan and Cristina speak with Political Science Professor Casey LaFrance about the origins and the idea of community policing.  You can reach Casey LaFrance MPA, PhD and check out his work at,,
February 22, 2021
Funding healthcare in retirement
Megan and Cristina speak with Joel Babbitt,  Benefit Coordinator/VEBA Plan Administrator for IPPFA Benefits about what plans employers should offer to assist employees with funding healthcare in retirement. Joel can be reached at or 773-427-2060. Below are two payment calculators listeners can use to estimate healthcare costs in retirement.
February 15, 2021
Retirement planning and the Economic Impacts of Covid 19
Cristina and Megan speak with Katie George, CFA, Director and Client Portfolio Manager of ICMA-RC about retirement planning and the economic impacts of Covid-19.  Katie can be reached at
February 08, 2021
The End of the Trump Administration: Federal agencies announce changes
Cristina speaks with Abby Rogers, labor and employment counselor at Engler, Callaway, Baasten & Sraga about federal agency activity in the sunset of an administration.
February 01, 2021
Police BODY CAMS and the Duty to Bargain
Megan and Cristina speak with Clark Baird Smith law partner Roxana Underwood about the duty to bargain over body cams and Police Reform Bill HB3653.  Roxana can be reached at  For more information on HB3653 sign up for IPELRA's critically acclaimed Employment Law Seminar being offered virtually this year! Visit to register.
January 25, 2021
OH Shucks! How you can be prepared for a surprise visit from OSHA
Megan and Cristina speak with Risk Management Consultant Dane Mall from Alliant.  Dane can be reached at  For information on your requirements and responsibilities, visit,
January 18, 2021
Do Employers have the right to Mandate a vaccine? ***Also - Check the April 2021 IPELRA Newsletter for a Potential New Legal Development Affecting a Public Employer’s Right to Mandate COVID Vaccines A
Megan and Cristina speak with Jim Powers, founding partner of Clark Baird Smith LLP on this important topic.  Jim can be reached at or in the office at 847-378-7707. ***Also - Check the April 2021 IPELRA Newsletter for a Potential New Legal Development Affecting a Public Employer’s Right to Mandate COVID Vaccines Authorized Under the FDA’s Emergency Powers***
January 11, 2021
FFCRA's expired, but the virus is still here--What you need to know
Megan and Cristina speak with Jeff Nowak, Attorney with Littler and author of the popular blog, FMLA Insights.  Jeff can be reached at
January 04, 2021
De-escalation: Andra Medea discuses a technique using scientific brain research to reduce aggression
In this final episode of Season One Megan and Cristina speak with Andra Medea about her innovative de-escalation technique, C3.  Andra can be reached at
November 30, 2020
Scary Statistics: Women stepping back because of COVID
Megan and Cristina speak with Mysi Hall, HR Generalist at GovHR and President-Elect of The Legacy Project about a disturbing workplace trend--women stepping back because of COVID.  COVID Response Survey Mysi can be reached at
November 23, 2020
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: How to initiate change in the workplace
Megan and Cristina speak with Sonal Shaw of HR Source as she previews her upcoming webinar on this important topic.
November 16, 2020
Workplace Mental Health Concerns in the Wake of COVID-19
Megan and Cristina speak with Joyce Marker.  Joyce has been a licensed psychotherapist for over twenty years and has served in multiple leadership positions including President of the Illinois Counseling Association, two-terms as President of the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association, and Chair of the Midwest Region of the American Counseling Association. If you would like to access a PDF that includes the key points discussed during the podcast and additional resources, please  text MENTALHEALTH to 33777. Resources for First Responders
November 09, 2020
Politics in the Workplace
Megan and Cristina speak with Marji Swanson, partner at Mahoney, Silverman, and Cross, LLC about politics in the workplace.  What activity is permitted and what should be prohibited in a public sector workplace?  Marji can be reached at 815-730-9500 and on the web at 
November 02, 2020
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Contributions to the Workplace
Megan and Cristina speak with Yordana Wysocki, legal partner with Hervas, Condon & Bersani, PC. about Justice Ginsburg's contributions to the workplace.  Yordana can be reached at  
October 25, 2020
A look back at a legacy: Leslie Rienzie-Barry, IPELRA President
Megan and Cristina speak with IPELRA President Leslie G. Rienzie-Barry, HRCI-SPHR, SHRM-SCP on her experience with the organization as she passes the torch to Cristina.  Leslie is the Director of Human Resources  for the Will County Circuit Clerk and can be reached at
October 17, 2020
Workplace Trends with Sonal Shah
Megan and Cristina speak with Senior Employment Counselor Sonal Shah from HR Source.  Sonal discusses workplace trends amid a global pandemic and divisive political climate.  Listen to hear how President Trump's latest Executive Order may impact your planned diversity training. Sonal can be reached at 
October 05, 2020
The Need for Organizational Analysis
Megan and Cristina speak with Powerhouse Heidi Voorhees (GovHr) on the need for organizational analysis.  Learn what you need to know to stay effective and efficient in 2020!  Heidi can be reached on the web at  or
September 28, 2020
Effective Communication in the Age of Social Distancing
Our first ever QUAD communication!  Megan and Cristina speak with IPELRA's own Bob Smith, managing partner at Clark Baird Smith and counselor to IPELRA and daughter Dr. Stephanie Smith, Assistant Professor of Communication at Virginia Tech.  The group discusses the challenges of communicating during a global pandemic and offers tips for Elected Officials to successfully utilize social media. Bob can be reached at 847-378-7700. Stephanie can be contacted at or via
September 21, 2020
Qualified Immunity
Megan and Cristina speak with Civil Rights Attorney Jim Sotos about qualified immunity.  Learn what this legal principal really is, what it means for Police operations, and how it affects municipal government.  Jim can be reached at
September 14, 2020
Skills vs Degrees: What Employers should really look for while recruiting
Megan and Cristina speak with Cris Randall, former IPELRA member and City of Alpharetta, GA Human Resources Director.  Cris shares her journey to HR and speaks about her educational background.  Her unique perspective offers insight into what employers should look for while recruiting.  Cris can be reached at
September 08, 2020
COVID 19 & Worker's Compensation Claims
Megan and Cristina speak with Margo Ely, Executive Director for IRMA, a risk management pool in Illinois, about the IL Worker's Compensation Commission ruling earlier this, the Illinois legislature's ruling, and new provisions for PEDA.  Learn how to protect your employees and your municipality in this informative episode.  Margo can be reached at
August 31, 2020
Early Retirement: The Village of Woodridge Voluntary Separation Program
Megan and Cristina speak with IPELRA Alum and current Village of Woodridge Manager Al Stonitsch about a thoughtfully created program implemented to address personnel costs.   for more information on this program contact Al at 630-719-4707  or 
August 24, 2020
Re-imagining Police: How Park Forest is investing in the community
Megan and Cristina speak with Park Forest Police Chief Christopher Mannino.  Park Forest was recently spotlighted in the news in the wake of cries to defund Police.  Listen to how this community has redeployed resources to meet community needs. Chief Mannino can be reached at
August 17, 2020
Covid and the Classroom: What Back to School means for employers
John Hayes, Senior Counselor at Smith Amundsen,, discusses with Megan and Crisitna a recent webinar his firm hosted addressing the upcoming school year and the impact remote learning will have on employers.  You can view the webinar in its entirety here,
August 10, 2020
The Chicago Police Supervisor's Recent Interest Arbitration Award
Megan and Cristina speak with Melissa Sobota, an attorney with Franczek P.C. a law firm representing the City of Chicago in negotiations with the Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Illinois.  The three discuss the issues before the arbitrator and awards regarding significant police accountability provisions and increased health care contributions for Supervisors electing to take early retirement among other items.  Melissa can be reached at
August 03, 2020
Can you get fired for protesting? First Amendment Rights in the workplace
Megan and Cristina speak with John Kelly, an attorney with the firm Ottosen DiNolfo Hasenbalg & Castaldo, Ltd.  The three discuss current situations and real life examples employees and employers may be faced in the workplace.
July 27, 2020
Summer vacations for Employees in the Wake of Covid19
Megan and Cristina speak with Renee Bouvier from Robert Half Technology regarding a recent survey the published regarding employee time off during this uncertain times.
July 20, 2020
Women in Leadership
This week, Megan and Cristina speak with Kelly Coyle, Board member for the Legacy project, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing and promoting women in local government.  Learn how you can get involved in this enterprising organization and address the gender gap in local government.
July 13, 2020
Understanding Implicit Bias
Megan and Cristina speak with Janelle Tarasewicz, principal consultant at Aperture-EQ, about implicit bias in the workplace.  This enlightening conversation references several books worth reading including White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and Blindspot: Hidden Bias of Good People by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji.
July 06, 2020
The Secret to Getting Promoted
St. Charles Human Resources Director  & IPELRA Board member Jenn McMahon joins Megan & Cristina with the secret to getting promoted! See links to the Forbes article discussed as well as a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, author of Presence, Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges.
June 26, 2020
Recent Supreme Court Decision Regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
Abby Rogers, Senior Labor and Employment Counselor at Engler, Callaway, Baasten, & Straga, LLC discusses the local impact of this legislation with Megan & Cristina.
June 19, 2020
Recruitment in the age of a global pandemic
Megan and Cristina discuss recruitment in municipal government including traditional hiring, and what that might look like  in the age of Corona Virus.
June 14, 2020
Wellness in the Workplace
Incoming  IPELRA President Cristina White and Real Time with IPELRA host Megan Fulara discuss Wellness in the Workplace.
June 07, 2020
Real Time with IPELRA trailer
What to expect from Real Time with IPELRA
June 05, 2020