MMHR Chair Dolores Hamilton (top left), Past Chair Mary Beth Bernard (top right), and Vice Chair Vanessa Hale discuss hiring and firing during a Sept. 3 HR101 Boot Camp webinar.

The Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources association held its seventh annual HR101 Boot Camp virtually this fall as a five-session webinar series.

The series kicked off with an overview of the hiring and termination process for municipal employers. MMHR Chair Dolores Hamilton, the human resources director in Framingham, and past MMHR Chair Mary Beth Bernard, the HR director in Wrentham, led participants in an annual session titled “Hello, Goodbye! Your Guide to the Hiring and Termination Process.”

The session provided an overview of a range of hiring and termination issues for municipal human resources professionals, including job descriptions, screening and interviewing job candidates, onboarding, and performance issues.

The second session featured a discussion about benefits administration with MMHR Board Member Joanne Faust, the HR director in Burlington, and MMHR Treasurer Molly Kean, the HR director in Norwood. They discussed the differences between benefits administration in the public and private sectors, legal aspects of public sector benefits administration, best practices and innovative ideas, and benefits fairs and communicating about benefits with employees.

For the third session of the series, Joellen Cademartori, CEO of GovHR USA, led a training on best practices in employee evaluations. The session covered what a performance evaluation is and what its objective should be, and reviewed components that should be included in a performance evaluation tool and best practices for meeting with employees to discuss performance reviews.

Current trends in municipal and labor law was the theme for the fourth webinar in the series. Attorney Jaime Kenny, a partner at Clifford and Kenny, reviewed current cases and legal provisions that are important to municipal human resources professionals. Kenny discussed COVID-19 return-to-work issues and reasonable accommodations, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act, and discipline and discharge issues for municipal employers. She also gave an update on recent legal decisions that affect the field of municipal human resources.

The webinar series wrapped up with an “Ask the Experts” roundtable featuring a panel of MMHR board members who are veteran municipal HR professionals. Panelists included Rachel Glisper, HR director in Needham; Michael Taylor, HR director in Pittsfield; Anne O’Brien, HR director in Fairhaven; and Gayle Shattuck, personnel director in Watertown.

The panelists addressed a range of questions, including the implications of the new Juneteenth state holiday for municipal employers, employee handbooks, important HR policies for municipalities, and employee records retention.

About 150 human resources professionals registered for the Boot Camp webinar series.

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