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Advice & Resolution

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Members have unlimited telephone access to our local Advice & Resolution team to help solve real-life workplace problems.

CAI’s advisors, each with more than 20 years of HR experience, want to know your business, its culture and its needs.  Our solutions are time-tested under local conditions and are right for you.  There’s never an extra fee to talk through a problem and find an answer.


Learn more about how our Advice & Resolution team helps our members in this white paper - Tackling Workplace Compliance and People Management Issues.


Every workplace has questions that need to be answered, and the sooner the better:

  • I have a poor performer with nothing documented.  What are my options?
  • Should my executive assistant receive overtime pay after 40 hours?
  • My employee has been on an open-ended leave.  Can I fill the job?
  • How do I respond to this unemployment insurance claim from a discharged employee?
  • Can I withhold money he owes us from his last paycheck?
  • An employee claims she was harassed but asks that I take no action.  What do I do?

Our advisors handle hundreds of member calls each week and provide immediate, one-on-one answers to the toughest questions.  From basic regulatory matters to practical solutions for complex problems, we answer hundreds of different types of questions each month.


FMLA is one of the topics on which our Advice & Resolution team answers the most questions.   Understand your FMLA responsibilities by reading this in-depth white paper - Understanding FMLA Employee/Employer Rights and Responsibilities .


Some of the most frequent topics include:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Best practices/”What do others do?”
  • Policy matters and reviews
  • Discipline and discharges
  • Leaves of absence
  • Local pay and benefits matters
  • Wage and hour/exemption rules
  • Harassment issues
  • Attendance problems
  • Workers compensation
  • Visa and I-9 issues
  • Unemployment and EEOC claims
  • Labor relations and union matters
  • The “right” course, not just the “legal” course

CAI’s Advice & Resolution Team – We are here to help you!

If you have questions concerning either compliance/regulatory issues or operational/strategic HR issues please call us today at 919.878.9222 or 336.668.7746 and ask for a member of the Advice & Resolution Team!

Rick Washburn

Rick Washburn

Rick is the team leader of CAI’s Advice & Resolution team. Rick advises CAI member executives and HR professionals on strategic and organizational issues including talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, total rewards, global HR and employee/labor relations.

Rick brings an extensive HR career to CAI with HR leadership roles in public and privately held organizations including Hughes Electronics, DIRECTV, Raytheon, AGY and Lockheed Martin. Several of Rick’s key career highlights include transforming HR organizations to the HR business partner model, leading the development of talent management infrastructures, and providing leadership in the employee/labor relations arena. Rick provided HR leadership at DIRECTV Latin America during the launch of a multinational start-up throughout the region. At Hughes Electronics, Rick worked in several senior HR generalist and labor relations roles providing leadership in both the aerospace/defense and commercial sides of the business. Rick has also owned his own consulting business. He received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from Bryant University in Rhode Island and his M.S. degree in Labor Relations from The University of New Haven.

rick.washburn@capital.org

Emily Hinesley, SPHR

Emily Hinesley

Emily’s primary area of focus is providing expert advice and support in the areas of employee relations and federal and state employment law compliance. Additionally, Emily will advise business and HR leaders in operational and strategic human resources areas such as talent and performance management, employee engagement, and M&A’s. Emily has 10+ years of broad based HR business partnering experience centering around employee relations, compliance & regulatory employment issues, strategic and tactical human resources, and strong process improvement skills. Emily joined CAI from Community One Bank, headquartered in Asheboro, NC where she has held a number of increasingly responsible HR positions including her leadership role as Sr. HR Officer & VP. In this senior HR business partner role, Emily was responsible for providing leadership across the various HR functional areas to the bank’s numerous lines of business and to the 600+ employees located in 50+ markets. Emily has also provided HR leadership in several acquisitions and has held project lead roles on various enterprise-wide process improvement initiatives. Emily is active in the community as a Business Program Advisory Board Member for Randolph County Schools and an Alumnae Board Member, Student Services Co-Chair for Salem College. Emily is a graduate of Salem College in Winston-Salem.

emily.hinesley@capital.org

George W. Ports III, SPHR

George W. Ports III

George Ports began his career in the human resources field in 1974 and has been on the staff of CAI since 1983.  George’s diverse background in the human resources and employment law arenas has enabled him to provide valuable assistance to CAI members in many different areas including: dealing with sensitive/difficult employee relations issues; government laws and regulations affecting the employment relationship; government relations and public policy; positive employee relations practices; and human resources and leadership Development.  George is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC.

george.ports@capital.org

Tom Sheehan, MBA, SPHR

Tom Sheehan

Tom’s primary area of focus is operational and strategic human resources where he advises HR and other business leaders on issues such as talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

Tom brings 20+ years of extensive, broad based strategic and tactical/practical HR experience to CAI including HR business partner roles, talent management, employee engagement, learning & development, employee relations, and talent acquisition. Tom joined CAI in 2015 from The Pantry, Inc. (Kangaroo Express) in Cary, NC where he held the position of Director of Talent Acquisition & Talent Management. In this role Tom was responsible for developing The Pantry’s company-wide talent management infrastructure and supporting processes including succession planning and performance management. Prior to The Pantry Tom provided HR leadership for Rite Aid Inc. at their headquarters office in Harrisburg, PA. Tom held a number of increasing responsible HR roles at Rite Aid including the Director, Talent Acquisition for the corporation.

tom.sheehan@capital.org

Reneé F. Watkins

Reneé F. Watkins

Reneé provides CAI members with practical advice in a wide-range of human resource functions including conflict resolution, compliance and regulatory issues, and employee relations. Reneé’s 20+ years prior HR experience with a global Fortune 100 Pharmaceutical Organization and IT Consulting Services Organization affords her a unique perspective for providing high quality human resource solutions that help retain and engage outstanding workforces. Reneé has extensive experience in counseling and advising management in best practices and processes to support employee morale and organizational effectiveness. Her education and experience with Communication Programs serves CAI members well. Reneé also facilitates CAI’s famed member event, Ask the Expert, and reviews employer handbooks for member organizations. Reneé earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from NC State University, and her Masters Degree in Organizational Communication from Western Kentucky University.

renee.watkins@capital.org

John B. Gupton JD, SPHR

John Gupton

John B. Gupton, JD, SPHR is HR Advisor/General Counsel for CAI. John has been a member of the CAI team for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining CAI, he was engaged in the practice of law in Raleigh. John advises CAI members regarding regulatory and compliance issues (such as FMLA, FLSA, EEO, USERRA, etc.) and also on positive employer-employee practices. John also conducts various training programs, such as Workplace Laws for Managers and Supervisors, which helps the participants understand how to properly handle the many workplace laws that affect the employment relationship. John also conducts a Non-Harassment in the Workplace class which provides an overview of the various forms of harassment and how to create a harassment-free work environment.

John was born and raised in Raleigh. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). John is also a Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the North Carolina Army National Guard.

*John Gupton is currently away on extended military leave.