Christine V. Walters JD MAS SHRM-SCP SPHR


Ms. Walters has more than 25 years’ combined experience in management, HR administration, employment law practice, and teaching.

She has received national and regional awards, presented at conferences across the country, been engaged as an expert witness for the defense, and testified before U.S. Congressional and state legislative committees and administrative agencies on employment issues. Her book, “From Hello to Goodbye: Proactive Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Relations” has been one of the publisher’s (SHRM) “Great 8” best-sellers for three consecutive years: 2011 – 2013; was SHRM’s second best-seller January 2014; and is  pre-approved by HRCI for 2.5 continuing education credits.

Ms. Walters demonstrates her commitment to supporting and advancing the needs and interests of the business community and HR profession by serving in a variety of volunteer leadership roles at the national, state and local levels.

 Today Ms. Walters works as an independent consultant providing proactive human resources and employment law consulting services and training programs doing business as FiveL Company, “Helping Leaders Limit their Liability by Learning the Law.”SM

You can contact Christine at

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Christine V. Walters, JD, MAS, SHRM-SCP, SPHR


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Articles by Christine V. Walters, JD, MAS, SHRM-SCP, SPHR


Got Interns ? Since 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has used a six-factor test to determine whether an unpaid intern, working for a private sector, for profit employer can be properly classified as an unpaid intern. Not surprisingly, perhaps federal courts have failed to follow that test, finding it too rigid and inflexible.

February 22, 2018

What's your HR kryptonite?  Is it tracking FMLA leave? Navigating the HR Bermuda triangle of ADA, FMLA and workers' comp? Figuring out who's an employee or independent contractor under the conflicting federal and state laws, regulations and guidance?  And how many times have we been in front of these issues trying to shape these important public policies before they became law? 

November 15, 2017



Is it really any wonder that employers sometimes can't get the answer right?  How can we when the answer to the same question either changes from the same agency, depending upon which political party is in power or varies depending upon the source being asked.  

July 3, 2017


July 25, 2016


April 4, 2016


Advocate: it’s a noun and a verb.  And we are going to need both in 2016.  HR advocates need to advocate for shaping public policy.  There are many predictions for what the year will bring. This is just one more list focused on HR and employment issues that may be coming to your town soon if they have not arrived already.

Consider just a few snippets of data related to increasing employment mandates.

January 11, 2016

No, this isn't about an office party gone awry.  But it is about almost getting it right but not quite enough. Let me give you the short version.  For seven years employee Brown performed well receiving excellent ratings on performance evaluations.  But when she was promoted she made some serious errors that more than embarrassed the employer; they nearly caused significant financial loss.

November 3, 2015


March 17, 2015


When is an employee’s personal life any business of the employer? Is it not, in fact private?  The attention given in the last several weeks to a renowned NFL player has had me and so many others pondering these questions.  So I try to quell my heart with an objective head.  For me this requires a comparative review to lend some objectivity to these very emotional and compelling issues.  I hail from Maryland and will use our local history here to provide some examples:

September 23, 2014

Q: When is an employee who is not pregnant and not trying to become pregnant still covered under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)?

A: When she recently gave birth.

August 20, 2014

Just this month I came across another article announcing an employer’s decision to hire only non-smokers. I remember a call I received several years ago asking if the company’s CEO could implement the same type of policy or practice. The CEO hated the smell of cigarette smoke and did not want to be around people who emanated the scent.  As employers, “Can we do that?

July 16, 2014

Also known as the Friday and Monday Leave Act, these are just a few names affectionately (not) given to the acronym for the Family and Medical Leave Act. Know some others? Click here to share and I'll publish them in next month's newsletter.  

June 16, 2014
'Tis the season. No, not that season, but the time of year when employers ask, "Can we still use unpaid interns?" The answer is a qualified, "Yes!"  The key is ensuring you and the intern meet certain criteria (what else is new?). 
First, let's bust a few myths and misconceptions.
  1.  If I use a student as part of a local college or university's internship program it's OK if it is unpaid. Not necessarily. The source of the intern is not a factor in determining whether an intern must be paid or may be properly unpaid.
May 7, 2014