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NLRB Announces Implementation of “Ambush Rule”

December 19, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced the implementation of the long feared “Ambush Election” regulation.  The rule is scheduled to take effect on April 14, 2015.  The regulation will overhaul the election process through which labor unions are certified by the NLRB to represent workers.

OMA Connections Partner, Roetzel, describes here some of the changes that are most detrimental to non-union companies.  A full recitation of the changes and a chart comparing the current and new rules can be found on the NLRB’s website here.

Here is what Jay Timmons, president & CEO, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), had to say about the action:  “… with the stroke of a pen, the National Labor Relations Board has brushed aside the legitimate concerns of manufacturers and workers across the country, with its “ambush elections” rule. The rule infringes on the privacy rights of employees and the free speech rights of employers—and takes away what workers expect when they have to make these important decisions: just a reasonable amount of time.

It’s not right. The Board is supposed to be a fair arbiter of the law, not a supporter of a partisan agenda.

The NAM firmly believes that all options must be on the table, including litigation, to prevent this rule from taking effect. If we need to go to court, we will to protect manufacturers—and all Americans—from the NLRB’s extreme agenda.”

NLRB Grants Employees the Right To Use Employer E-mail Systems

December 19, 2014

On December 11, 2014 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its decision finding that employees had a statutory right to use employer owned e-mail systems for protected communications during non-working periods.  The decision overrules a 2007 decision of the NLRB finding that employers may issue and enforce policies prohibiting non-work related e-mail transmissions.

According to OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore, the decision of the NLRB went into effect not only immediately – but retroactively. The NLRB found it would be manifestly unjust not to apply the decision to the case it was resolving, and all pending cases, despite the fact that the decision directly overrules a 2007 decision of the Agency and has never been the rule of law previously.

Read more from Dinsmore about the decision here.   And here is more analysis from OMA Connections Partner, Roetzel.

Joe Trauger, Vice President, Human Resource Policy for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said in an email, “The 3-2 decision overturns the 2007 Register Guard case, and holds that employees now may use email for union-related communications during nonworking time.” 

The NAM filed a joint brief, as a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, urging the Board to uphold the Register Guard decision.

Ohio Ranks 47th in “Health Value”

December 19, 2014

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) this week released a “Health Value Dashboard” that “shows that Ohio’s “health value rank is 47, with Ohioans living less healthy lives and spending more on health care than people in most other states.”

HPIO says that low ranks on population health and health care costs contributed to its poor showing in comparison to other states.  Ultimately, Ohio manufacturers and other businesses pay a large portion of these high costs (for low health outcomes).

Holiday Party Employer Liability

December 12, 2014

OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler LLP, notes that while office holiday parties are a great way to unwind and celebrate the season with co-workers and colleagues, if you plan to serve alcohol at the party, you should be aware of the potential for liability.  Here are issues to consider.

$5K Internship Funding for Small Technology-Based Manufacturers

December 12, 2014

The OSU Fisher College of Business offers subsidized graduate student internships for Ohio’s small technology-based manufacturing companies.

Selected companies receive $5,000 in summer internship funds and access to top-performing graduate students.  First-time participating companies are expected to contribute an additional $2,000 in wages.

Qualifying companies will have fewer than 50 employees and be entrepreneurial, high technology manufacturing companies.  Interns are expected to work closely with the senior management team on strategic issues, such as managing growth, new product development, technology commercialization, strategic planning, capital access, and building partnerships/alliances.  Read more.

Intern Programs for NE Ohio Manufacturers

December 12, 2014

MAGNET is working with local educational institutions to connect manufacturers with students for internship positions.  Some internship programs offer subsidized wages payable to employers.

MAGNET’s Cleveland State program offers interns with 25% subsidized wages in: engineering, accounting, human resources, IT, business, and marketing.  Students from Lakeland or Cuyahoga Community Colleges are also available.

Contact MAGNET’s Bill Novak to learn more.

Schuring Proposes $100 Million Workforce Fund

December 5, 2014

Rep. Kirk Schuring (R – Canton) has introduced legislation, HB 664, that would appropriate $100 million for a workforce grant program.  The program would provide grants for students who pursue higher education for “in-demand” job fields through both degree and certificate programs.

Under the bill, students could receive up to $5,000 toward courses at a public college or university.  The grants would continue until the $100 million fund is exhausted.

Schuring, the chair of the House Manufacturing & Workforce Development Committee and the chair of last session’s Ohio 21st Century Manufacturing Taskforce, is focused on manufacturing.  This fund, however, would be available to students in programs tied to “in-demand” jobs, as defined by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

The sponsor says he’ll pursue the appropriation next session.

Ohio Unified Workforce Plan Released

November 21, 2014

The Governor’s Office of Workforce has released a draft of a “State Unified Plan” for public comment.  For the first time, Ohio is submitting a single, unified plan to the federal government for the state’s three largest workforce programs: the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE), and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act (Perkins).

Apparently, Ohio will be just the fourth state to submit a unified plan, and the first to submit a plan that includes Perkins-funded programs.

Read a fact sheet, and see where and when regional public hearings on the plan are scheduled.

Workforce Development Toolkits Offered

November 7, 2014

The Manufacturing Institute (of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)) launched the Skills Certification System to address the skills gap challenge and to promote a renaissance of manufacturing education across the country.  The Skills Certification System is designed by and for industry, and endorsed by the NAM.

The Manufacturing Institute has developed a variety of toolkits to help employers, educators and communities across the nation implement skills certifications to build a skilled manufacturing talent pipeline.  Be sure to share them with your education and community partners.

2015 Ohio Export Intern Opportunity for Employers

November 7, 2014

The Ohio Development Services Agency is accepting applications for the 2015 Ohio Export Internship Program.  The program will match companies with highly motivated students who have taken export-focused coursework, while providing a 50 percent reimbursement for the intern wages.  For more information and to apply, please visit here.  The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday December 10, 2014.