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Comments Invited on Ambush Election Rule

April 16, 2018

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reminds manufacturers that the comment deadline is approaching on the proposed changes to the union representation election process (the “ambush election” rule).

Comments are due on April 18. The NAM has fashioned substantive coalition comments but urges individual manufacturers to make their voices heard. In particular, manufacturers that have encountered problems since the board finalized its 2014 election rule will want to file comment.

You can file comments online at Regulations.gov. 4/11/2018

Self-Audit & Report Wage Violations

April 6, 2018

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor is launching a new nationwide pilot program, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program.

PAID facilitates resolution of potential overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The program’s primary objectives are to resolve such claims expeditiously and without litigation, to improve employers’ compliance with overtime and minimum wage obligations, and to ensure that more employees receive the back wages they are owed.

Under the PAID program, employers are encouraged to conduct audits and, if they discover overtime or minimum wage violations, to self-report those violations. Employers may then work in good faith with WHD to correct their mistakes and to quickly provide 100% of the back wages due to their affected employees.

WHD will conduct a public webinar on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time to provide an overview of the PAID program. 4/4/2018

Short, New Videos Help Employers Comply with FLSA

March 30, 2018

The U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage & Hour Division (WHD), has created a new series of short compliance videos to help employers comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

According to the WHD: “These brief, plain-language explanations of FLSA requirements strip away the “legalese” and provide employers the basic information they need to understand their obligations and to comply with the law.

“We consulted a variety of employers and other stakeholders during the production of these FLSA tutorials, and incorporated their feedback to provide these user-friendly, straightforward primers, delivered in a language and format that’s engaging and easy to understand.” 3/28/2018

FREE Opioid Toolkit for Employers

March 23, 2018

OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners(R), with funding from Anthem BlueCross BlueShield has worked with the Ohio Chamber to bring an Opioid Toolkit to Employers. It is available at no charge to all Ohio businesses.

The 5-module course (13-16 min. per module) gives an overview of the legal and operational issues an employer must consider in dealing with an employee’s use of opioids and other substances. The modules include best practices around how, when and why to drug test; how to handle a situation if the employee confesses or is discovered to be using harmful substances; and much more.

An hour-long employee education course teaches the employee a five point strategy and provides downloadable tools to enable the employee to understand the dangers of misusing prescription drugs and how to be a safe and responsible consumer of drugs.

Other resources include:

To get additional help for your workplace program, please reach out to OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners(R). 3/21/2018

EEOC Settles First of its Kind Parental Leave Case Involving Dad

March 23, 2018

OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler, posted this: “The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reached a settlement agreement in the agency’s first lawsuit challenging parental leave policies that grant more rights to new mothers than new fathers. In August 2017, the agency filed suit against cosmetic company Estée Lauder after a new father requested, and was denied, six weeks of paid leave and a flexible return-to-work schedule as a primary caregiver under the company’s policy.

“Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to both new mothers and new fathers following the birth or adoption of a child. While there is currently no federal law requiring paid parental leave, most companies provide some form of paid leave, including, in some cases, paid caregiver or child-bonding leave.”

Read more about the resolution of the case here. 3/22/2018

Sixth Circuit Rules on Transgender Discrimination Case

March 16, 2018

OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Ecker posted: ” Last week, the Sixth Circuit (which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) held that Title VII provides transgender and transitioning employees with protection from employment-related discrimination.”

And: “While the court has not created a new group of protected employees (that could only be done by congress), it did hold that discrimination on the basis of transgender and transitioning status is in fact discrimination on the basis of sex, which is already prohibited under Title VII.”

Per Bricker: “While this issue will likely be addressed by the Supreme Court in the future, for Ohio employers and others, transgender employees are protected from discrimination under Title VII. Employers should:

  • Review and, if necessary, revise their anti-discrimination policies accordingly
  • Notify employees that discrimination will not be tolerated on the basis of transgender or transitioning status in the form of training or otherwise.”

Read more here. 315/2018

OMA Supports Bill to Rein in Health Care Mandates

March 9, 2018

Last week the OMA submitted proponent testimony on House Bill 450, legislation that would would curb costly new state-driven health care mandates.

In testimony the OMA noted three protections in the bill for employers: “First, it prohibits the enactment of future mandated benefits unless qualifying conditions are met. This means that only the most relevant mandates will be allowed in the future.

“Second, requiring the Superintendent of Insurance to conduct an actuarial study on the cost of existing mandated health insurance benefits and compiling a list of all existing mandates will help determine the true costs of these mandates on manufacturers and all Ohio employers.

“Finally the creation of the Health Care Mandated Benefits Review Committee, which will have responsibility for reviewing and reporting on existing mandated benefits, will provide data to help inform the financial consequences of mandates on the populations that fund them.” 3/7/2018

EEOC Prioritizing Pay Equity Cases: Employers Should Review Compensation Systems

March 9, 2018

From OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore: “If your company has not reviewed its compensation systems to ensure pay equity for female employees, now is the time to do so. In the fall of 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan announcing pay equity would be one of its six major priorities. Since then, four high-profile settlements have demonstrated the EEOC will be vigorously enforcing the Equal Pay Act and Title VII to ensure wage equality.”

Read about these cases here. 3/2/2018

Employer Impacts of New “Revenge” Bill

March 2, 2018

This week the House held its first hearing on House Bill 497, which, along with its Senate companion Senate Bill 251, prohibit the nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images. The two bills are designed to close a loophole in Ohio law that allows individuals to knowingly disseminate private images, without consent of the victim, with a purpose to harm the person in the images.

In their joint testimony Reps. John Rogers (D-Mentor on the Lake) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) outlined the provisions of the bill including criminal penalties and employment protections. Employment protections include prohibiting an employer from firing, or failing to hire, an individual because of their victim status; requiring an employer to make “reasonable accommodations” to the victim; requiring an employer to give a victim unpaid leave; and, creating a civil action against an employer for failing to follow the bill’s employer requirements.

Read about the bill and its employer provisions here. 3/1/2018

Here’s Your Desk Guide to Ohio Employment Statutes and Regulations

March 2, 2018

OMA Connections Partner, Jackson Lewis, offers this 16-page 2017-18 Desk Guide to Ohio Employment Statutes and Regulations.

This guide, reviewed by Jackson Lewis counsel in the fall of 2017, is a great reference for all human resources administrators and managers. It summarizes the most frequently referenced employment laws. 2/26/2018