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Ohio Minimum Wage Increasing to $8.55 on Jan. 1, 2019

October 12, 2018

Ohio’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase on Jan. 1, 2019, to $8.55 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.30 per hour for tipped employees.

The minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $314,000 per year.

The current 2018 Ohio minimum wage is $8.30 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.15 for tipped employees. The 2018 Ohio minimum wage applies to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $305,000 per year.

A Constitutional Amendment by Ohio voters in 2006 states that Ohio’s minimum wage shall increase on Jan. 1 of each year by the rate of inflation. The state minimum wage is tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) for urban wage earners and clerical workers for the 12-month period prior to September. This CPI-W index increased by 2.9 percent over the twelve-month period from Sept. 1, 2017, to Aug. 31, 2018. 10/8/2018

Employers Should be Aware of New Forms for Background Check Compliance

October 12, 2018

From OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore: “Due to recent federal regulation, employers must follow new disclosure procedures before performing background checks. Effective September 21, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued updated model disclosure forms mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The new forms may be accessed here. The last time the CFPB provided a model disclosure form for use by employers performing background checks was 2012. …

“The new forms are effective immediately; however, the CFPB will temporarily permit continued use of the 2012 forms as long as a separate page containing the new information is also provided to the applicant-consumer. …”

Read more here. 10/8/2018

Medicare Part D Notices Due Before Oct. 15

October 5, 2018

Each year, Medicare Part D requires group health plan sponsors to disclose to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable.

Plan sponsors must provide the annual disclosure notice to Medicare-eligible individuals before October 15—the start date of the annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D. CMS has provided model disclosure notices for employers to use.

Employers should confirm whether their health plans’ prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable and prepare to send their Medicare Part D disclosure notices before October 15.

If you have questions about this, please contact OMA’s endorsed employee health plan partner, One Source Advisors. 10/2/2018

U.S. DOL Plans to Update Overtime Rule

October 5, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will host a public listening session in Washington, D.C., to gather views on the Part 541 white-collar exemption regulations, often known as the “Overtime Rule,” on October 17, 2018.

Issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, these regulations implement exemptions from the overtime-pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees. The department plans to update the Overtime Rule, and is interested in hearing the views and ideas of participants on possible revisions to the regulations. 10/4/2018

Application Period Open for Incumbent Worker Training Funds

September 28, 2018

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program provides direct financial assistance to train workers and improve the economic competitiveness of Ohio’s employers. Approved applicants are eligible for up to $2,000 in reimbursement for each eligible incumbent employee, up to $25,000 in total assistance per fiscal year.

The program is designed to offset a portion of the employer’s costs to upgrade the skills of its incumbent workforce and will provide reimbursement to eligible employers for specific training costs accrued during training. The program’s funding will be used in conjunction with private contributions to fund skill-upgrade training.

Eligible employers must demonstrate that by receiving funding assistance through the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program their business will not only obtain a skilled workforce but will improve their company processes and competitiveness.

Learn more about the program here. 9/24/2018

NLRB Proposed Change of Joint-Employer Standard

September 21, 2018

A post from OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “The National Labor Relations Board … announced that it will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking … in the Federal Register regarding its joint employer standard.

“The Board indicated that its proposed rulemaking would foster “predictability, consistency and stability in the determination of joint employer status.” The Board indicated that an employer could be “found to be a joint employer of another employer’s employees only if it possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner not limited and routine.”

“The proposed rule seeks to reverse a 2015 decision of the Labor Board in Browning- Ferris Industries, which had vastly expanded the scope of the joint employer definition and overturned decades of Board precedent in this area.” 9/14/2018

Drug Test Results Explained (video)

September 14, 2018

OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners (R), created this short video to help employers understand the variety of potential results of drug tests.

In addition, Working Partners(R) has scheduled two upcoming webinars to help employers understand Ohio’s medical marijuana law and decisions employers should be prepared to make. If interested, register for the October 18 or the November 14 90-minute session. 9/13/2018

Updated Health Insurance Marketplace Disclosure Notice

September 7, 2018

From OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler: “Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to provide new employees with a model notice of the health insurance marketplace within 14 days of hire. The U.S. Department of Labor recently updated the model notice for use through May 31, 2020.”

Bricker’s contact on the issue is Lauren Gresh. 9/5/2018

Mind the (Gender & Race) Gap

August 31, 2018

When we think about the “pay gap,” often only the disparity between genders comes to mind – the disparity in pay between all males and all females. It is not the only gap employers should be mindful of.

Read more about this from OMA Connections Partner Jackson Lewis. 8/27/2018

What to Do with Exiting Employees’ Unused Vacation Time?

July 27, 2018

From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “When an employee leaves an organization, one issue the employer often confronts is whether to pay the employee for unused vacation time or other paid time off (PTO). The employer may seek to withhold PTO for myriad reasons: from encouraging employees to use their PTO during employment, to offsetting an employee debt, to encouraging compliance with an obligation (e.g., providing advanced notice of a resignation). But regardless of the reason, the extent of the employer’s ability to withhold PTO (at least in Ohio) depends on the terms of its PTO policy.”

Read about the outcome of a case decided by the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Seventh District for more insights about PTO management. 7/23/2018