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Senate Holds Hearing on Bill to Add Sexual Orientation to Civil Rights Law

March 15, 2019

This week the Senate held its first hearing on The Ohio Fairness Act, Senate Bill 11, which bill sponsor, Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), described as updating the Ohio Civil Rights Law by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to existing protections in matters of housing, employment and in the public sphere.

The bill also upholds all existing religious exemptions under the Ohio Civil Rights Law.

Senator Antonio testified: “Ohio is one of 28 states that do not have clear non-discrimination protections for members of the LGBTQ community.”

Similar legislation has been introduced over the last several General Assemblies. 3/14/2019

DOL Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Update Overtime Regulations

March 15, 2019

On March 7, 2019 the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule that would make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime.

Under currently enforced law, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties. This salary level was set in 2004.

This proposal would boost the proposed standard salary level to $679 per week (equivalent to $35,308 per year). Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties.

The proposal maintains overtime protections for police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, nurses, and laborers including: non-management production-line employees and non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, and construction workers. The proposal does not call for automatic adjustments to the salary threshold.

Here is a post from OMA Connections Partner Roetzel that contains additional details on the proposal. 3/11/2019

Employers May Have to Provide Pay Data on EEO-1s

March 15, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “Private employers with more than 100 employees previously have been required to report workforce data across 10 job categories broken down by race, gender and ethnicity. The data is reported annually by October 1 to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on the EEO-1 form, which currently comprises one page for each facility of an employer.

“In the summer of 2016, during the Obama administration, the EEOC expanded the EEO-1 effective March 31, 2018, to require employers to report the racial and gender makeup of employees in each of the 10 job categories within 12 pay ranges. …

“In 2017, during the Trump administration, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) issued a stay on the pay data portions of the revised EEO-1, as business groups were concerned that the additional requirements would be too burdensome and costly.

” … On March 4, 2019, Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that the OMB’s action in staying implementation of the revised EEO-1 was an “arbitrary and capricious” decision that lacked any “reasoned explanation.” The Court then vacated the OMB’s stay and ordered the EEOC’s expanded EEO-1 to be in effect.

“Prior to the D.C. Court’s ruling, the EEO-1 filing deadline for the revised EEO-1 had been set at May 31, 2019. It is not clear whether employers will have to comply with the new requirements by the current deadline of May 31, but it is anticipated that the OMB will appeal the decision, and that the EEOC will soon issue guidance regarding the Court’s March 4 ruling.”

Stay tuned. 3/11/2019

EEO-1 Submission Date Delayed

February 15, 2019

Because of the government shutdown, the EEOC has postponed its collection of EEO-1 data until early March 2019. The deadline to submit this data is extended to May 31, 2019.

All private employers with 100 or more employees, federal government contractors, and first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract, subcontract or purchase order $50,000 or more must file the EE0-1 report. 2/12/2019

Deadlines to Furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to Employees are Coming Up

February 8, 2019

This from OMA Connections Partner One Source Advisors (OSA): “The IRS deadlines to furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to employees in early 2019 are as follows:

  • Employers with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-C to all full-time employees no later than March 4, 2019.
  • Self-insured employers with fewer than 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-B to all responsible individuals–typically the primary insured, an employee or former employee, or other related person named on the application for insurance–no later than March 4, 2019.

The deadline for employers to file all Forms 1095-C and 1095-B with the IRS remains February 28, 2019 (or April 1, 2019, if filing electronically).

Cheri Gillfillan, president of OSA, said: “The forms are to document the employee was offered minimum essential benefits that meet affordability guidelines. The IRS then uses the forms to confirm eligibility for subsidy payments if an employee chooses to be insured through the federal marketplace.”

Questions? Contact OSA. 2/1/2019

Organization Commits to Elevate Opioid Solutions

February 8, 2019

This week an alliance of local, state, and national organizations came together to launch the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Ohio. RALI Ohio intends to address the challenges and needs of the state’s opioid and substance misuse epidemic.

From its press statement: “… RALI Ohio worked closely with its partners to identify gaps in support for vital programs that help those struggling with substance use disorder and those at risk for opioid misuse. Based on these learnings, the partnership began educating communities about proper disposal options for unused medications, providing tools to facilitate in-home disposal, and raising awareness of addiction prevention and education programs led by organizations throughout the state.”

You can learn more here. And find drug take-back locations here. 2/6/2019

Rep. Scott Ryan participates in the launch of the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI).

Immigration Compliance: What’s Coming in 2019

February 1, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore: “… In 2018, the Trump administration held true to its Buy American, Hire American policy. As a result, worksite investigations, I-9 audits, and criminal and administrative worksite-related arrests surged by 300 to 750 percent over 2017. The administration has signaled that immigration enforcement will continue to be a priority this year, and employers should be prepared for three ways they may be contacted related to their compliance records. …”

Read the post from Dinsmore with tips for employers to evaluate their current worksite and immigration policies. 1/30/2019

NLRB Revises Independent Contractor Test

February 1, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Calfee: “On January 25, 2019, in SuperShuttle DFW, Inc. and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338, the National Labor Relations Board … overturned a 2014 decision and made it easier for employers to demonstrate that their workers are independent contractors who can’t unionize. The issue in this case was whether approximately 88 van drivers are employees of a company and could therefore be represented by a union; or whether, as the Board found, they are independent contractors of the company and therefore could not.

“The decision overturned a 2014 Obama-era ruling …”

You can read more here. 1/31/2019

Trending: Salary-History Bans

February 1, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “As of January 1, 2019, Connecticut and Hawaii have joined … California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont by adopting state-wide bans against salary history inquires. State and local governments across the country are increasingly introducing and passing legislation prohibiting employers from asking candidates their salary history information, with the aim of ending pay inequity. …

“Ohio has not passed a salary history ban (yet), so Ohio employers are in the clear for now. … Accordingly, multi-state employers need to be aware of how bans may affect their businesses and should regularly review and update hiring processes to ensure compliance with the many differing state and local bans.”

More here. 1/25/2019

DOL Comments on Improper Overtime Rates

January 25, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “Administering payroll for employees with variable work schedules and hourly rates can cause major headaches for employers. In an effort to simplify and reduce administrative costs, employers are oftentimes tempted to set a standard overtime rate to be paid at a set dollar amount to all employees regardless of variations in compensation rates and actual weekly compensation earned. However, as a recent Department of Labor Opinion Letter explains, employers must adhere to the FLSA’s overtime calculation rules when setting such rates….

“This letter reminds employers that, when calculating overtime compensation, the regular rate of pay cannot be arbitrarily selected, especially when the selected amount is potentially less than the employee’s actual hourly wage rate. Rather, overtime must be based on the actual rate of pay the employee earns.”

More here. 1/18/2019