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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

Multiemployer Pension Plan Crisis Explained

July 27, 2018

Here’s a good summary about the country’s crisis with multiemployer pension plans prepared by OMA Connections Partner, Calfee, as a result of the recent U.S. Congress Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans field hearing held recently at the Ohio Statehouse.

Calfee wrote: “The Committee held the field hearing to discuss the country’s crisis with multiemployer pension plans as it considers legislative solutions to the problem. It focused particularly on the growing number of “orphan” retirees, whose former employers are no longer contributing to their multiemployer plans, leaving fewer and fewer remaining employers holding the bag. These plans are now critically underfunded. …

“Consequently, these multiemployer pension plans’ critical status is causing nationwide concern, with Ohio employers being hit particularly hard. There are 1.3 million retirees with threatened pensions in multiemployer plans. In Ohio there are over 60,000 participants in multiemployer pension plans headed toward insolvency alone. …” 7/25/2018

Employee Handbook: Old? None? Read on!

July 27, 2018

This post from OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore explains the top 10 reasons why you need an employee handbook, and how a handbook helps your organization. 7/26/2018

Persuader Rule Rescinded by Department of Labor

July 20, 2018

From OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler: “Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the so-called “Persuader Rule”, issued in 2016.

“This rule required employers to report to the DOL the retention of law firms or consultants engaged to directly or indirectly persuade employees about exercising or refraining from exercising their right to organize and bargain collectively. This reporting requirement — a publicly available filing — meant employers’ strategies about union campaigns could become known to unions, employees, and anyone making a public records request. The reporting requirement also included the duty to report fees paid to firms and persuaders. In implementing this rule, the DOL relied on the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), thus exposing companies to civil or criminal penalties for non-compliance.

“In November 2016, a federal district court in Texas blocked enforcement of the 2016 rule, finding it was incompatible with a longstanding doctrine known as the “advice exception” and jeopardizing the attorney-client privilege.

“Now, the DOL has rescinded the rule, acknowledging in a Twitter post on July 17 that “the 2016 Persuader Rule [ ] exceeded the authority of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.” The rescission will become effective on or about August 17, 2018, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.”

Please direct any questions to Marie-Joëlle C. Khouzam, Bricker & Eckler LLP. 7/19/2018