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2017 Employment Forms – Free and Legally Reviewed

December 22, 2016

OMA provides several free up-to-date reproducible forms to assist your human resource department, managers and supervisors.  These forms comply with federal and Ohio laws and have been reviewed by OMA counsel, Bricker & Eckler LLP, for compliance as recently as December 2016.

The reproducible forms offered are: Application for Employment, Absentee Calendar/Bi-monthly Absence Review, and Vacation Schedule.  Updated state & federal posting requirements are also available.

Please read the special instructions to employers to help protect your company when using these forms.  See HR Tools on this web page (right sidebar).  12/16/2016

What’s Going on with that Salary Level Rule?

December 22, 2016

For those watching the U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) so-called “white collar overtime” rule, OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler, provides this status update.

Bottom line:  The Dec. 1 implementation date was stayed and the issue is tied up in court.  Bricker advises employers to prepare for quick implementation of the rule in the event the Fifth Circuit does not uphold the preliminary injunction.  However, that said, President-elect Trump’s nominee to head the DOL is expected to undertake efforts to undo the rule if it becomes effective after the appeal process.  Stay tuned — there are likely to be lots of changes impacting employers in 2017.  12/21/2016

Employee vs. Independent Contractor: U.S. DOL Issues Significant New Guidance

December 22, 2016

OMA Connections Partner, Frantz Ward, posted this:  “On December 19, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued comprehensive new guidance making it clear that it intends to continue to aggressively pursue employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors.

“The … new guidance, entitled “Misclassification Affects Everyone,” states the DOL’s position that “The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a huge problem for workers, employers who play by the rules and our economy.” … the definite direction of the DOL is to limit many common ways businesses use independent contractors rather than employees.”

Read more from Frantz Ward here12/21/2016

Medical Marijuana – State of Play in Ohio

December 22, 2016

OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward posted this update about the implementation of medical marijuana in Ohio:  “On December 15, 2016, the Board of Pharmacy issued draft regulations placing a limit of 40 dispensary licenses, and providing for rules on obtaining dispensary licenses, operating dispensaries and licensing of employees. The State Medical Board regulations provided steps physicians have to undertake in order to be able to recommend medical marijuana. The Department of Commerce made some increases to cultivator limits.”

These proposed regulations are nowhere near finalized because final rules are not due until September 8, 2017 for the Board of Pharmacy and State Medical Board, and May 6, 2017 for the Department of Commerce.  Read more from Frantz Ward12/20/2016

New ADA Wellness Program Notice Requirement Effective January 1

December 16, 2016

Employers subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)–generally those with 15 or more employees–that offer a wellness program that collects employee health information must provide a new notice to employees as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.

Read more about this from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  12/14/2016

Big Win for Business: Pre-emption of Municipal Wage and Hour Laws

December 9, 2016

The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 331, a beneficial bill which will prohibit municipalities from passing wage and hour laws that differ from the state laws.

The OMA provided testimony that noted the bill will “prohibit local governments from establishing minimum wage rates different from the rate required by state law and granting private employers exclusive authority to establish policies concerning job related issues, such as hours and location of work, scheduling and fringe benefits.”

Several Ohio cities have been considering municipal minimum wage laws, laws that regulate “predictive scheduling,” and other constraints on employer’s ability to manage human resources productively.  If successful, these municipal laws would have confronted Ohio employers with an unmanageable hodge-podge of local labor laws.  12/8/2016

Autism Mandate Comes Alive in Lame Duck

December 2, 2016

This week in a surprise move, the Ohio Senate amended a long-stalled autism mandate bill into an unrelated bill dealing with palliative care licensing (HB 470).  This type of amendment activity frequently occurs during lame duck session before a General Assembly term is set to expire.

The bill did not advance, but is likely to be placed up for vote next week.  As we have done in prior sessions, the OMA has communicated concerns about the autism mandate legislation.  Concerned manufacturers can contact your member of the Senate and ask them to oppose the autism mandate contained in HB 470.

Here is a summary of HB 47012/1/2016

Nationwide Injunction Issued on “Overtime Rule”

December 2, 2016

Last week, a Texas U.S. District Court judge issued a nationwide injunction preventing the implementation of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Overtime Rule” previously set to take effect on December 1.  This means the rule will not go into effect on December 1, not that it will never go into effect.

The court found that the DOL had likely exceeded its statutory authority in setting a salary threshold higher than necessary to exempt “any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity.”  Because the current salary threshold increase was unlawful under the plain meaning of the statute, the DOL “also lacks the authority to implement the automatic updating mechanism.”

While the DOL is likely to appeal the decision, the timing is such that the fate of the overtime rule is now in the hands of the 115th Congress and the incoming Trump administration.

Here is a blog post from OMA Connections Partner, Frantz Ward, on the situation.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) will advocate with policymakers in Congress and on the transition team about the excessive costs to implement the rule, which it estimates at $24 billion over the next 10 years.  The NAM issued this press release on the decision.   11/28/2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Releases New I-9 Form

December 2, 2016

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has just released a new I-9 form.  This form must be used for new hires starting on or after January 22, 2017.  Employers are not required to complete new forms for current employees.

The new form will allow employers to view instructions and to complete the information electronically through drop-down menus; however, the electronically completed forms will still need to be printed and signed by the employee and employer by hand.  Some of the changes to highlight include revising the question asking about “other names used” to “other last names used,” and asking the person completing the form to indicate if a preparer or translator was involved.  In that case, the form allows space for the preparer/translator.

Here is a sample of the new form.  For questions, consider contacting OMA counsel, Joelle Khouzam, of Bricker & Eckler.  11/22/2016

Unexpected (but limited) ACA Reporting Relief

December 2, 2016

On November 18, 2016, the IRS released Notice 2016-70, addressing insurer and employer reporting requirements under Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code.  The primary impact of the notice is to extend the due date for providing employees with copies of Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns.  Furthermore, the notice provides relief to insurers and employers from certain penalties that would otherwise apply for returns containing incorrect or incomplete information.

Read more from OMA counsel, Bricker & Eckler.  11/29/2016