News and Analysis
Employment Discrimination Bill Reaches the Finish Line; Contract Reform StallsDecember 23, 2020
During the conclusion of the rapid-fire lame duck session, the Ohio House failed to muster enough votes to accept an emergency clause on House Bill 352, legislation to bring Ohio’s employment discrimination laws in line with their federal counterparts, thereby creating a more predictable and consistent system for both employers and employers.
The Senate had amended HB 352 with House Bill 251, which would shorten from eight to six years the statute of limitations for actions brought against written contracts, while also shortening from six to four years the period of limitations on verbal contracts.
Because the House failed to concur with the Senate amendments, the Senate — in a rare procedural move — receded its changes to the House version of HB 352. This essentially killed the contract reforms, while the employment discrimination provisions were left in place and have been sent to the governor for his signature. 12/23/2020
New COVID-19 Relief Bill Does Not Require Employers to Provide Paid Leave in the New YearDecember 23, 2020
While the fate of the federal government’s new COVID-19 stimulus package is still uncertain, OMA Connections Partner Roetzel reports that the legislation would not extend the emergency paid sick leave and extended paid caregiver leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and that those mandates will expire on Dec. 31. Read more here. 12/23/2020
At a Glance: EEOC’s Guidance on Employer Vaccination PoliciesDecember 23, 2020
OMA Connections Partner Calfee has published this new summary of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) updated guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccination and the workplace.
The firm notes that the EEOC confirmed that employers may mandate that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, subject to certain legally protected exceptions for disabilities and sincerely held religious beliefs. 12/23/2020
NLRB Issues COVID-19 Advice Memos on Remote Bargaining, Hazard PayDecember 23, 2020
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a pair of advice memos governing the obligation of parties to engage in remote collective bargaining and to negotiate over the concept of hazard pay in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips, these memos offer a glimpse into how the agency may address similar issues moving forward, and are thus valuable sources of information for employers. 12/23/2020
What Employers Need to Know Now That COVID-19 Vaccinations Have BegunDecember 18, 2020
Can employers require employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine? This week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on vaccines, confirming that employers are permitted to implement mandatory vaccination policies under federal law.
OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward has provided this summary of the EEOC guidance, while Connections Partner Dinsmore has published this list of potential employer questions.
OMA general counsel Bricker & Eckler advises that “employers should begin developing plans for whether they want to mandate the vaccine, and if so, how they will administer such a program to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.”
In this list of “seven things you should know,” OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips writes that although the EEOC permits mandated vaccinations, “most employers should consider encouraging rather than mandating vaccinations due to potential related risks.” 12/17/20
Senate Approves Bill to Reform Employment Discrimination, Statute of Limitations on ContractsDecember 18, 2020
On Thursday, Dec. 17, the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 352, which brings many of Ohio’s employment discrimination laws in line with their federal counterparts, thereby creating a more predictable and consistent system for both employers and employees.
It should be noted that HB 352 was amended with OMA-supported House Bill 251, which shortens from eight to six years the statute of limitations for actions brought against written contracts. It also shortens from six to four years the period of limitations on verbal contracts.
The full Senate passed HB 352 as amended. The bill now awaits final approval by the House before the conclusion of the lame duck session. The House must take action before Dec. 31 for the amended version of HB 352 to become law. 12/18/2020
Analysis: Biden Could Bring Significant Changes to Labor RegulationsDecember 18, 2020
OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward has published this insight examining the likely changes coming to labor and employment regulations under the Biden administration. According to the firm, some of the most significant changes may occur in overtime rules, union protections, minimum wage, immigration, equal employment opportunity laws, and paid leave laws. 12/15/2020
Year-End Planning for Your Employee Benefit PlansDecember 18, 2020
OMA Connections Partner CliftonLarsonAllen has produced this free on-demand webinar (along with these slides) to provide an overview of key issues that employee benefit plan sponsors should be aware of as 2021 nears. Key issues related to the SECURE Act and the CARES Act are addressed. 12/14/2020
OMA Testifies in Support of Employment Discrimination BillDecember 11, 2020
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on House Bill 352. The bill would bring many of Ohio’s employment discrimination laws in line with their federal counterparts, thereby creating a more predictable and consistent system for both employers and employees.
The OMA has supported various versions of this legislation over the years, and this week provided proponent testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 12/10/2020
Report: Ageism Is on the RiseDecember 11, 2020
According to a recent article at Glassdoor.com, more than 60% of workers age 45 and older say they’ve seen or experienced age discrimination — “and among them, 90% say it’s somewhat or very common. Three out of four older workers say their age has been an obstacle to finding a job.” Some businesses are facing lawsuits that claim they’re using the pandemic as an excuse to lay off older workers, the story notes. 12/9/2020