News and Analysis
The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a final rule that addresses new requirements for employer-sponsored group health plans. EHS Today reports that the rule includes a provision that plans provide enrollees with estimates of their out-of-pocket expenses for services from different health care providers. The rule will begin to take effect in January 2022 and will be fully effective in 2024. 11/23/2020
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced this week that the drastic drop in Ohio’s unemployment rate has triggered federally mandated changes in both the federal-state Extended Benefits program and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
According to the agency, Ohio is no longer in a “high unemployment period” as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor. As a result, Ohioans who were previously eligible for extended jobless benefits no longer will be come specific dates in December. 11/24/2020
In an effort to combat the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Mike DeWine this week issued a 21-day statewide curfew. The “Stay at Home Tonight” order impacts the hours between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and is set to remain in effect until Dec. 11, 2020. Meanwhile, some local governing bodies have begun issuing “stay home” advisories to complement the state curfew.
OMA general counsel Bricker & Eckler has produced this summary of Ohio’s curfew order and the local stay-at-home advisories, while analyzing their potential disruption to manufacturers. The firm notes: “Given the exceptions for commuting to work and home, the curfew order and the local advisories should have little to no impact on the operations of Ohio manufacturers.” 11/19/2020
This week, the Ohio Senate voted 23-8 to pass Senate Bill 282. The bill, which is supported by the OMA, would create an online process for employers to report recipients of unemployment benefits who have potentially failed to meet the non-monetary eligibility requirements. The bill requires that the complaints be reviewed in a timely manner. SB 282 now moves to the House for consideration. 11/19/2020
The Ohio House this week passed House Bill 352, which 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.
Supported by the OMA, HB 352 would not disrupt an individual’s avenue to assert discrimination violations, but would encourage more predictability, stability, and administrative efficiency. Here’s an official summary. 11/19/2020
Many manufacturers say some of their employees have reported fears about continuing to work during COVID-19. The Manufacturing Leadership Council — an arm of the National Association of Manufacturers — has published this infographic to share examples of how employers have addressed those fears. 11/18/2020
Employee compensation and pay-data reporting rules could see significant changes under a Biden administration, according to an article at HRDive.com.
The article quotes experts from OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips who said Biden will resurrect the EEOC’s pay-data reporting requirements under EEO-1 Component 2. A push to increase the federal minimum wage, as well as bigger penalties and tougher enforcement actions for non-compliance with wage and hour laws are also expected. 11/16/2020
The CDC recently announced that during COVID-19 more than 40% of U.S. adults are struggling with their mental health or substance use. This article at EHSToday.com provides advice to employers, noting that when talking with employees about mental health, employers must do so in compliance with ADA guidelines. 11/16/2020
At noon on Tuesday, Nov. 17, OMA General Counsel Bricker & Eckler will conduct a free webinar to address the most recent developments in wage and hour law. The virtual event will cover changes to the rules for calculating overtime, as well as common pay issues surrounding the use of certain bonuses and pay codes to encourage employees to pick up extra shifts. 11/12/2020