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U.S. DOT Issues Notice of Enforcement Discretion

July 10, 2020

Recognizing some organizations subject to controlled substance (drug) and alcohol testing under 49 CFR part 382 may be unable to comply with certain testing requirements due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 emergency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued this notice of enforcement discretion. 7/9/2020

Pandemic Effect on Employee Drug and Alcohol Use

July 10, 2020

OMA Connections Partner Working Partners(R) reports that there has been a 55% increase in the sales of alcoholic beverages this year over the same time last year.

In light of concerns over employee wellness with respect to drugs and alcohol, Working Partners(R) partnered with the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA) and created this article and infographic to help employers understand what their employees are facing and how they might help.

If you need help with your drug-free workplace program, contact Working Partners(R) here. 7/6/2020

Manufacturers Share Insights on Diversity Efforts

July 2, 2020

Manufacturers are looking to make their workplaces more diverse and inclusive, but what steps should they take? As part of its Diversity and Inclusion pillar, The Manufacturing Institute — an arm of the National Association of Manufacturers — has begun hosting roundtables to draw on the expertise of diversity and inclusion chiefs from across a wide range of companies. Here’s a brief recap of a recent event. 7/1/2020

Ohio’s Diversity & Inclusion Technology Internship Program Offers Wage Reimbursement to Employers

July 2, 2020

Ohio manufacturers are encouraged to consider participating in the Development Services Agency’s (DSA) Diversity and Inclusion Technology Internship Program. It offers employers with technology-related needs the opportunity to connect with diverse, young talent through paid internships. Qualified employers will be reimbursed two-thirds of the intern’s wages — up to $10,000.

Participating companies must provide a meaningful internship experience, have non-residential work space, and hire interns as employees (W-2). Employers may hire up to three interns for different positions. The program’s minimum wage is $15 an hour. Learn more here. 7/1/2020

COVID-19 Checklist for Employers

June 26, 2020

Whether it’s health and safety protocols, employee leave policies, or responding to cases of COVID-19, businesses have a lot on their plates. To help stay organized, Connections Partner Clark Schaefer Hackett has published this handy checklist so businesses can identify important return-to-work considerations during COVID-19. The checklist is also helpful for businesses that have maintained operations throughout the pandemic. 6/24/2020

Pattern of COVID-19 Workplace Litigation Begins to Emerge

June 26, 2020

OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips reports that more COVID-19-related lawsuits raising FMLA and ADA concerns have begun to emerge. According to the firm’s analysis, recent lawsuits filed across the U.S. show a trend of litigation regarding employees with pre-existing health care conditions. 6/22/2020

Supreme Court Rules LGBTQ Employees are Protected From Job Discrimination

June 19, 2020

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for being homosexual or transgender. In a 6-3 decision, the Court’s majority said these workers are protected against discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The landmark ruling resolves a long-standing and complicated debate.

OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine suggests that employers consider the following actions in response to this week’s Court action:

  • Review policies relating to non-discrimination and equal employment;
  • Amend equal employment opportunity policy to incorporate a statement that the business does not discriminate or retaliate against applicants or employees based on sex, sexual orientation, sexuality, transgender status, or gender identity or expression;
  • Implement training for managers or others who regularly interview applicants; and
  • Remind human resources staff to maintain records of sex-related medical conditions as confidential medical records under the ADA.

See guidance from other OMA Connections Partners, including Frantz Ward, Dinsmore, and Roetzel. 6/15/2020

NAM Comments on DACA Ruling

June 19, 2020

Following this week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement. Timmons said NAM will “continue to call on Congress to provide long-term certainty” for DACA recipients, and he encouraged elected officials to use the NAM’s immigration plan. 6/18/2020

Guarding Against Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

June 19, 2020

This week, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted reminded Ohioans to be on alert for fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims as criminals are filing fake claims on behalf of real people who have not lost their jobs. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has identified at least 3,000 cases of fake unemployment claims.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that employees learn about UI fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer regarding their supposed application for benefits. If this happens to one of your employees, it means someone is misusing their personal information — and the FTC recommends quick action by taking these steps.

For more resources on how to guard against fraud, see this checklist on avoiding scams. If you think you have been a victim of fraud, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s office. 6/18/2020

Communication in the Time of COVID: Lessons Learned

June 19, 2020

Effective communications with employees have been particularly important the past few months as normal routines have been disrupted. IndustryWeek recently interviewed senior communications leaders in manufacturing and compiled these seven lessons learned from their experiences. 6/17/2020