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Revisiting the Timeless Principles of Mr. Mac

June 19, 2020

In a times like these, it’s refreshing to revisit the leadership principles that helped shape Ohio manufacturing into the global leader it is today. Many of these principles were practiced by the late John H. McConnell, founder of Worthington Industries.

In his 2004 book “Our Golden Rule” — published four years before his passing — Mr. Mac wrote: “People should be treated well not because they are tools for building a successful company, but because they are valuable as human beings. … My best advice is to wake up each day committing yourself to lead by example and to act in the same ethical, hard-working manner you expect from your employees. … Live by the Golden Rule.” 6/15/2020

Addressing Employee Social Media Activity During Protests

June 12, 2020

Following days of nationwide protests and many Americans taking to social media to express their opinions, employers may now be faced with the tricky question of what to do if an employee posts racist, threatening or other objectionable content on his or her social media platform. OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward has shared this legal perspective, noting that in all cases, employers should conduct thorough investigations before taking disciplinary action. 6/10/2020

EEOC Issues Updated COVID-19 Guidance

June 12, 2020

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under federal equal employment opportunity laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EEOC publication, which contains a Q&A section of common workplace questions, is available here. 6/11/2020

Operating Your Drug-Free Workplace Remotely

June 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and government actions to flatten the curve caught many businesses off guard, with many scrambling to figure out how to do business from a remote location. How prepared was your business to operate its drug-free workplace program remotely? To help prepare for future challenges, OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® has published this checklist to aid in the development of a successful game plan for operating your drug-free program from any work location. 6/3/2020

ODJFS Takes Down Unemployment Insurance Fraud Reporting Page; You Can Still Email Agency

May 29, 2020

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has taken down its unemployment insurance fraud reporting web page. This after the agency’s site was attacked by an anonymous hacker who disagreed with allowing employers to report those who refused to return to work.

On its FAQ page for employers, ODJFS says the agency’s process for determining whether to deny unemployment benefits for a refusal to return to work existed prior to the pandemic.

ODJFS “encourages employers to engage in dialogue with an employee who expresses reluctance to return to work about the measures that employers are taking to help employees feel safe.” If that approach is unsuccessful, employers may report eligibility concerns to ODJFS using this email address. 5/27/2020

Study: 68% of Laid-Off Workers Are Receiving More in Unemployment Benefits Than From Their Jobs

May 29, 2020

As federal lawmakers consider yet another coronavirus relief package, a study this week revealed the effect of the initial federal response. According to University of Chicago researchers, two-thirds (68%) of jobless workers will bring home more money from their state unemployment insurance — and $600 weekly supplement from the federal government — than they would on the job, MarketWatch reported.

One in every five eligible workers will receive benefits worth at least double their lost earnings, the study found, as the median earnings-replacement rate was 134% of lost wages. 5/27/2020

DOL Finalizes Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor for Retirement Plans

May 29, 2020

Federal law requires a wide range of disclosures to be provided to retirement plan participants. The U.S. Department of Labor has released a final rule providing an additional method under which an administrator can satisfy the law by using electronic delivery. See this analysis by OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine. 5/26/2020

EEOC Extends Deadline to File 2019 EEO-1 Report

May 22, 2020

According to this post from OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will extend the deadline for employers to file their 2019 EEO-1 report to March 2021.

By extending the reporting deadline, employers who would have been required to file their 2019 EEO-1 report by May 31, 2020, will not need to file either a 2019 or the 2020 report until the new deadline in 2021. 5/18/2020

Employers/Employees Get Mid-Year Break on Cafeteria Plan Changes and COBRA Deadlines

May 22, 2020

OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler reports that the IRS recently issued Notice 2020-29, allowing §125 cafeteria plans and high-deductible health plan (HDHP) changes during the remainder of 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, employees who declined employer-sponsored health coverage at the beginning of the plan year may now elect to enroll. Employees enrolled in employer coverage can switch to different coverage offered by the same employer. Employees can disenroll from employer coverage in order to enroll in other coverage immediately. 5/18/2020

Fluctuating Workweek Method of Computing Overtime Decided

May 22, 2020

On May 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule that allows employers to pay bonuses or other incentive-based pay to salaried, nonexempt employees whose hours vary from week to week. The final rule clarifies that payments in addition to the fixed salary are compatible with the use of the fluctuating workweek method under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Read the details here. 5/20/2020