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Court: Caring for Your Sister’s Kids isn’t FMLA-Eligible

February 7, 2020

Recently, an Ohio federal court rejected an individual’s claim of entitlement to FMLA leave in order to care for his sister’s children. According to OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward, this decision highlights the importance of reviewing and considering FMLA claims on an individual basis. Read the details. 2/3/2020

DOL Updates Regular Wage Rate Rule

February 7, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a new final rule to clarify how to calculate an employee’s regular wage rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule became effective Jan. 15, 2020.

OMA Connections Partner One Source Advisors says the DOL’s objective is to provide more certainty for employers who offer additional perks to their employees, but aren’t sure whether these benefits should be counted as income under the FLSA. Employers should become familiar with the rule and adjust their payroll practices to account for this new guidance. 2/5/2020

Ohio Minimum Wage Hike is a Step Closer to Ballot

January 31, 2020

A proposed constitutional amendment to raise Ohio’s minimum wage from $8.70 to $13 by 2025 has cleared its first hurdle as Attorney General Dave Yost this week determined the proposal to be a fair and truthful statement.

Filed by two public labor unions — the Service Employees International Union District 1199 and the Ohio Education Association — the proposal now goes before the Ballot Board. If OK’d by the board, nearly 443,000 valid petition signatures will need to be gathered from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties before the question can go before voters in November.

Currently, only California and Washington State have imposed a minimum wage of $13 or higher. 1/28/2020

Ohio Bill Seeks to Cut Out-of-Pocket Prescription Costs

January 31, 2020

New, bipartisan legislation (House Bill 469) in the Ohio House seeks to reduce out-of-pocket prescription costs by preventing insurers from prohibiting the use of co-pay assistance programs to cover a patients’ share of the bill for brand-name drugs.

According to a press release, HB 469 — offered by Reps. Susan Manchester (R-Lakeview) and Thomas West (D-Canton) — would allow aid from co-pay assistance programs to count towards deductibles. Co-pay assistance can include manufacturers’ coupons or donations from a church or charity.

Due to the implications for drugmakers, as well as employers and their employees, the OMA is closely following this issue. 1/27/2020

Survey: Gen Xers Seek Well-Being Support from Employers

January 31, 2020

Generation X — with its members having been born between 1965 and 1980 — is notably smaller than the generations that come before and after. Still, there are roughly 65 million Gen Xers in the U.S. workforce — and a large majority of them apparently want employers to play an active role in their health. According to HR Dive, a new survey shows employers can reinforce loyalty among Gen X employees by offering benefits that “meet their personal health and well-being needs.” 1/29/2020

Coronavirus Update for Employers

January 31, 2020

With the coronavirus dominating national and international news, OhioHealth is providing guidance for employers. People at the greatest risk of infection are those in Wuhan, China, or those who have traveled to Wuhan or other parts of China. If you were in China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention. For more tips, including how to reduce exposure to all viruses at your workplace, click here. 1/30/2020

Labor Groups Seek to Hike Ohio’s Minimum Wage to $13

January 24, 2020

Under a proposed constitutional amendment filed last week, Ohio’s minimum wage would increase nearly 50% to $13 by 2025. The proposed amendment was filed by Ohio’s two largest public labor unions. Attorney General Dave Yost has until Monday, Jan. 27, to determine if a summary of the amendment is a fair and truthful statement.

The state’s minimum wage is currently $8.70, compared to the federal standard of $7.25. Ohio is one of just seven states in which the minimum wage is tied to inflation. Under the proposed amendment, Ohio’s minimum wage would still be subject to inflation increases. 1/22/2020

Private-Sector Union Membership Falls to 6.2%

January 24, 2020

Union membership among America’s wage and salary private-sector workers fell to a record low 6.2% last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Meanwhile, the union membership rate for taxpayer-funded public workers was 33.6%.

When public- and private-sector employee data were combined, union membership in the U.S. was still at a record low of 10.3%.

In 2019, 11.9% of Ohio workers belonged to labor unions, down 0.7% from the year before. Ohio remained among the states with the highest number of union members. 1/23/2020

Reminder: New Federal Overtime Rule Now in Effect

January 24, 2020

OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has issued a reminder that on Jan. 1, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) rule that makes 1.3 million more workers eligible for overtime pay took effect. Here’s what DOL says you need to know about the changes and where to find compliance assistance resources. 1/22/2020

It’s Now Easier for Small Employers to Offer Retirement Plans

January 24, 2020

In a new report, OMA Connections Partner Calfee says the new federal SECURE Act increases small employers’ access to retirement plans. By allowing “Pooled Employer Plans” (PEPs), the new law enables small employers to offer their employees a tax-qualified savings plan with reduced costs, while providing employers with easier set-up, as well as improved administration and fiduciary oversight. 1/22/2020