News and Analysis
OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips will host an Oct. 18 no-cost webinar addressing several issues related to employee well-being. Topics include employee mental health and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Learn more and register. 9/27/2023
As the United Auto Workers union strike continues, some manufacturers in the auto supply chain have raised concerns they may be forced to temporarily lay off employees due to reduced demand.
The OMA reminds members about SharedWork Ohio, a voluntary layoff aversion program, which helps employers retain skilled workers while navigating reduced business activity by uniformly reducing employees’ hours. Participating workers maintain their employment and receive unemployment insurance benefits. Learn more about this program, which was established during the Great Recession with the support of the OMA.
- Ohio’s unemployment rate edged up slightly in August to 3.4% — still well below the 3.8% U.S. rate. Here are the jobless rates for each county.
- Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published guidance for employers with questions on how their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion programs may be affected.
- This on-demand webinar, recently recorded by OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine, examines the future of non-compete agreements.
- In this summary, OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore explains how the NLRB has handed unions a major victory by reviving 1940s legal doctrine that allows unions to represent employees without winning a formal election.
- OMA Connections Partner Vorys has also published a summary of recent NLRB activity aimed at aiding efforts to unionize more workplaces.
Meanwhile, a new Gallup survey finds managers are more likely to be burned out and disengaged than their teams due to budget cuts and added responsibilities. 9/21/2023
- Data posted by the Federal Reserve show the number of U.S. jobs openings has declined nearly 20% since early 2022.
- According to the Brookings Institute, women between ages 25-54 have contributed the most to the post-pandemic rebound in overall labor force participation.
- Attracting and retaining talent through employee benefits will be the subject of upcoming webinars hosted by OMA Connections Partners HBK (Sept. 20) and Clark Schaefer Hackett (Oct. 4).
- In this article, Manufacturing Dive examines how the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule proposal could affect how manufacturers determine which workers are paid hourly versus on a salary.
- According to new federal data, U.S. employers spent an average of $41.03 per hour worked on employees’ overall compensation from March through June 2023.
- That figure was $47.25 per hour for unionized manufacturers; 43.13 for non-unionized manufacturers.
- The hourly average wages for all Ohio employees in manufacturing were just over $31 of July, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Meanwhile, employer budgets for salary increases have reached their highest level in 20 years, while employers are planning to stay fairly aggressive on pay going into next year, according the SHRM. 9/24/2023
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has moved to reinstate an abridged version of “card check,” which would strip employees of their right to secret ballots in union organization efforts.
- The NLRB’s new framework would revive the 1949 Joy Silk doctrine, which holds that “employers must bargain with unions unless they have a good-faith doubt that majority support exists,” according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
- This summary from OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine examines the NLRB’s action, calling it a “massive shift in the union organizing process.”
- OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has published this insight on the flurry of recent pro-union actions by the NLRB, while OMA Connections Partner Calfee has published this summary.
- OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward offers this FAQs document answering employer questions about the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
- OMA Connections Partner Roetzel published this summary of the federal proposed rule to increase the salary threshold for overtime-exempt employees from $35,568 to $55,000 a year.
- OMA Connections Partner Schneider Downs offers this insight into the IRS’ guidance on retirement catch-up contributions for certain highly compensated employees.
Meanwhile, the head of the UAW is warning that the union plans to go on strike against any “Big Three” automaker that hasn’t reached a new agreement by the time contracts expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. Even a 10-day strike would mean an economic loss of $5.6 billion, according to estimates, with Ohio being among the most impacted states. 9/7/2023
OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published new guidance addressing recent NLRB action that affects workplace rules for unionized and non-unionized employers. Specifically, the firm advises employers to review rules that:
- Regulate employees’ posts on social media;
- Prohibit insubordination; and
- Ban cell phones, video, photography, or audio recording.
The firm says any employer that maintains handbooks or workplace policies should take note of the NLRB’s recent actions. 9/6/2023
Following a special meeting of its board of directors, the OMA this week announced its opposition to State Issue 2, the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use and retail sales.
The OMA opposes Issue 2 due to concerns regarding workplace safety, worker absenteeism, increased insurance costs, and the already lagging rate of workforce participation. The OMA’s press release provides more details.
Here’s the language for Issue 2 as it will appear on the November ballot. Members can read the official argument against Issue 2 as well as the argument for it, as submitted to the secretary of state’s office.
Subject-matter experts will brief members on this topic during the OMA Government Affairs Committee meeting on Sept. 6. Register here. Members interested in contributing to the official campaign to oppose Issue 2 can visit this site. 8/30/2023
- The “Great Resignation” may be over, according to the latest federal data. The movement has been losing steam throughout 2023, as this infographic shows.
- Inflation is a key factor for employee stress, according to a new survey conducted by PNC Bank. Employers may want to consider offering financial wellness benefits — like a session with a financial advisor — to help meet employees’ needs, the bank suggests.
- In this guidance, OMA Connections Partner CliftonLarsonAllen advises employers to focus on payroll benefits, including paid time off plans, to boost recruitment and retention.
- OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published guidance on the things employers should know about the National Labor Relations Board’s new rule allowing “quickie” union elections.
- In response to another recent NLRB action, Fisher Phillips has published this eight-step plan addressing how employers can respond to union recognition demands.
- Fisher Phillips has also authored new guidance to help employers prepare for the U.S. Labor Department’s proposed overtime rule, which could raise the salary floor to $55,000.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has proposed a broad approach to implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, according to insight from OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore. (Additional summaries on this development have been published by OMA Connections Partners Thompson Hine and Frantz Ward.)
- Under pressure from employers and retirement plan recordkeepers, the IRS has announced a delay in the $145,000 Roth catch-up rule, according to OMA Connections Partner Vorys.
Meanwhile, SHRM has published this article providing expert insight on “last chance agreements,” which provide workers facing discharge a final opportunity to remain employed. 8/30/2023
Ohio has recorded the most filled jobs in state history with more than 5.6 million, according to Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. Meanwhile, Ohio’s 3.3% unemployment rate for July was below the U.S. average of 3.5%. (See this updated map for jobless rates by county.)
Despite this news, Ohio’s labor force participation dipped to 62.1% in July, compared to 62.6% nationwide.
Earlier this year, research from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio showed a 9% drop in Ohio’s labor force participation rate from 2007 to 2022. Among other factors, an increase in substance abuse was tied to the declining workforce participation, as Ohio was ranked among the worst five states for drug overdose deaths. 8/21/2023
The United Auto Workers is currently negotiating a new labor agreement with key auto manufacturers. Toledo UAW members voted overwhelmingly this week to authorize a strike after the current contract expires Sept. 14.
According to reports, analysts say the probability of a walkout is high. The union’s list of demands include a pay raise of more than 40% as well as implementation of a 32-hour work week.
A strike would have major implications for Ohio’s economy. The Buckeye State produces more auto parts than any other state, and is No. 2 in the U.S. for assembly of automobiles.
Nationwide, a strike against the “Big Three” auto manufacturers would mean an economic loss of $5.6 billion after just 10 days, according to the Anderson Economic Group. Here’s the National Association of Manufacturers’ summary of the situation. 8/24/2023