News and Analysis
OMA Connections Partner One Source Advisors cites a new national study that finds more than 80% of employers plan to increase their spending on health care and wellness in the next year. The average health insurance premium for family coverage was $19,616 in 2018, with employers paying 71% of that cost, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. To help mitigate rising costs, many employers plan to spend more on wellness initiatives.
One Source Advisors also reports that Medicare Part D notices are due by Oct. 15. Employers should confirm whether their health plans’ prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable and prepare to submit their Medicare Part D disclosure notices before the middle of the month. Direct questions to One Source Advisors. 10/1/2019
Ohio’s minimum wage will increase 15 cents an hour — to $8.70 an hour — on Jan. 1. That’s due to a 2006 Ohio constitutional amendment that requires yearly inflationary increases in the minimum wage, currently $8.55 an hour. The Ohio Department of Commerce announced the increase Monday. Employers with annual gross receipts of more than $319,000 a year must comply with the increase. Read more from OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler. 9/30/2019
This week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule to make 1.3 million workers newly eligible for overtime pay. This rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. It also allows employers to count a portion of certain bonuses/commissions towards meeting the salary level.
This week, the Ohio Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee heard sponsor testimony on legislation (Senate Bill 90) to gradually boost Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Offered by Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) and Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), the bill would increase the state minimum wage to $12 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2020, and raise it by another $1 annually until 2023, when minimum wage would be $15 an hour.
During the hearing, several committee members voiced concerns regarding the negative impact SB 90 would have on businesses, as well as consumers, who would see drastically higher prices. The bill faces strong headwinds in the GOP-controlled General Assembly. 9/25/2019
On Thursday, Oct. 3, OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler will host its annual “Hot Topics” seminar in Columbus to provide human resources professionals and in-house attorneys with the latest insight into key labor and employment issues. This course has been submitted to the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 3.0 total CLE hours instruction. Additionally, 3.0 HRCI credits have been approved. There is no fee to attend, but space is limited. 9/24/2019
An important Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) deadline is quickly approaching. Due to an Obama-era regulation, employers with 100 or more employees must submit EEO-1 Component 2 pay data for 2017 and 2018. The report is due no later than Monday, Sept. 30.
Earlier this year, certain employers were required to file EEO-1 Component 1 data listing employees by job category, race, ethnicity, and gender. Component 2 asks for employees’ hours worked and pay information from their W‑2 forms, broken down into the same categories.
OMA Connections Partner Franz Ward has provided this update to brief OMA members on the status of the reporting obligation, while offering compliance tips and an explanation as to why this reporting obligation may be a one-time task. 9/19/2019
One way manufacturers are retaining talent is by offering more competitive employee benefits. OMA Connections Partner Barnes Dennig recently published the results of its 2019 Manufacturing Compensation & Benefits Benchmarking Study, which surveyed manufacturers in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. The study found the following:
- Only about half of the companies surveyed offer 401(k) plans. Of those that did, employee contributions per month were comparable for small and large companies.
- Besides 401(k) plans, the top benefits offered by all companies were: health insurance; group life; vision; dental; and disability.
- About 95% of companies said that wellness programs were important in controlling costs.
- Only 17% of companies cover an employees’ spouse under their health plans.
- Many companies are using alternative plan funding such as self-funded plans to reduce plan costs — taking on additional risk, which reduces the carrier profit.
For more on the survey, see Barnes Dennig’s summary. 9/16/2019
JDSupra.com, which publishes legal news and analysis, has run a two-part series spotlighting recent court actions involving non-workplace social media use that resulted in the termination of employees. According to the articles, employers considering discipline for employee misconduct on social media outside of work should first ask: “Do I have a copy of the tweet or post? Does the post relate to working conditions or wages? Would the post be considered harassment if said face to face?” 9/16/2019
Last Friday, the White House wrapped up its review of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rule. Therefore, the regulation is expected to be released soon. The proposed change would extend overtime eligibility to 1.1 million additional workers, but that’s significantly fewer than the 4.2 million who would have become eligible under an Obama-era version of the rule blocked by a Texas judge in late 2016.
The rule would set the salary ceiling under which virtually all workers must be paid time-and-a-half whenever their workweek exceeds 40 hours at $35,308 (up from the current $23,660), according to analysis by Pittsburgh-based Cowden Associates. 9/18/2019
OMA Connections Partner Fisher & Phillips LLP reports that in “yet another ruling that levels the labor relations playing field,” the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last Friday ruled that employers could rightfully eject outside union representatives who are soliciting petition signatures from a shared parking area. The decision comes on the heels of recent NLRB decisions that limit on-premise union activity, and allow the barring of contractor employees from staging labor protests on employer property. 9/10/2019