News and Analysis
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reports from Washington that there has been a continued push for federal legislation known as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. According to the NAM, this federal legislation would make it easier for unions to use card check; restrict opportunities for employers to communicate with their workers; apply pressure via secondary boycotts; and get access to employee shift and personal contact information. The NAM is aggressively fighting the legislation. A House markup is expected this October, and the bill will likely be considered by the full House shortly thereafter. 8/27/2019
More than 53,000 Ohio residents have applied for and received medical marijuana cards. How should an employer handle an employee who is legally permitted to use medical marijuana?
OMA Connections Partner Roetzel & Andress reports that employers may still implement drug testing, drug-free workplaces, and zero-tolerance policies — and Ohio law does not require employers to accommodate the use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana. But the Roetzel report notes that outside of Ohio, the issue is becoming increasingly complicated as some states have expanded the rights of employees who use medical marijuana. Roetzel advises employers with operations in multiple states to stay abreast of changing marijuana laws. 8/28/2019
Testing employees or applicants for alcohol can be tricky. OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® has posted this brief video to provide some insights on best practices when testing for alcohol in a drug-free program that is not regulated by an outside authority, such as DOT. 8/22/2019
In the past few months, many businesses nationwide have received “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration, alerting employers about discrepancies between the agency’s files and data reported on W-2 forms. OMA Connections Partner Clark Schaefer Hackett reports that there are several reasons why names and SSNs don’t match — from input errors, to name changes due to marriage or divorce, to undocumented workers. Find out what you should do if your business receives a no-match letter. 8/22/2019
OMA Connections Partner Calfee has analyzed Ohio’s new statutory changes regarding the state’s definition of “employment” as it pertains to motor carriers and those in the trucking industry. These changes went into effect July 3, 2019 under House Bill 62, Ohio’s transportation budget bill. The new law impacts how administrative agencies, including the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), view independent contractor drivers. If your business could be affected by these changes, see this article, which details how the new law provides clarity for motor carriers operating in Ohio. 8/21/2019
What options are available to employers when an employee is suspected of cheating on a drug test? More importantly, how can companies prevent employees from cheating in the first place? OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® has published a “real life incident” recounting the suspicious circumstances surrounding the testing of a particular worker and how the incident could have been avoided. 8/13/2019
Earlier this summer, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at improving price and quality transparency in health care, while protecting patients from surprise medical bills. The order also seeks to enhance patients’ control over their own health care resources through tax-preferred medical accounts. As a result, OMA Connections Partner One Source Advisors says the Treasury Department will soon issue guidance to expand access to high-deductible health plans. Additionally, the Treasury will propose regulations to increase the amount of funds that can carry over without penalty at the end of the year for flexible spending accounts.
Questions? Get in touch with One Source Advisors. The OMA will keep you posted on any new developments. 8/12/2019
Your employees may be eligible for Better You, Better Ohio!® – a free health-and-wellness program for workers of small and mid-sized businesses engaged in higher-risk industries, including manufacturing. Administered by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), the program gives employers a chance to start a wellness program with no cost and no paperwork hassle.
Businesses with 150 or fewer employees are eligible if they do not have an established wellness program. The BWC can even arrange on-site biometric screenings for your employees. Email the BWC for more information. 8/6/2019
OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler has published new analysis of what Ohio’s legalization of products containing hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) means for employers. According to the firm’s experts, legalization under Ohio law does not alter employers’ obligations to drug-test certain employees under federal law. Pilots, CDL drivers, mass transit, pipeline industry workers, and many others in safety-sensitive positions are still subject to applicable random testing requirements, and covered employers must be mindful of these obligations. The analysis notes that a high enough quantity of CBD oil consumed through edibles, vaping, or other non-topical means could result in impairment and a positive drug test. 8/6/2019
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit this week upheld an earlier ruling that rejected federal guidance for employers on hiring felons. The issue goes back to 2012, when the Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) tried to make it easier for ex-convicts to find employment.
It its analysis, OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore says this week’s opinion will “undoubtedly” result in widespread legal challenges to the EEOC’s 2012 guidance. Nonetheless, “employers should take caution when devising a policy regarding the treatment of employees or applicants with criminal records” since the “applicability of the EEOC’s guidance will likely be in flux for some time, and other laws remain which must be carefully considered when reviewing the criminal background of an employee or applicant — most notably the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state ‘ban the box’ laws.” 8/8/2019