News and Analysis
It’s a tough time for many employees right now — but especially those who have struggled with substance abuse and are working to maintain their recovery. According to OMA Connections Partner Working Partners®, these employees are at an increased risk for several reasons:
- General increased preoccupation with alcohol use;
- Increased availability of alcohol;
- Social isolation;
- Decreased support and accountability from counselors and self-help groups; and
- Increased stress and mental health challenges.
Employers are encouraged to be proactive and share resources — such as this video and this list — with employees to help those dealing with substance use disorders to better cope during these times. 4/23/2020
Wondering if your business meets the requirements for exemption from the recently enacted paid-leave requirements? HR Dive has published guidance on a common question about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which is causing affordability concerns for some employers. 4/15/2020
Another report in HR Dive this week examined steps being taken by food manufacturers during the COVID-19 crisis, from increased pay to improved safety within their facilities. The story notes that employers face additional hurdles as some unions and employees are saying these steps don’t go far enough. 4/13/2020
Employers are raising questions about employees who refuse to return to work after being laid off for various reasons and then recalled. To provide clarity, the OMA had Christopher Page at Bricker & Eckler — the OMA’s legal counsel — produce this guidance for employers that encounter this problem. 4/9/2020
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this week posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It features a Q&A section to address frequent questions from employers. 4/9/2020
Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $13 an hour this week filed a lawsuit to help it get the hike on the November ballot. Hannah News Service reported that because of the governor’s stay-at-home order, the group is asking the court to extend the deadline for submitting signatures; lower the threshold for the number of signatures needed; allow for continued collection during verification; and allow signatures to be collected online. 3/31/2020
The NLRB this week finalized changes to union election rules focused largely on the process of decertifying unions. According to a story by Politico.com, before the changes, unions could block decertification elections indefinitely by filing unfair labor practice charges. Under the new rule, ballots can in some instances be opened and counted rather than impounded. Organizers will also be required to provide evidence they have support from a majority of workers before entering into a full bargaining relationship with an employer.
While the AFL-CIO voiced its displeasure, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation called the rule a “significant step forward towards fully protecting the statutory right of employees … to remove a union opposed by a majority of workers.” 4/2/2020
The OMA has created a list of frequently asked questions that we have received from members regarding state and federal actions taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The answers provided in this FAQ document are not legal advice, but intended to serve only as guidance and general reference for manufacturers. For specific questions regarding your operations, be sure to work with your internal experts and legal counsel. 3/26/2020
Last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed a second coronavirus emergency aid package called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — known as “phase two” of the federal response. The bill addresses the growing health and economic crises with provisions for paid sick leave, free testing and expanded unemployment benefits.
Members have raised questions about this new law, so we thought we would share insight published by selected OMA Connections Partners regarding the FFCRA:
- Clark Schaefer Hackett’s updated summary.
- RSM’s “Tax Alert” summary.
- Bricker & Eckler summary.
- Plante Moran’s summary.
- GBQ Partners’ frequently asked questions.
If you’re looking for analysis of the pending $2 trillion emergency package — known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, or “phase three” — Clark Schaefer Hackett has an early summary, as does Calfee, Fisher Phillips, and the National Association of Manufacturers. The House is scheduled to vote on the legislation later today, March 27. 3/27/2020
This State of Ohio website has been created for essential businesses — including manufacturers and their suppliers — to help ensure compliance with Ohio’s stay-at-home order. It includes the workplace safety “checklist” that is contained in the order. Please take time to visit this site. 3/26/2020