News and Analysis
This week, organizers of Ohio’s $15 minimum wage initiative said they’re “mobilizing workers” to canvass for signatures to put the measure on the November 2024 ballot, according to Gongwer News Service. Organizers also said they’re prepared to fight efforts to raise Ohio’s voter-approval threshold to 60% for constitutional amendments, such as the minimum wage issue.
Organizers of Ohio’s minimum wage initiative include One Fair Wage, a national group that seeks to raise the minimum wage in 25 states. The organization is overseen by a board that includes a UC Berkeley professor; a climate scientist from George Mason University; and the executive director of the Fund for Guaranteed Income. 4/25/2023
As previously reported, the Federal Trade Commission has proposed banning non-compete agreements. This ban would disrupt the operations of most manufacturers, according to a recent poll that found 70% of manufacturers use non-competes.
This week, the OMA and other key Ohio business groups submitted comments to the FTC, opposing the proposed rule. The letter has been forwarded to Ohio’s federal delegation. 4/20/2023
- OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward has published new guidance outlining the “five deadly sins of employee handbooks.”
- Supporters of an effort to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour have been given the OK to start gathering signatures to put the issue on the November 2024 ballot.
- As soon as next month, the U.S. Department of Labor could issue its proposal to raise the exempt salary threshold for overtime pay for white-collar workers, according to OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips.
- OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore reports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has updated its notice that employers must provide to employees before taking adverse action based on a background check.
Meanwhile, WalletHub has published this ranking of states in which employers are struggling the most in hiring. (Ohio comes in at No. 38.) 4/20/2023
Activists seeking to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour are inching closer to putting the issue before the voters. Next week, the initiative goes before the state ballot board. Read the proposed language.
Under the plan, Ohio’s minimum wage would go to $12.75 an hour in 2025, then $15 in 2028. It would be indexed to inflation in 2029 and thereafter. (This infographic shows Ohio’s current minimum wage of $10.10 is tied for 27th highest nationally. This infographic shows minimum wage levels worldwide.)
The ballot measure would face tougher odds if the legislature and voters approve a controversial plan to require a 60% voter-approval threshold for citizen-led amendments to the state constitution. 4/12/2023
- Manufacturing Dive has published this jobs data, illustrating year-over-year gains or losses for major manufacturing subsectors.
- Columbus, Toledo, and Cincinnati are now among a growing number of states and municipalities that have passed laws prohibiting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history, reports Vorys, an OMA Connections Partner.
- IndustryWeek reports that labor union leaders are focusing on “micro-unions” and faster turn-around times for unionization votes.
- Federal labor regulations will be among the topics addressed at a small-business outreach webinar hosted by multiple agencies April 27. Learn more.
- Also on April 27, OMA Connections Partner Clark Schaefer Hackett will host an event in Hamilton to discuss successful labor recruitment strategies for manufacturers.
- ADP has published this list of best practices for wage garnishment in the manufacturing sector.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber — in this report on the U.S. labor shortage — says even if every unemployed person with experience in durable manufacturing were employed, the industry would fill only 44% of vacant jobs. 4/13/2023
- The long-anticipated cooling of the labor market seems to have begun as new federal data show 694,000 U.S. manufacturing job openings in February — the lowest level in two years (but still well above pre-pandemic levels).
- In February, manufacturing hires (422,000) were about 50% lower than a year earlier.
- The National Association of Manufacturers’ latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey finds 46.8% of respondents say their company offers flexible scheduling when possible, including a compressed workweek (29.7%) and the ability to swap or split shifts (12.2%).
- Pew says opponents of the four-day week — and even some supporters — question whether a one-size-fits-all approach would benefit all employees and firms.
- After recent action by the NLRB, OMA Connections Partner Calfee advises employers to consider the employee(s) at issue before offering severance agreements.
- OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips says manufacturers should pay special attention to severance agreements.
- Fisher Phillips has published its list of options for manufacturers seeking to hire foreign nationals.
- Gallup suggests three broad strategies to help employers address “psychosocial risks” at the workplace.
- Data show Americans 55 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. The Wall Street Journal reports some companies are recruiting older workers based on the premise that “age equals a stronger work ethic.”
In other news, obesity is keeping more than 32,000 Ohioans out of the workforce, according to a Buckeye Institute study. This as nearly half of Ohioans (46.7%) are considered obese, per a new analysis. 4/6/2023
- Ohio’s unemployment rate was 3.9% in February, down from 4.0% in January. However, Ohio reported 300 fewer manufacturing jobs.
- As of February, U.S. manufacturers saw a 7.1% median increase in year-over-year employee pay, according to the ADP Research Institute.
- As of December 2022, total employer compensation costs averaged $42.48 an hour, with wages and salaries costing $29.32 and benefits costing $13.17, federal data show.
- OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this employer guidance as the NLRB’s general counsel continues her push to prohibit employers from holding so-called “captive audience” meetings addressing union representation.
Meanwhile, Michigan has become the first state in nearly 60 years to repeal its right-to-work law, reports OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine. Supporters of Michigan’s right-to-work repeal say it may be difficult to replicate their success considering GOP supermajorities in several state legislatures. 3/30/2023
Ohio House Democrats have introduced House Bill 115 — the so-called Ohio Equal Pay Act — to end employer bans “that keep employees from talking about their salaries with one another.” Under HB 115, employers would be prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s current or past wages, reports say. Here’s the bill language. 3/20/2023
- There are currently 22,256 manufacturing-related jobs posted at OhioMeansJobs.com, down from about 30,000 a year ago.
- OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine, in this alert, urges employers to familiarize themselves with the NLRB’s recent action regarding severance agreements with broad non-disparagement or confidentiality provisions.
- This guidance from OMA Connections Partner Calfee discusses how employer-provided health benefits may be affected by the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency.
- OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has summarized a new federal law that expands protections for employees who are pregnant or breastfeeding. (The enforcement provisions take effect April 28.)
- On May 2, OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran will host a complimentary webinar to help employers reduce risks tied to employee benefit plans.
- Real average hourly earnings for U.S. employees on private payrolls — when adjusted for consumer price changes — have decreased on a 12-month basis in each of the last 13 months, federal data show.
- Real average hourly earnings for production and non-supervisory employees, when combined with a decrease of 0.9% in the average workweek, have seen a 1.2% decrease over this period.
Meanwhile, this comparison of job resignation rates in all 50 states shows Ohio had the 16th lowest quit rate during the past year. 3/23/2023
- U.S. manufacturing payrolls were negative for the first time in 21 months, according to the latest federal jobs report. (OMA Connections Partner RSM summarizes the details.)
- Ohio’s unemployment rate improved to 4% in January, down from a revised 4.1% in December 2022. (Here are the jobless rates in each county.)
- Ohio has still not regained the number of private-sector jobs that existed in February 2020, and the state’s labor force participation continues to trail the U.S. average, the Buckeye Institute reports.
- New data show that 2022 saw a 52% increase in the number of U.S. labor strikes and related work stoppages compared to 2021, says OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips.
- On April 19, OMA Connections Partner Calfee will present a webinar on the federal SECURE Act 2.0 to discuss the provisions impacting employers. Register here.
Meanwhile, new research shows yearly spending on HR administration increased from $155 per employee in 2021 to $194 per employee in 2022, according to EHS Today. 3/16/2023