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Supporters of $13 Minimum Wage Can Begin Collecting Signatures

February 7, 2020

A proposed constitutional amendment to hike Ohio’s minimum wage from $8.70 to $13 by 2025 is another step closer to being placed on the November ballot. This week, a coalition of public labor unions received the Ohio Ballot Board’s approval to collect signatures.

Supporters will need to gather nearly 443,000 valid petition signatures — a significantly higher threshold than that of the previous election cycle. If they do, and the amendment is approved by the majority of Ohio voters, the proposal would become effective 30 days after the election.

Only California and Washington State have imposed a minimum wage of $13 or higher. For more, check out this post from OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward. 2/5/2020

Learn More About Ohio’s Free Wellness Program for Smaller Employers

February 7, 2020

Better You, Better Ohio!® is a free health-and-wellness program for workers of businesses with 150 or fewer employees 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 or paperwork hassle.

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 9:30 a.m., BWC will host a free 25-minute webinar so employers can learn more about this innovative program. Register here. 2/6/2020

EEOC: Discrimination, Harassment Complaints Continue to Fall

February 7, 2020

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that it received 72,675 workplace discrimination charges in its 2019 fiscal year, continuing a downward trend. Most categories of complaints saw lower numbers, including sexual harassment. Retaliation continued to be the most frequent charge filed with the agency, followed by disability, race and gender. 2/3/2020

Court: Caring for Your Sister’s Kids isn’t FMLA-Eligible

February 7, 2020

Recently, an Ohio federal court rejected an individual’s claim of entitlement to FMLA leave in order to care for his sister’s children. According to OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward, this decision highlights the importance of reviewing and considering FMLA claims on an individual basis. Read the details. 2/3/2020

DOL Updates Regular Wage Rate Rule

February 7, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a new final rule to clarify how to calculate an employee’s regular wage rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule became effective Jan. 15, 2020.

OMA Connections Partner One Source Advisors says the DOL’s objective is to provide more certainty for employers who offer additional perks to their employees, but aren’t sure whether these benefits should be counted as income under the FLSA. Employers should become familiar with the rule and adjust their payroll practices to account for this new guidance. 2/5/2020

Ohio Minimum Wage Hike is a Step Closer to Ballot

January 31, 2020

A proposed constitutional amendment to raise Ohio’s minimum wage from $8.70 to $13 by 2025 has cleared its first hurdle as Attorney General Dave Yost this week determined the proposal to be a fair and truthful statement.

Filed by two public labor unions — the Service Employees International Union District 1199 and the Ohio Education Association — the proposal now goes before the Ballot Board. If OK’d by the board, nearly 443,000 valid petition signatures will need to be gathered from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties before the question can go before voters in November.

Currently, only California and Washington State have imposed a minimum wage of $13 or higher. 1/28/2020

Ohio Bill Seeks to Cut Out-of-Pocket Prescription Costs

January 31, 2020

New, bipartisan legislation (House Bill 469) in the Ohio House seeks to reduce out-of-pocket prescription costs by preventing insurers from prohibiting the use of co-pay assistance programs to cover a patients’ share of the bill for brand-name drugs.

According to a press release, HB 469 — offered by Reps. Susan Manchester (R-Lakeview) and Thomas West (D-Canton) — would allow aid from co-pay assistance programs to count towards deductibles. Co-pay assistance can include manufacturers’ coupons or donations from a church or charity.

Due to the implications for drugmakers, as well as employers and their employees, the OMA is closely following this issue. 1/27/2020

Survey: Gen Xers Seek Well-Being Support from Employers

January 31, 2020

Generation X — with its members having been born between 1965 and 1980 — is notably smaller than the generations that come before and after. Still, there are roughly 65 million Gen Xers in the U.S. workforce — and a large majority of them apparently want employers to play an active role in their health. According to HR Dive, a new survey shows employers can reinforce loyalty among Gen X employees by offering benefits that “meet their personal health and well-being needs.” 1/29/2020

Coronavirus Update for Employers

January 31, 2020

With the coronavirus dominating national and international news, OhioHealth is providing guidance for employers. People at the greatest risk of infection are those in Wuhan, China, or those who have traveled to Wuhan or other parts of China. If you were in China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention. For more tips, including how to reduce exposure to all viruses at your workplace, click here. 1/30/2020

Labor Groups Seek to Hike Ohio’s Minimum Wage to $13

January 24, 2020

Under a proposed constitutional amendment filed last week, Ohio’s minimum wage would increase nearly 50% to $13 by 2025. The proposed amendment was filed by Ohio’s two largest public labor unions. Attorney General Dave Yost has until Monday, Jan. 27, to determine if a summary of the amendment is a fair and truthful statement.

The state’s minimum wage is currently $8.70, compared to the federal standard of $7.25. Ohio is one of just seven states in which the minimum wage is tied to inflation. Under the proposed amendment, Ohio’s minimum wage would still be subject to inflation increases. 1/22/2020