News and Analysis
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
Employers, as well as unionized workers wishing to move on from their relationship with labor unions, recently received good news from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On July 3, 2019, the board modified the legal framework that permits employers to stop bargaining prior to the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement, and announce they will eject the union when the contract ends. Here is analysis from OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler. 7/30/2019
Gov. Mike DeWine this week signed into law Senate Bill 57, legalizing hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products in Ohio. This means retailers can start selling hemp-derived CBD products and Ohio’s Department of Agriculture can outline a program for farmers to start growing the crop.
Employers are raising questions about CBD, such as whether there is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in CBD products, or if CBD will show up on drug tests. OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® has published this helpful video and infographic to assist employers (and their employees) in navigating this touchy topic as they work to maintain a drug-free workplace. 8/1/2019
OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler reports that Toledo recently joined the growing number of U.S. jurisdictions — including Cincinnati — to pass local ordinances prohibiting employers from asking applicants for salary history. According to the firm, the Toledo ordinance’s stated purpose is to “reduce the pay inequality for all.” It goes into effect June 25, 2020, so employers with operations in Toledo should begin reviewing and changing their applications and practices. Here’s more analysis from Bricker & Eckler. 7/22/2019
There are steps that businesses can take to drastically reduce the time in which an employee (or former employee) can take legal action against their employer. According to OMA Connections Partner Franz Ward, well-drafted employer-employee agreements can provide employers with an important layer of added protection against many types of employment claims. To learn more, click here. 7/22/2019
The U.S. Department of Labor has published new opinion letters that address compliance issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The opinion letters issued on Monday include:
- Addressing the calculation of overtime pay for non-discretionary bonuses paid on a quarterly and annual basis.
- Addressing permissible rounding practices for calculating an employee’s hours worked.
Opinion letters serve as a means by which the public can develop a clearer understanding of FLSA compliance. 7/1/2019
In a 3-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that employers may prohibit non-employee union representatives from soliciting or promoting union membership within common areas of an employer’s business — such as public restaurants and cafeterias — as long as the employer does so in a non-discriminatory manner. This action overruled 38 years of precedent. See the analysis from OMA Connections Partner and national law firm Dinsmore on this important policy change. 6/19/2019
The labor law experts at OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler have alerted clients about the increase in class action lawsuits by employees who claim they have been denied equal parental leave time.
Recently, JPMorgan Chase reached a tentative settlement with a male employee who took legal action because he was not offered the company’s 16-week paid parental leave for mothers who are primary caregivers. The employee’s gripe? He received only two weeks to bond with his newborn.
The attorneys at Bricker & Eckler write: “The recent uptick of lawsuits and settlements regarding unequal paid parental leave highlights the importance of understanding the different types of leave and ensuring that policies conform to the applicable laws. Well-intended and often progressive leave policies can easily run afoul of such requirements.” 6/3/2019