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U.S. House Passes Equality Act; Bill Moves to Senate

May 24, 2019

Late last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 236-173 to approve legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other statutes to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, public education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The OMA joined a large coalition of business organizations including the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in supporting the bill. To see how Ohio’s delegation voted, click here. 5/20/2019

Separate Drug-Free Programs Recommended for DOT and Non-DOT Mandated Employees

May 17, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Working Partners®, we learn that operating a comprehensive drug-free workplace program can be challenging in a blended workforce with employees who are mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and those who are not.

Employers frequently ask why they can’t just have one policy/program that covers both CDL drivers subject to DOT and employees who aren’t DOT-mandated. For practical and operational reasons, it is recommended that employers have separate policies that work in concert.

For more advice regarding how to cover your entire workforce with your drug-free policy and plan, read on. 5/10/2019

Court Orders Employer Reporting on Pay Data by Race, Gender by Sept. 30

May 3, 2019

OMA Connections Partner Calfee has provided another update on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) 2016 requirement that ordered covered employers to report compensation information by race, ethnicity, and gender in their Employer Information Report EEO-1 reports. The Trump administration suspended these provisions in 2017.

Late last week, a U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia ruled that — in addition to submitting EEO-1 surveys on employee demographic data by May 31 — covered employers (e.g., those with at least 100 employees, or federal contractors with at least 50 workers) must also report employee pay data by September 30. More than 60,000 employers would be affected if the judge’s ruling stands.

This week, as a result of the April 25 court order, the EEOC announced that both calendar year 2018 and calendar year 2017 Component 2 EEO-1 pay data will be due September 30, 2019. The collection period for 2017 and 2018 data will open mid-July.

This is a developing issue. The OMA will keep you apprised as more information becomes available. 5/2/2019

SSA Issuing No-Match Letters to Employers

May 3, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore: “The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirmed it resumed issuing “No-Match Letters” in March 2019. Officially called Employer Correction Requests, No-Match Letters inform an employer that the information reported on an individual employer’s W-2 form (or an employer’s quarterly tax filing) does not match the SSA’s records. The SSA has indicated the letters are issued to correct its database and to ensure employee earnings are accurately credited to their Social Security records.”

Read more about this from Dinsmore. 4/29/2019

OMA Joins Alliance to Help Battle Opioid Misuse

May 3, 2019

OMA has joined the Opioid Education Alliance to help spread opioid misuse education and prevention messages through the Denial, OH campaign. Denial, OH public service announcements are set in the fictional town of Denial, OH, where residents are “in denial” that their children could become addicted to opioids. The Denial, OH website has resources to learn about the proper use and disposal of prescription opioids, and how to safely secure prescriptions. 4/29/2019

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Sexual Orientation Cases

May 3, 2019

From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of gay and transgender status.

“The Court will consider this issue in the context of three cases: Two involve claims that employees were fired because of their sexual orientation. In the third case, the plaintiff claims she was fired because she was transgender and preparing to live openly as a woman. The Court will hear the cases during the nine-month term that begins this October.”

More about this from Frantz Ward here. 4/29/2019

RALI Promotes Drug Take-Back Day

April 26, 2019

The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) — an OMA-supported alliance of local, state and national organizations committed to finding solutions to Ohio’s opioid crisis — is taking an active role in National Drug Take-Back day, set for tomorrow (Saturday), April 27. Click here to find a take-back location near you. 4/24/2019

What’s the Story on CBD Oil? Legal or Not?

April 26, 2019

We are hearing a lot these days about cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a substance derived from the hemp or cannabis plant and being sold as a form of medication. Is it legal in Ohio? Here’s a short video from OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® with information of interest to businesses operating drug-free programs. Contact Working Partners® with drug-free program questions. 4/25/2019

EEOC to Delay Reporting on Pay by Race, Gender

April 19, 2019

OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward has provided an update on Employer Information Report EEO-1. Last month, a federal court ordered the immediate reinstatement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) pay data collection provisions, which would require covered employers to report compensation information by race, ethnicity, and gender in their EEO-1 report. The Trump Administration had suspended these Obama-era provisions in 2017.

According to Frantz Ward’s analysis, the EEOC is not equipped to begin pay data collection. As a result, the commission intends to delay the data collection until Sept. 30, 2019, at the earliest. It is possible the court’s March ruling could be appealed.

The firm advises employers to submit the Component 1 EEO-1 report data as required by May 31, 2019. At the present time, it is not clear when Component 2 pay data will need to be submitted, but employers should be prepared to submit the data at a later date. We will continue to monitor this developing situation. 4/15/2019

Drug-Abuse Educational Trailer to Tour Ohio

April 12, 2019

The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative of Ohio (RALI OH) will bring the RALI CARES educational trailer to a number of cities across Ohio, including Columbus, Marysville, Circleville, New Lexington, Zanesville, Ashland, Medina, Canton, Northfield, Toledo and Dayton.

Set up as a mock teenage bedroom, the trailer exhibit educates families about the possible warning signs of substance abuse. It is a part of RALI OH’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. More here. 4/10/2019