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NAM Offers COVID-19 Response Plan to Federal Policymakers

March 13, 2020

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has shared its COVID-19 response recommendations with federal policymakers. NAM’s plan identifies key policy areas where legislative and administration action would help combat the health and economic impact of COVID-19, as well as future public health emergencies.

A new NAM survey shows that 78.3% of respondents say the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have a financial impact on their businesses; 53.1% of manufacturers are anticipating a change in their operations in the coming months; and 35.5% say they are already facing supply chain disruptions.


Coronavirus Update – Week Ending March 6

March 6, 2020

Here’s the latest regarding the coronavirus (COVID-2019):

  • This week, Gov. Mike DeWine held a conference call with OMA President Eric Burkland and leaders of other business organizations to provide an update on actions and planning efforts by state officials. This website provides real-time, Ohio-specific information regarding the coronavirus.
  • As of Thursday, there were still no confirmed cases in Ohio, but three people were under investigation. Seven Ohioans have been tested but are negative, and 255 Ohio residents remain in self-quarantine, having traveled recently to China.
  • Ohio will be able to test for coronavirus starting late this weekend after it received testing kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to reports. Until now, the state health department had been forced to defer tests to the CDC, which took up to five days.
  • The National Association of Manufacturers has published a comprehensive site with useful information.
  • The Ohio Department of Health has composed this checklist to prepare your household for an outbreak of any infectious disease.
  • Several OMA Connections Partners have published guidance for employers:
    • Roetzel says employers should do these four things to prepare for coronavirus.
    • Calfee has produced a practical list of steps to help prevent workplace exposure and plan for a widespread outbreak.
    • Dinsmore offers this guidance on what employers must know about quarantines and preventing the spread of disease at work.
    • And Clark Schaefer Hackett has published a post on the coronavirus’ impact on the global manufacturing supply chain and how manufacturers can respond.
  • This interactive map by Johns Hopkins shows the location of every reported COVID-19 case in the world. At last check, more than half of the cases were listed as “recovered.”

The OMA continues to monitor updates from the Ohio Department of Health, as well as the latest situation summaries from the CDC. 3/5/2020

Fines for Federal Labor Violations Just Went Up

March 6, 2020

OMA Connections Partner OneSource Advisors reports that the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced its 2020 inflation-adjusted penalties for employer violations of a wide range of federal labor laws. New maximum penalties include:

  • $2,050 for violations of federal minimum wage or overtime requirements increases.
  • $2,233 per day for failing to file a Form 5500 for an employee benefit plan.
  • $176 per offense for violations of the posting requirements under the FMLA.

Employers should become familiar with the new penalty amounts and review their pay practices, benefit plan administration, and safety protocols to ensure compliance. 3/5/2020

Does Your Company Have a Hiring Program for Vets?

March 6, 2020

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes a company’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention and professional development. If your business is interested in participating in this program, apply before April 30. 3/2/2020

Coronavirus Update – Week Ending February 28

February 28, 2020

This week, it was reported that more than 200 Ohioans have been asked to self-quarantine after traveling to China. At last check, these individuals had not shown symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-2019). On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered state agencies to take several precautionary steps, noting that the threat of coronavirus in Ohio remained low and that there were no confirmed cases in the state.

COVID-19 has now spread to every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. Here is the latest global count of cases and deaths. Meanwhile, human trials for a vaccine will get underway within weeks.

The OMA continues to monitor updates from the Ohio Department of Health, as well as the latest situation summaries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have published this page with information on how to spot symptoms of the disease and best practices to prevent its spread. 2/27/2020

NLRB Issues Joint-Employer Final Rule

February 28, 2020

This week, the National Labor Relations Board published a final rule returning to a tighter standard for determining when workers are considered to be jointly employed by two or more employers under the National Labor Relations Act. See the analyses by OMA Connections Partners Bricker & Eckler and Frantz Ward. The National Association of Manufacturers has also published its take on what the final rule means for manufacturers. 2/26/2020

Draft Mandatory Arbitration Agreements With Care

February 28, 2020

Employer-mandated arbitration agreements have been a hot topic in recent years. And despite their approval by the U.S. Supreme Court, employers still need to draft these agreements with care, according to new guidance from OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward. 2/26/2020

Coronavirus Update

February 21, 2020

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak. ODH’s website features this page to provide updates on the virus, as well as a fact sheet. Also, there’s this website that provides the latest global count of COVID-2019 cases and deaths.

World health officials said Thursday that while the new virus has not yet spread widely around the world, a global outbreak could occur at any time.

With flu season in full swing, OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has published guidance on what employers need to know regarding quarantines and preventing the spread of disease in the workplace. 2/20/2020

Manufacturing Employee Earnings Up 3.3% in Past Year

February 21, 2020

Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings for all U.S. employees on private non-farm payrolls increased from $27.58 to $28.44, or 3.1%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing outpaced the overall private sector with average hourly earnings expanding by 3.3%. 2/17/2020

What to Do When an Employee Brings Alcohol to Work?

February 21, 2020

Is possession always a violation at a drug-free workplace? Here’s a report from OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® that details what one employer did when an unopened can of beer fell out of an employee’s lunch bag. 2/18/2020