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HR Roundup: Ohio Jobless Rate Drops to 3.9%

March 31, 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 Bill Would Impose Pay-Related Mandates

March 24, 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

HR Roundup: Ohio Claims 16th Lowest Quit Rate

March 24, 2023
  • There are currently 22,256 manufacturing-related jobs posted at, 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

HR Roundup: U.S. Manufacturing Payrolls Dip

March 17, 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

HR Roundup: A Look at Current Wage Inflation

March 10, 2023
  • This infographic shows U.S. wage growth is slowing — falling to 4.4% annually in January, down from 5.9% in March 2022. (The Federal Reserve’s annual wage growth target is 3.5% to be compatible with 2% inflation.)
  • OMA Connections Partner RSM has published this insight on how employers can prepare for increased scrutiny of their compensation transparency.
  • These are the seven things employers couldn’t say about unions if the NLRB’s general counsel has her way, writes OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips.
  • OMA Connections Partner Vorys advises employers that pay on a day-rate basis to immediately review their compensation plans following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on overtime exemptions.
  • The Ohio Senate has voted 25-7 to approve Senate Bill 30, which would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work longer hours.

Meanwhile, RSM reports that when asked about the ideal job, 50% of middle-market employees cited work/life balance as the most critical aspect, followed by support from a supervisor/boss (49%). 3/9/2023

HR Roundup: Promoting a Positive Workplace Culture

March 3, 2023
  • OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this list of ways to promote a positive workplace culture.
  • On March 15, OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine will host a webinar to discuss how the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency will impact employer health plans. Register here.
  • Updated U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on harassment could be coming soon, reports say.
  • OMA Connections Partner Vorys advises employers to review their severance agreement language in light of the NLRB’s stance that overly restrictive confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions are unlawful.
  • Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that high-earning professionals can only be overtime-exempt if they are paid on salary basis, OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has published this analysis.
  • Remote and hybrid work is linked to more anxiety and depression, a new study says.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden says he will nominate Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su as the next U.S. Department of Labor Secretary. 3/2/2023

HR Roundup: Offering Employees More Flexibility

February 24, 2023
  • Ethan Karp, president and CEO of OMA Connections Partner MAGNET, has authored this Forbes’ column spotlighting five ways manufacturers can offer employees more flexibility.
  • Following recent action by the NLRB, employers should evaluate their severance agreements if they restrict a worker’s ability to speak about the agreement or talk negatively about their former employer, writes OMA Connections Partners Fisher Phillips and Calfee.
  • Fisher Phillips has posted this 10-minute podcast to provide guidance to manufacturers that are challenged with wage and hour compliance issues.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that high-earning workers might be eligible for overtime pay under federal law. See analysis by OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward.
  • On April 20 in Cincinnati, OMA Connections Partner Vorys will host its 2023 Labor and Employment Seminar with updates on NLRB actions, federal employment laws, recent OSHA activities, and more.

Meanwhile, a new survey from Payscale shows fewer employers plan to give base pay raises this year (80% compared to 92% in 2022), and employers are generally eyeing smaller raises in 2023. 2/23/2023

Report: 7.2 Million Prime Working Age Men Not Working

February 17, 2023

CBS recently spotlighted the more than 770,000 U.S. job openings in manufacturing, while examining the factors behind roughly 7.2 million American men of prime working age (between 25 and 54 years old) not working or looking for work. Watch the video.

According to the report, economists attribute the lower workforce participation rate to a skills mismatch, applicants with criminal histories, and ongoing government “safety nets.”

Check out this graph comparing labor force participation rates of various age groups since the start of COVID-19. At the end of 2022, the rate for no age group had fully recovered to February 2020 levels, although the 25-54 group was closest. 2/14/2023

HR Roundup: Developing a ‘Stay Interview’ Program

February 17, 2023
  • OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published these tips to develop a stay interview program that can help employers retain high performers.
  • Employees may use the Family and Medical Leave Act leave to reduce their work hours indefinitely, according to a U.S. Department of Labor opinion.
  • This insight from OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran discusses how ending the COVID-19 public health emergency will impact employer-sponsored health plans.
  • OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has published this guidance on hiring first-time H-1B visa applicants.
  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is expected to issue more guidance on the use of artificial intelligence by employers, according to OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward.
  • Over two weeks, Ohio’s initial jobless claims have jumped from 7,948 to 13,325.
  • Inc. magazine has published these five ways to transform your organization’s culture.

Meanwhile, as Michigan’s lawmakers debate repeal of that state’s right-to-work law, government affairs firm MultiState has provided this overview of the 27 right-to-work states. The firm says “the biggest surprise might be Ohio’s lack of a right-to-work law, given the Buckeye State’s hard right turn politically over the past few election cycles.” 2/16/2023

Leading Indicators Predict Statewide Drop in Employment

February 10, 2023

Ohio’s total employment is predicted to decrease at an annual rate of -6.01% for the first half of 2023, according to the most recent Ohio Leading Indicators report, published by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The report includes data for Ohio’s eight largest metro areas.

As of December 2022, Ohio’s average weekly manufacturing hours sat at 40, down slightly from December 2021. 2/8/2023