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Resources for Hiring Military Veterans

February 12, 2016

While it may seem intuitive that military veteran job candidates can possess technical training, leadership, adaptability, and other transferrable skills, some employers are unsure how to add veterans to their team.  Several local and national organizations focus on connecting veterans with employers.  Read more.

EEOC Proposes to Collect Wage Data from Large Employers

February 5, 2016

More productivity-sapping regulations proposed:  OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore, reports that starting September 30, 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) plans to collect pay data from employers with more than 100 employees in an attempt to reveal potentially discriminatory pay practices, particularly with respect to women and ethnic minorities.

Through a proposed revision to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1), covered employers will be required to report the number of employees by race, gender, and ethnicity who are paid within each of the proposed 12 pay bands, including the number of hours the reported employees worked in the applicable time period.  Read more from Dinsmore.

Are You a Joint Employer?

January 29, 2016

OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler LLP, notes that ” … today’s businesses use a variety of organizational and staffing models to run their operations.  They may share workers with other employers, engage independent contractors or use staffing agencies to supplement their workforce.  Although organizations may not consider workers who provide services under these arrangements to be employees in the traditional sense of the term, under the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s (DOL) recent Administrator’s Interpretation (AI), they may still be responsible for complying with the applicable employment laws as a joint employer.”

“In the AI, DOL states that it is taking an expansive interpretation of the term “employ” to ensure the scope of employment relationships and joint employment is “as broad as possible.”  Thus, it is likely that DOL will increasingly find that joint employment exists.

“All employers should be aware of DOL’s standards for determining joint employment status and the consequences of being deemed a joint employer.”  Read more from Bricker.

OMA Opposes Health Care Mandate Bill

January 29, 2016

This week the OMA filed a letter with Rep. Tim Brown (R-Perrysburg), Chairman, House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, to oppose House Bill 350, which would mandate autism coverage for certain types of health care plans where autism benefits are not already mandated.

In its letter, OMA explained: “The OMA has historically opposed health insurance-related mandates because they increase cost and limit flexibility for employers that seek to provide health care plans for their employees.  Our position has been to allow the market, not the government, to drive the features and benefits of health care insurance products.”

Expansion of Workforce Voucher Program Introduced

January 29, 2016

This week, Reps. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) provided sponsor testimony on House Bill 429, which would allow automotive technicians and motor vehicle technicians employed at retail stores to be eligible to participate in the state’s Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program.

This program is administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency and provides grants to employers for incumbent workforce training.

This bill would create an expansion of the very popular program.   It was designed to support targeted growth industries, including advanced manufacturing, automotive, and food processing, among others.

The General Assembly allocated $7.5 million in both fiscal years, 2016 and 2017, for the program.

President Obama Proposes Major Expansion of Unemployment Benefits

January 22, 2016

Last week President Obama proposed a series of measures that would mandate new wage support and unemployment compensation to be paid by states through unemployment insurance trust funds and federal grants.

The proposal has three core elements that would:
1.  Provide wage insurance that would replace half of lost wages, up to $10,000 over two years. Displaced workers making less than $50,000 who were with their prior employer for at least three years would be able to qualify.
2.  Expand coverage to part-time, many low-income, and intermittent workers, and workers who leave work for compelling family reasons.
3. Make it easier for companies to avoid lay-offs through work-sharing, while incentivizing states to offer and allow retraining for workers on UI or to provide relocation vouchers or subsidized employment.  It would expand intensive career counseling to the long-term unemployed, discouraged, and part-time workers.

The plan contains additional features including requiring states to maintain adequate reserves, provide 26 weeks of coverage, and provide resources for career navigators.

2016 Employment Forms – Free & Legally Reviewed

January 8, 2016

OMA provides several free up-to-date reproducible forms to assist your human resource department, managers and supervisors.  These forms comply with federal and Ohio laws and have been reviewed by OMA counsel, Bricker & Eckler LLP, for compliance as recently as December 2015.

The reproducible forms offered are: Application for Employment, Absentee Calendar/Bi-monthly Absence Review, and Vacation Schedule.  State & federal posting requirements are also available.

Please read the special instructions to employers to help protect your company when using these forms.  See HR Tools on this web page.

NLRB Invalidates Another Personnel Policy

January 8, 2016

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently held that an employer’s prohibition on the use of recording devices in the workplace is unlawful.  The Whole Foods case is the latest example of the NLRB expanding its interpretation of Section 7 to invalidate employer workplace rules.

Read more from OMA Connections Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

Congress Delays ACA “Cadillac Tax” Until 2020

January 8, 2016

OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler LLP, reported that on December 18, 2015, when Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, it included a two-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 40% excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans (the so-called “Cadillac Tax”).

When originally enacted, the Cadillac Tax was to be implemented in 2018, however, its effect has now been delayed until 2020.

Per Bricker:  “In addition, the Appropriations Act also impacts the tax treatment of any liability incurred under the Cadillac Tax. While originally classified as a non-deductible tax, the Appropriations Act provides that liability for the Cadillac Tax can now qualify as a deductible expense. Although the Cadillac Tax has not been repealed, employers that have been planning for its eventual implementation now have additional time to prepare.”