News and Analysis
From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “As of January 1, 2019, Connecticut and Hawaii have joined … California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont by adopting state-wide bans against salary history inquires. State and local governments across the country are increasingly introducing and passing legislation prohibiting employers from asking candidates their salary history information, with the aim of ending pay inequity. …
“Ohio has not passed a salary history ban (yet), so Ohio employers are in the clear for now. … Accordingly, multi-state employers need to be aware of how bans may affect their businesses and should regularly review and update hiring processes to ensure compliance with the many differing state and local bans.”
More here. 1/25/2019
From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “Administering payroll for employees with variable work schedules and hourly rates can cause major headaches for employers. In an effort to simplify and reduce administrative costs, employers are oftentimes tempted to set a standard overtime rate to be paid at a set dollar amount to all employees regardless of variations in compensation rates and actual weekly compensation earned. However, as a recent Department of Labor Opinion Letter explains, employers must adhere to the FLSA’s overtime calculation rules when setting such rates….
“This letter reminds employers that, when calculating overtime compensation, the regular rate of pay cannot be arbitrarily selected, especially when the selected amount is potentially less than the employee’s actual hourly wage rate. Rather, overtime must be based on the actual rate of pay the employee earns.”
More here. 1/18/2019
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley invites OMA members to meet with representatives of the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance, which has rolled out a new public education campaign to prevent abuse of prescription opioids.
The campaign, Denial Ohio, is rolling out across the state and representatives of the Alliance will be in Dayton on Monday, January 28 at 10:00 a.m. for a presentation and discussion with Community Overdose Action Team members and local stakeholders.
The meeting will be at Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County, 117 South Main Street, Dayton, Ohio 45422, in the 3rd floor conference room. If you park in the parking garage on the corner of Fifth and Main Street (entrance to the garage is on Fifth Street, across from Spaghetti Warehouse), parking will be validated.
Please RSVP by responding to this email or call (937) 225-5700 for more information. 1/23/2019
Ohio’s union membership climbed in 2018 while union membership overall decreased nationwide according to a recently released report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ohio had 639,000 union members in 2018. This was up from 635,000 in 2016. The 4,000 member uptick raised the membership rate from 12.5% of Ohio workers in 2017 to 12.6% in 2018.
Overall across the country union membership declined in 2018. In 2018, 14.7 million workers were part of a union, which was down from 14.8 million workers in 2017.
For a historical comparison: In 1983, around 17.7 million workers belonged to a union, which was 20.1% of U.S. workers. Today’s national percentage is half of that number with 10.5% of workers affiliated with a union. 1/24/2019
This week Ohio’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opened, four months behind schedule.
Four medical marijuana dispensaries opened across the state: one in Sandusky, two in Wintersville, near Steubenville, and one in Canton.
Mason wrote: “Under the law, employers are not required — yet not prohibited — to accommodate an employee’s use of marijuana as medicine. Each employer must decide their stance on the issue and be positioned to respond to employee questions or to the employee who tests positive for marijuana.
“This position must be articulated in the company’s drug-free workplace policy and communicated with employees in writing and through ongoing discussions. Simply updating a policy is not enough; those changes must be communicated clearly and consistently. The more everyone understands, the better prepared they can be if a situation involving marijuana arises.” 1/17/2018
From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “Although some departing employees are willing to risk violating their non-competes when they leave a company, a recent court decision reinforced one of the significant dangers that those employees can face in doing so. In this decision, a federal appeals court in Ohio ruled that a former employee who violates a non-compete can be forced to pay the employer’s legal fees, even if the former employer does not prevail on all of the issues raised.”
Read more about this from Frantz Ward. 1/17/2019
The ACA imposes a dollar limit on employees’ salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs) offered under cafeteria plans. This dollar limit is indexed for cost-of-living adjustments.
In November 2018, the IRS increased the health FSA contribution limit from $2,650 to $2,700 for taxable years beginning in 2019.
Employers should ensure that their health FSA will not allow employees to make pre-tax contributions in excess of $2,700 for 2019, and they should communicate the 2019 limit to their employees.
Questions? Contact One Source Advisors, OMA’s endorsed health care broker. 1/6/2019
From OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore: “April 1, 2019 is the first day U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may accept H-1B specialty worker petitions for the next fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2019. …
“Due to the overwhelming demand for the annual allotment of 85,000 new H-1B slots, employers who wish to file new H-1B petitions for current or future employees should do so April 1. … Last year, USCIS received 190,098 petitions within the first week of the petition period, then conducted a random lottery to determine which petitions would take the 85,000 slots.”
More from Dinsmore. 1/7/2019
Our friends at OMA Connections Partner GBQ recap the 2019 contribution limits for 401(k) and other retirement savings plans here. 1/10/2019