Ohio Employment Law Matters

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Do employers have to report employee COVID-19 diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths? The short answer, like many under the law, is maybe. Under 1904.39, employers must record and report the following to OSHA by calling or submitting a report online: a fatality (within 8 hours), in-patient hospitalization (within 24 hours), amputation (within 24 hours), or loss of an eye ( within 24 hours). What if an employee is hospitalized due to COVID-19? The incident is reportable…
On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, HR 133, the most recent COVID-19 relief and stimulus bill, was signed into law. The law extends some of the previously enacted relief provisions and ends others. The key provisions are summarized below. COVID-19 paid sick and family leave – voluntary but eligible for an employer tax credit The obligation (for employers with less than 500 employees) to pay employees for sick and family leave related…
I had been receiving calls about whether employers can require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available to the general public. My guidance had been based on instinct and outdated guidance on pandemic flu. Yesterday, the EEOC released guidance on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. The long and short of it: It is better to strongly encourage vaccination than require it, even if legally permissible. If voluntary vaccination is provided in the workplace,…
The EEOC recently launched a new tool that provides access to industry aggregated data collected from annual employer EEO-1 reports. The new tool is called “EEOC Explore,” available here. Data on employment by race, ethnicity, and gender can be searched by EEO-1 job category in an aggregate format organized by NAICS industry code. Presently, only 2017 and 2018 data is available, but more searchable data is forthcoming. In addition to searching by job category,…
Happy Veterans’ Day to all of the veterans out there. It also is a great day to remember that if your business has a contract with the federal government in excess of $100,000, or your business has a contract with another company that has a covered federal contract, you are covered by VEVRAA, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. This means that your business must have an annual affirmative action plan and have certain…
The CDC made it much more difficult for employers, schools, and businesses to determine who should be quarantined when a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection occurs. A close contact is now defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 cumulative minutes in a day–versus 15 consecutive minutes at one time. Last week, on October 21, 2020, the CDC updated its guidelines on what it means to be in “close contact” with someone…
Allowing non-exempt workers to work unsupervised from home has always been a big no-no in the wage-hour world. Allowing this exposes the employer to claims for unpaid hours, and unpaid overtime, from  federal, state, and local laws with unforgiving penalties. Recognizing the number of non-exempt employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) released guidance on tracking telework. The key is having a clear tracking method in place to…
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) revised its April 1, 2020 regulations about who qualifies for emergency sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) after parts of its prior regulations were struck down by a New York federal court on August 3, 2020 (see earlier blog post). The NY court struck down four provisions of the prior regulations: The requirement that work be “available” in order to take FFCRA leave from…
On September 14, 2020, Ohio passed and the Governor signed House Bill 606, which provides qualified immunity to healthcare providers and employers who are accused of spreading COVID-19. It will become effective on December 13, 2020 (90 days after signed into law). Section 1 of the law provides qualified immunity to healthcare providers providing services during the coronavirus pandemic. It applies to actions taken from March 9, 2020 to September 30, 2021. The new law…