Ohio Employment Law Matters

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In an employer-friendly decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that five comments about the size of a worker’s breasts over a 15-month period of time were not sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute actionable sexual harassment. The Court concluded that the facts of the case were closer to ‘isolated incidents’ than to a ‘severe and pervasive’ work environment. Facts Nicole Massey worked as a security guard for Great Lakes Water Authority. In her…
The Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of an employee who challenged a provision in her employment contract that required that she bring all suits regarding her employment within six months following her termination. The employee alleged that, in light of the #metoo and #timesup movements, she should not be limited in the time frame to bring claims of sex discrimination and sex harassment as a matter of Ohio public policy. Six of…
The EEOC sent a letter to employer groups indicating that it would clarify the types and value of incentives that employers may offer to employees in order to encourage them to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The EEOC did not respond to the many employer groups’ requests with guidance or even a timetable for when guidance could be expected. At present, vaccine incentives fall into a legal gray area. Employer wellness incentives are closely scrutinized and…
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides generous 100% COBRA coverage premium subsidies for employees and former employees who lose coverage due to a termination or reduction in hours. Employers provide the COBRA premiums for the employee, and employers are reimbursed through payroll tax credits. The administrative requirements of the law are complicated for employers and filled with landmines if an employer is not careful about compliance. Employers should begin identifying eligible individuals and…
Today, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Aside from the much publicized direct $1400 stimulus payments to individuals, there are business-related relief provisions of note to employers: The $300 additional unemployment compensation weekly supplement will continue through September 6, 2021; The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, covering independent contractors and self-employed individuals and extending state limits on benefits, will continue; COBRA insurance continuation coverage will be free from April…
For years, Ohio had one of the most convoluted laws regarding age discrimination–providing no less than 4 different statutory paths to claiming age discrimination. In addition, Ohio permitted aggrieved employees to personally sue individual management employees for their actions because the law considered managers and supervisors to be within the definition of an “employer.” Finally, Ohio had one of the longest statutes of limitations of any state (at six years). That all changes on April…
Several employer groups jointly wrote to the EEOC at the beginning of the month asking the EEOC to clarify the extent to which employers may offer financial incentives to employees who take the COVID-19 vaccine without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, employee wellness programs must be truly “voluntary.” Employers cannot do anything related to a wellness program that would coerce an employee into providing disability-related information. In 2017,…
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 into law on Jan 11. Unless Congress acts, it will become law after 30 days and will be the most restrictive law governing non-compete agreements in the U.S. By way of reference, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington have restrictions on non-compete agreements between employees and private employers. This law is more broad than those states’ laws. The…
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…