Showing posts with label legislation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legislation. Show all posts

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Cheers to the CHEERS Act! 🍻

If today's dysfunctionally fractured Congress can agree on anything on a bipartisan basis, it must be a good idea.

Raise your glass to the Creating Hospitality Economic Enhancement for Restaurants and Servers (CHEERS) Act, which Reps. Darin LaHood (R) and Steven Horsford (D) recently introduced.

The CHEERS Act would provide tax incentives for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues to install energy-efficient keg and tap systems. The goal is to help stabilize and revitalize hospitality establishments, which are still struggling years after the pandemic.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

President Biden’s proposed 2025 federal budget offers a lot for employers to chew on

If you want to learn about a government's priorities, trace the money. 

President Biden's proposed federal budget for FY 2025 contains significant funding that would impact the workplace.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

The No Robot Bosses Act

"I, for one, welcome our robot overlords." 🙃

Consider this scenario. "You're a delivery driver and your employer's tracking algorithm determines you’re not performing up to its standards — and then sends you an email to let you know you've been fired without any warning or opportunity to speak to a human being." According to Senator Bob Casey, it is this example, along with others, that caused him to draft the the "No Robot Bosses Act."

If enacted, it would add protections for job applicants and employees related to automated decision systems and would require employers to disclose when and how these systems are being used.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Relaxing child labor protections is not the solution to our labor problem

Ohio's Senate recently passed legislation that, if signed into law, would make it easier for businesses to employ 14- and 15-year-old children. SB 30 would amend Ohio's current child labor laws to permit 14- and 15-year-olds to work later than 7 pm during the school term with "approval to do so from the person's parent or legal guardian." 

According to State Sen. Tim Shaffer, a Fairfield County Republican, he sponsored the bill to help solve Covid-related workforce shortages, in addition to teaching teens necessary work skills: "Learning how to show up on time, learning how to follow direction and execute commands and execute missions — I know at that age it was critically important for me. And this will certainly help employers across Ohio with their staffing problems as well."

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Ohio decides arming teachers is the solution to mass shootings in schools; Ohio is very wrong

Yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a new law that will lower the training hours school personnel to be armed from about 700 hours to a mere 24 hours — four for scenario-based training plus 20 for first-aid training, school-shooting history eduction, and reunification education.

This law is the worst possible idea to solve our gun violence and school shooting epidemic. Here are six reasons why.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Coronavirus Update 12-2-2021: Repeat after me — anti-vax legislation WILL NOT fix workforce shortages

Meet Rep. Al Cutrona, a first-term member of Ohio's House of Representatives, and a Republican who describes himself as "Pro-Constitution." He's also the primary sponsor of HB 218, a bill that would prohibit any employer or school from mandating any non-approved vaccine that uses mRNA technology, and would further require employers and schools to grant exceptions to vaccine mandates for reasons of medical contraindication, natural immunity, religious convictions, or personal conscience.

According to Rep. Cultrona, this law is needed "to address the crisis that the workforce is struggling," to fix workforce "shortages," and to "bring back jobs."

The problem, however, is that vaccine mandates are not causing The Great Resignation. There are lots of reasons why workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers, but vaccine mandates are not one of them, according to the World Economic Forum.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

No foolin': the most meaningful changes to Ohio's employment discrimination law take effect in two weeks

Two weeks from today, H.B. 352 takes effect and brings the most significant changes to Ohio's workplace discrimination statute since its passage decades ago. What are these changes?

  • Creates a universal two-year statute of limitations for all employment discrimination claims.
  • Requires individuals to file an administrative charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission as a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit.
  • Unifies the filing of age discrimination claims to the same procedures and remedies as all other protected classes.
  • Eliminates individual statutory liability for managers and supervisors.
  • Caps non-economic and punitive damages based on the size of the employer.
  • Establishes an affirmative defense to hostile workplace sexual harassment claims not alleging that did not result in an adverse, tangible employment action, when 1) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent or promptly correct the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice or harassing behavior, and 2) the employee failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to otherwise avoid the alleged harm. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

H.B. 352 finally fixes Ohio’s broken employment discrimination statute for employers

For lack of more artful description, Ohio's employment discrimination law was a mess. It exposed employers to claims for up to six years (the longest such statute of limitations in the country), contained no less than three different ways for employees to file age discrimination claims (each with different remedies and filing deadlines), rendered managers and supervisors personally liable for discrimination, and omitted any filing prerequisites with the state civil rights agency.

The start of 2021, however, provides Ohio businesses much-needed reform of this previously broken law. Earlier this week, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 352 [pdf]

Thursday, October 3, 2019

If at first you don’t succeed … Ohio will again try to fix its broken employment discrimination law

For lack of more artful description, Ohio’s employment discrimination law is an awful mess.

Among other problems, it exposes employers to claims for six(!) years; contains no less than four different ways for employees to file age discrimination claims (each with different remedies and filing deadlines); renders managers and supervisors personally liable for statutory discrimination; omits any filing prerequisites with the state’s civil rights agency; and contains no affirmative defenses for an employer’s good faith efforts to stop workplace harassment.

There have been several prior attempts to fix this law and harmonize it with its federal counterparts. All have died on the legislative vine.

Welcome House Bill 352 [pdf], introduced on October 1. It’s yet another business-friendly attempt at comprehensive reform of Ohio’s employment discrimination statute.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Proposed law wants to convert “anti-vaxxer” into a protected class

With a couple of important exceptions, an employer can require that employees be up to date on their vaccinations.

The exceptions?

     1/ An employee with an ADA disability that prevents him or her from receiving a vaccine may be entitled to an exemption from a mandatory vaccination requirement as a reasonable accommodation.

     2/ An employee with a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that prevents him or her from receiving a vaccine may also be entitled to an exemption from a mandatory vaccination requirement as a reasonable accommodation.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Is joint employment the issue that unites our divided government?

I cannot recall a time when our government has been more divided across ideological and party lines. (I don’t count the early 1860s, because that’s not a time a can remember.) Thankfully, an issue has come along to build a peace bridge over the streets and through the halls of Washington D.C.

This issue—joint employment, via the Save Local Business Act [pdf], which clarifies that two or more employers must have “actual, direct, and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ohio looks to put enforcement muscle behind workplace concealed carry law

It’s been six months since Ohio made it illegal for employers to prohibit employees (or anyone else for that matter) from storing a firearm in their vehicles on the employer’s property. This law, however, lacks any specific statutory teeth (sort of). If Ohio legislators get their way, this omission will soon change.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ohio again tries to restore sanity to its bonkers employment discrimination law

It was almost one year ago to the day that I penned, Now is the time to restore balance to Ohio’s employment discrimination law: Endorsing the Employment Law Uniformity Act. I wrote:
For lack of more artful description, Ohio’s employment discrimination law is a mess. It exposes employers to claims for up to six years, renders managers and supervisors personally liable for discrimination, contains no less than four different ways for employees to file age discrimination claims (each with different remedies and filing deadlines), and omits any filing prerequisites with the state civil rights agency.
Last year’s attempt at this sanity restoration, Senate Bill 268, died at the end of 2016 with the expiration of the last legislative session.

Thankfully, however, House Bill 2 has resurrected this attempt. (And, yes, the irony that today is Groundhog Day is not lost on me.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why it doesn’t matter that Ohio’s concealed-carry law removed its discrimination protections

We are going to begin 2017 near where we brought 2016 to a close—gun-owner protections.

Shortly before the end of Ohio’s 131st legislative session, Governor Kasich signed into law Amended Substitute Senate Bill 199, which, among other provisions, creates certain rights for lawful handgun owners to store said handguns in their vehicles parked on the property of their employers. You can read the specifics here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ohio set to maintain stable statewide minimum wage

A bill is on its way to Governor Kasich’s desk for signature that would prohibit any municipality or other political subdivision from establishing a minimum wage different from Ohio’s state minimum wage.

Sub. S.B. 331 [pdf] is a reaction to efforts of the “Fight for 15” movement to create piecemeal minimum wage increases city by city. Recall that earlier this year, Ohio’s attorney general issued an advisory opinion that a municipal ordinance may not require an employer to by a to pay its employees an hourly minimum wage rate that is in excess of the statewide hourly minimum wage rate,which is fixed by Ohio’s Constitution. This bill clears up an ambiguity over this issue.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Common sense (sort of) prevails in Ohio over gun-owner discrimination law

Last week, I reported on Ohio Senate Bill 199 / Sub. House Bill 48, which would have elevated “concealed handgun licensure” to a protected class under Ohio’s employment discrimination law, on par with race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, and ancestry.

My Twitter feed absolutely exploded with confusion and outrage. Some of the better replies:

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ohio set to elevate gun ownership to a protected employment class #TerribleIdea

How do you get conservative lawmakers to agree to add a protected class to an employment discrimination law? Focus on protecting on gun ownership, apparently.

Believe it or not, the right to conceal carry is about to join race, sex, age, religion, national origin, and disability as a class against which employers cannot discriminate against their employees. Really. I’m not making this up. Senate Bill 199 and Sub. House Bill 48 would make it illegal for an employer to fire, refuse to hire or discriminate against someone who has a concealed-carry permit and keeps a gun within a vehicle that may be parked on the employer’s property.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

$15 minimum wage is unconstitutional, says Ohio Attorney General

The drive to push local minimum wags in Ohio municipalities to $15 an hour may have hit a significant snag—Ohio’s Constitution.

According to an advisory opinion [pdf] issued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a municipal ordinance may not require an employer to by a to pay its employees an hourly minimum wage rate that is in excess of the statewide hourly minimum wage rate.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Amended medical marijuana bill offers employers higher protections

Last month, I reported on the introduction of Ohio House Bill 523, which would legalize medical marijuana in Ohio. I suggested that the bill’s protections for employers, which go further than those of either of the two competing November ballot measures, are a good start, but would likely need some tweaks to provide employers all of the protections they need.

Yesterday, employers got some much needed help, with an amended H.B. 523 [pdf], which significantly expands the rights of employers in regard to employees legally using marijuana.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ohio introduces employee background check legislation

It’s been a busy couple of months for employers, keeping up with the employment-related legislation popping up in Columbus. First, we had the Employment Law Uniformity Act, then the Pregnancy Reasonable Accommodation Act, next the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Benefits Act, and finally the Medical Marijuana Act.

Next on the docket? Legislation to regulate how employers compile and use certain background information in the hiring process.