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Recent Blog Posts

Changes to Ohio Workers' Compensation Law

On June 30, 2017, Gov. John Kasich signed H.B. 27 into law, not only funding the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), but also enacting a number of substantive changes. The new law became effective September 29, 2017. Below are some of the important substantive changes that are now law:

Federal Judge Strikes Down White-Collar Exemption Rule

A federal judge in Texas has held that the Department of Labor exceeded its authority by substantially raising the minimum salary threshold required for employees under the "white collar" exemptions. In May 2016, the DOL issued regulations that would have more than doubled the minimum annual salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standard Act's "white collar" executive, administrative and professional exemptions, from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually).

Department of Labor Withdraws Guidance on Joint Employment and Independent Contractors

This past Wednesday, June 6, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing the withdrawal of its 2015 and 2016 guidance, formally called "Administrator's Interpretation" (AI), concerning independent contractors and joint employment.

Small Business Owners Need to Plan an Exit Strategy

The United States Small Business Administration defines a "Small Business" as generally one with less than 500 employees. Of the approximately 29 million businesses in the United States, 99% are, by definition, a small business. Ohio has approximately 927,000 small businesses representing 98% of all companies in Ohio, and those companies employ 46% of the Ohio workforce. A recent study published by Babson College estimates that more than 50% of America's small business owners are over the age of 50. Do they all have an exit strategy?

Public Service Employees May Have Student Loans Forgiven Starting Later This Year

Beginning in October, individuals with student loans that meet certain requirements will be able to apply for forgiveness of the remaining balance of the loans under the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program. While private loans are not eligible, four types of loans being repaid under certain income-based repayment plans are eligible for the program. Loan forgiveness under this program is not considered taxable income.

US House Narrowly Passes American Health Care Act

On May 4, the House of Representatives passed the controversial American Health Care Act (HR 1628) by a 217-213 margin. The AHCA is touted by President Trump and House GOP leadership as the bill that will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in March 2010. The AHCA now moves to the Senate where its future is uncertain.

Introduced March 6, the original bill faced opposition from conservative and moderate House Republicans in addition to the Democrat caucus, the AMA, AARP, and other interest groups. Although amended in Committee to address some GOP concerns, Speaker Ryan pulled the bill from a scheduled vote March 24 when it became clear there were not enough votes to pass it.

What Will Happen to the Salary-Exempt Regulations Under the New Administration?

We have continued to follow the litigation and political maneuvering surrounding last year's proposed wage and hour regulations. Those regulations, which would have increased the threshold requirement for most salary exempt positions from $455 to $913 per week, were temporarily halted nationwide last November by a federal judge in Texas. Since that time, the case has been appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, while political wrangling over the regulations has continued. Recently, President Trump's initial pick for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination and was replaced by Alexander Acosta, the dean of Florida International Law School.

The Ohio Supreme Court Changes its Interpretation of the Confidential Law Enforcement Investigatory Records Exception to the Ohio Public Records Act

In December of 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court, in State ex rel. Caster v. City of Columbus, 2016-Ohio-8394, changed the way that a public office may respond to a public records request where the confidential law enforcement investigatory records exception applies.

Are Your Employees Up To Date On Their Cybersecurity Knowledge?

According to the recent IT Security Risks Survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab, 73% of companies have been affected by internal information security breaches, and the largest single cause of confidential data losses is employees at 42%. In fact, 19% of respondents said that at least one of their employees loses a mobile device containing corporate data at least once a year.