Robert Frost once advised, "Thinking isn't to agree or disagree. That's voting." One question that HR professionals are thinking of every election season is, "Do we need to provide employees time to vote?" In Ohio, the answer is likely yes.
On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declared that fees charged to dissenting employees pursuant to a union agency shop arrangement violates the First Amendment. In a 5-4 vote in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, No. 16-1466, the court found in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois public employee who refused to join the union yet had so-called agency or "fair share" fees taken from his paycheck every month, adding up to more than $500 each year.
In a major victory for employers, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that individualized arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable.
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:
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).
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.
On August 24, 2016, the federal government published the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council's Final Rule and the Department of Labor's (DOL) Final Guidance implementing President Obama's July 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673. The Final Rule and Guidance imposes numerous and substantial burdens on federal contractors.
OSHA is implementing new requirements that raise penalties for workplace safety violations and that mandate a series of new reporting obligations for most employers.
On July 5, 2016, the EEOC more than doubled the previous monetary penalty for failing to post required workplace notices. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), employers are required to post notices describing certain key provisions of these laws. The notices must also be placed in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace. Failure to post the required notices means that the employer could be subject to the maximum penalty amount of $525 for each separate violation, up from the previous amount of $210.
On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor announced new rules which will govern compensation for every employer in the country which is covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. With a few exceptions, this includes any employer which has gross revenue of $500,000 or more.