Ohio News & Analysis

  • Heightened scrutiny of employee's mental health not discriminatory

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Ohio employers) affirmed that a former employee couldn't succeed on his disability discrimination claim against his former employer because he failed to rebut evidence that he missed too many days and his colleagues had become concerned about his ongoing mental health issues.

  • Lack of knowledge by decision makers renders disability case impossible

    A recent decision by the 6th Circuit granted an employer summary judgment (dismissal in its favor without a trial) when its former employee who had been demoted failed to show the decision makers knew she is disabled. The court further held that whatever knowledge the HR professionals gained about her disability after her demotion didn't create a presumption that the decision makers had the same knowledge.

  • IRS authorizes more preventive services to be paid by HSA-eligible health plans

    The IRS recently issued guidance expanding the definition of "preventive care" that may be covered ― possibly free of charge ― by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) that's paired with a health savings account (HSA). While the changes made by the guidance are relatively simple, they have the potential to make HSAs substantially more attractive, particularly to employees who have a chronic condition that is controlled by medication or therapy. Before diving too far into the details, however, it's important to have a solid understanding of HSAs and how they work.

  • Association retirement plans may not be ready for prime time

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently finalized regulations allowing multiple employers to offer a retirement plan to their employees through a combined association retirement plan (ARP). In what is becoming a common theme for the agency under President Donald Trump, the new rules are intended to make it easier for small to mid-sized employers to offer such plans to their employees. While they are similar to rules finalized last year that established a new type of association health plan, they go even further by establishing guidelines for professional employer organizations (PEOs) to sponsor retirement plans for their members' employees. Unfortunately, they also may face some of the same problems as those rules, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

  • Preemployment drug tests in the age of medical marijuana and CBD products

    Q How should we handle a preemployment drug test that comes back positive for THC because of CBD oil prescribed to treat lupus?

  • Military service laws require more than just granting time off work

    A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Ohio employers) highlights that an employer can be sued for violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and analogous Ohio law based on statements by managerial employees that reflect a bias against taking leave for military service, even though the employer never denied a single request for such leave.

  • Ohio cities bar questions about salary history

    Following Cincinnati's adoption of a similar law in March 2019, on June 26, Toledo became the latest in a small but growing list of states and municipalities that have prohibited employers from asking prospective employees about their past compensation. Citing concerns about the perpetuation of pay discrimination against women—especially minority women—the legislation bars Cincinnati and Toledo employers with 15 or more employees from asking job applicants for their salary history.

  • Employers can wield the power of LCAs

    The 6th Circuit recently ruled that an arbitrator abused his authority by ordering the reinstatement of an employee who was terminated for being absent from work because of car trouble, because he had entered into a "last-chance agreement" (LCA) with his employer just a few months before his final absence.

  • Individual coverage HRAs probably not option for 2020

    On his very first day in office, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to lessen the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) burden on the organizations and individuals who were subject to its requirements. More than two years later, the ACA is limping along, but the Trump administration is still working to carry out that order.

  • How to identify and minimize employee burnout

    You may have seen reports recently that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified employee burnout as a diagnosable medical condition. While that's not exactly accurate, the group has expanded its definition of the term in its latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases.