Ohio News & Analysis

  • Inability to show he was 'replaced' dooms 67-year-old's age bias claim

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Ohio employers) recently ruled that a 67-year-old vice president (VP) of sales who was allegedly terminated for taking an unauthorized business trip failed to establish a prima facie, or basic, case of age discrimination. The court found that although his duties were picked up by an employee nearly 20 years younger, the VP couldn't establish that he was "replaced" within the meaning of well-established age discrimination law.

  • Job description not decisive when resolving what's truly essential under ADA

    The 6th Circuit recently held that an employer was liable for failing to accommodate and then terminating an injured employee, even though he couldn't perform the physical requirements of the position that were listed in his job description. Evidence showed that the employer often provided assistance with lifting even to employees who didn't have medical restrictions, and it could have accommodated the injured employee's medical restrictions. The court further held that if a jury reasonably concludes that an employee can perform the essential job functions, the jurors must be instructed on reinstatement as an available remedy—and the preferred one.

  • Wellness programs are about more than health insurance costs

    When attorneys talk or write about wellness programs, it's almost always from a highly legal perspective. We could talk all day about the convoluted and overlapping requirements of the various laws that apply to such programs. But this month, we want to take a different approach and look at wellness programs from more of a business perspective.

  • Wrap up 2018 with new or revised handbook

    This year has brought an unusual number of changes in employment law. Various federal agencies got into the groove of aggressively undoing a lot of requirements their predecessors in the Obama administration had put into place. In addition, there has been an increasing number of employment-related requirements from state and local governments.

  • Happy holidays, with a helping of the flu bug

    The 2017-18 flu season was unusually bad, and many employers found themselves stuck between meeting their staffing needs and avoiding the spread of a virulent flu strain. Although the 2018-19 cold and flu season is forecast to be less brutal, you should take this opportunity to revisit your pandemic preparedness. Here are some thoughts on preventing and preparing for the next big outbreak.

  • Agency Action

    DOL announces record amount in recovered wages. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced in October that its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) had recovered a record $304 million in wages owed to workers in fiscal year (FY) 2018. The WHD also announced it set a new record for compliance assistance events in FY 2018, holding 3,643 educational outreach events to help employers understand their responsibilities under the law. The DOL also announced an extension of the voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is a compliance initiative aimed at helping workers receive more back wages due in an expedited manner.

  • Pros, cons of sharing personnel files with employees

    Q One of our employees has asked to see her personnel file. We've never shared this information with employees, and I feel we shouldn't do it. Our COO, on the other hand, is open to being more transparent and sharing some information. What are the pros and cons of letting the employee see her personnel file?

  • Voluntary abandonment doctrine strengthened by Ohio Supreme Court

    The Ohio Supreme Court recently held that when an employee voluntarily removes himself from his employment for reasons unrelated to a workplace injury, he is not eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits even if he was disabled at the time of his departure.

  • Part-time hours for full-time employee can be a reasonable accommodation

    A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Ohio employers) illustrates that the ability to work full-time hours may not always be an essential function of a full-time job, at least in the short term.

  • Can you keep a secret? How to handle 'confidential' employee complaints

    As we noted in the previous article, the #MeToo movement just turned one. And while its long-term effects on the workplace remain to be seen, it's commonly expected that increasing numbers of women (and some men) will be informing their employers about problems with sexual harassment.