On November 13, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health Lance Himes issued a new director’s order enhancing face covering requirements for Ohio retailers, adding mandatory oversight obligations for employers, and providing greater enforcement power for local health departments and law enforcement.
Elections in the United States are scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Not only will the office of president of the United States be contested, but all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for grabs. At the state level, elections will be held for the governorships of 11 U.S. states and 2 U.S. territories.
On September 14, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill (H.B.) 606 into law, providing employers with legal protections when it comes to their efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 and making Ohio one of a growing number of states granting similar civil immunity. According to Governor DeWine, the new law accomplishes the dual goals of keeping people safe and rebuilding the state’s economy.
Ohio employers will likely soon enjoy greater legal protections when it comes to their efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Acknowledging the legal uncertainties faced by essential workers and businesses in the wake of reopening, the Ohio Senate on September 2, 2020, passed House Bill (H.B.) 606, a measure which, if signed into law (and it is expected that Governor Mike DeWine will sign the bill very quickly), would grant state-law immunity from civil lawsuits for “injury, death, or loss” related to “the transmission or contraction” of the novel coronavirus.
On August 19, 2020, in Marquardt v. Carlton, et al., No. 19-4223, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed summary judgment for the City of Cleveland on a former employee’s claim that the city had terminated his employment in retaliation for his exercising his rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
On May 29, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued the “Director’s Updated and Revised Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing.” As expected, the new order extends many of the same requirements and guidelines previously in place through the (now expired) “Stay Safe Ohio” order, including requiring employees to wear face coverings except in limited circumstances, and sector-specific operating mandates. These requirements are now extended through July 1, 2020, with some notable changes and additions.
On May 14, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced an order to continue Ohio’s phased reopening of the state’s economy, adding daycare centers, summer camps, gyms, campgrounds, and pools to the list of businesses that may now reopen. Combined with the state’s prior Stay Safe Ohio and Responsible Restart Ohio orders, here is the most updated calendar for Ohio’s reopening
In Viet v. Copier Victor, Inc., No. 18-6191 (March 10, 2020), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Copier Victor and its founder, Victor Le, on an employee’s overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), finding the employee’s testimony regarding the number of hours he worked on a weekly basis too vague and conclusory to withstand summary judgment.
Following several other states, and at the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a shelter-in-place order for Ohio residents titled “Director’s Stay at Home Order.” The order went into effect on March 23, 2020, and will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless rescinded or modified.
In Thomas v. Hyundai of Bedford, No. 108212 (January 23, 2020), the Eighth District Ohio Court of Appeals held that an arbitration clause in an employment contract was substantively and procedurally unconscionable because it sought to include as arbitrable all conceivable claims between the parties, even those outside the employment relationship. The Eighth District’s decision serves as a reminder of the benefits of well-tailored arbitration agreements.
On December 12, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a sexual misconduct complainant’s fear of further contact with the respondent was not enough to support a claim against the university for deliberate indifference under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
In 2020, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase. The following chart lists the states’ (and certain major localities’) minimum wage increases for 2020—and future years if available—along with the related changes in the maximum tip credit and minimum cash wage for tipped employees. The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per
The Supreme Court of Ohio recently confirmed that public employees in their probationary periods are not entitled to the same protections with regard to employment termination that tenured civil servants enjoy.
On June 26, 2019, the Toledo City Council approved Ordinance 173-19, titled “Pay Equity Act to Prohibit the Inquiry and Use of Salary History in Hiring Practices in the City of Toledo.” The law prohibits employers from inquiring about or using an applicant’s salary history to screen job applicants, in deciding whether to offer employment, or in determining salary, benefits, or other compensation during the hiring process. The Toledo pay equity act also bans employers from refusing to hire or otherwise retaliating against a job applicant for failing to disclose his or her salary history.
Ohio may become the 17th state to allow individuals to carry concealed guns without a permit. Currently, in the state of Ohio, in order to obtain a concealed handgun license, which is valid for 5 years, an Ohio resident must submit an application to the county sheriff, pay an initial $67 fee (or $91 if the applicant has been an Ohio resident for less than 5 years), pass a federal background check, and complete the minimum educational requirements, including a total of 8 hours of training (at least 2 of which must be in-person training).
In a thinly veiled attempt to steal the spotlight from Cleveland, the new destination city for the National Football League, on March 13, 2019, the Cincinnati City Council passed Ordinance No. 83-2019, titled Prohibited Salary History Inquiry and Use, barring employers from inquiring about or relying on job applicants’ salary histories.
In the recently issued decision in McDaniel v. Wilkie, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio considered whether telecommuting constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
Employees in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, now enjoy more expansive protections against discrimination than they do under Ohio and federal law.
In an opinion released on October 9, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that a general contractor’s commercial general liability insurance did not cover the defective work of either that contractor or its subcontractors.
Does discrimination based on gender identity fall within Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s protection against discrimination “because of sex”?
In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. The following table summarizes the statewide minimum wage increases that have been announced for 2018, along with the related changes to the maximum tip credit permitted and minimum cash wage allowed for tipped employees.