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A new Ohio law mandates uniformity of laws across the state affecting wage-hour, paid sick and safe leave and other fringe benefits, and scheduling of employee work hours.
Senate Bill 331 expressly prohibits cities and counties from adopting laws in these areas that differ from those enacted at the state and federal level. Senate Bill 331 goes into effect in March.
In addition, Ohio law has been amended to expand the areas in which an individual with a valid concealed handgun license can carry a firearm. Senate Bill 199 expressly authorizes an individual with a valid license to possess a firearm in a privately owned vehicle while parked on company property. It also prohibits an employer from disciplining an employee for engaging in such lawful act. Senate Bill 199 also goes into effect in March.
Senate Bill 331 – Uniformity of Laws
Outside of Ohio, state, city and county laws requiring employers to provide paid sick leave are being adopted across the nation at a dizzying pace, leaving employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions in a quandary with respect to how to keep up let alone comply.
The newest wave of pro-employee legislation making its way across the country is referred to as predictive scheduling laws. Predictive scheduling laws generally prohibit larger employers from making changes to an employee's work schedule without providing a minimum amount of advance notice, require employers to provide extra pay to employees who agree to work a revised work schedule, require a consistent schedule with minimal fluctuation in the days and hours to be worked, and even prohibit employers from engaging new employees to fill in for last-minute staffing needs without first offering that work to current employees.
Senate Bill 331 seeks to preserve uniformity and avoid a patchwork of municipal and county ordinances in Ohio affecting wage rates, paid sick and safe leave obligations and other fringe benefits, and employee scheduling for private employers.
Under Senate Bill 331, political subdivisions of the state of Ohio (e.g., cities and counties) are prohibited from legislating or regulating the following areas of employment for private employers:
The new law also prohibits cities and counties from adopting a minimum wage rate that exceeds the federal or state minimum.
Senate Bill 199 – Licensed Concealed Carry
Generally, Senate Bill 199 expands the areas in which an individual with a valid concealed handgun license can carry a firearm.
The two most notable changes to the law permit an individual with a valid license to possess a firearm (1) in a private vehicle parked in a company parking lot and (2) unless proper signage is posted, in a daycare facility.
Under the law:
Although businesses and property owners cannot prohibit a license holder from possessing or storing a firearm in his or her privately owned vehicle while parked on their premises, they can post a sign in a conspicuous location on the land or premises prohibiting people, including individuals with a valid concealed handgun license, from carrying firearms on or onto that land or in the premises.
The Ohio Attorney General offers a sign for posting.
Employers with operations in Ohio should review their weapons-at-work policy. Many employers with such a policy prohibit employees from possessing a weapon on company property, which is defined to include the company parking lot.
Any policy revision should be made so that the policy complies with Senate Bill 199 and cannot be used against the employer to support a claim of unlawful termination. In addition, human resources professionals and managers should be notified of the change in the law and any resulting change in policy.
Katharine C. Weber and David A. Nenni are attorneys with Jackson Lewis in Cincinnati. © Jackson Lewis. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.
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