2016 Year End Employment Law Wrap Up

This has been a busy year in the areas of Human Resources and Employment Law.  Here is a brief summary of some of the recent changes in both Ohio and Federal employment laws.

December 19, 2016:

Governor Kasich signed a bill restricting Ohio’s municipalities from establishing minimum wage requirements that exceed the State’s minimum wage.  This is in direct response to the effort to raise Cleveland’s minimum wage to $15/hour, and similar efforts in other cities.  While this could be subject to legal challenge, for now it effectively kills the $15/hour movement in Ohio.

December 1, 2016:

OSHA’s new rules regarding post-accident/injury drug tests, safety incentive programs and reasonable injury reporting procedures went into effect.  These rules limit employers’ rights to have across-the-board post-accident/injury drug tests.  Instead, tests should only be conducted where there is a reasonable belief that drug use contributed to the injury.

Action Needed:  Update your drug test policy and reporting structures in accordance to the new rules, review safety incentive programs.

For More Information:  https://ps-law.com/osha-rule-drug-testing/

November 22, 2016:

New overtime salary test is halted.  The new rules, which would have gone into effect on December 1, 2016, would have raised the “salary test” for exempt employees to $47,476.  The ruling is temporary, pending a full hearing and final decision (which would be subject to appeal).  The rule may also be revoked or revised by the new Administration in January.

For More Information:  https://ps-law.com/1124-2/

September, 2016:

Ohio’s medical marijuana law went into effect.  Under this law, doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana to individuals within the state who have been diagnosed with certain medical conditions or diseases.  However, employers may still consider marijuana use – even if for medical purposes – a violation of the company’s drug policies.  Applicants can still be denied employment based upon a positive drug test, and employers may discipline or terminate employees who test positive for marijuana on company drug tests, including post-accident/injury or reasonable suspicion tests, even if they have a legal prescription to use it.

Action Needed:  Update your drug test policy to put employees on notice that a prescription for medical marijuana does not exempt them from these rules.

For More Information:  https://ps-law.com/ohios-medical-marijuana-law-whats-changed-for-employers/

Coming in 2017:

Ohio’s “Guns in Trunks” Law

A new law signed by Governor Kasich on December 19, 2016, prohibits employers from having policies that prevent employees from keeping guns in their cars, even when the car is parked on company property.  Guns must be kept in an enclosed compartment or container, and this only applies to persons with concealed carry licenses.  The law goes into effect on March 17, 2017.  Employers with “no weapons” policies will need to update their employee handbooks.

Employment posters:

Ohio’s minimum wage changes January 1, 2017 to $8.15.  Download the new poster here:


If you have any questions regarding any of these issues how it impacts your business and employees, please contact Jennifer Corso.  jcorso@, 216-381-3400.