Ohio Governor Michael DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced that the state has expanded unemployment compensation benefits to workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. By way of background, Ohio’s unemployment insurance system provides 50 percent of a qualifying worker’s former average weekly pay, subject to caps based on the number of dependents in the household.

Governor DeWine has issued an executive order that expands unemployment benefits related to COVID-19. Moreover, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has published a series of questions and answers related to the order. Here are the highlights:
Continue Reading Ohio expands unemployment compensation protections in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The Trump administration’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget includes a merger of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the budget is approved, the OFCCP, which has jurisdiction over federal contractors, would merge into the EEOC, which has jurisdiction over private and public employers; forming a combined super equal employment opportunity enforcement agency.

Background of the two agencies

The OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503), which together prohibit workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and covered veteran status for covered federal contractors and subcontractors. Affirmative action is required on the basis of sex, race, national origin, disability, and covered veteran status in all employment decisions. The OFCCP takes a more proactive approach when enforcing nondiscrimination, requiring federal contractors to draft affirmative action plans that provide equal employment opportunities. The OFCCP audits federal contractors and subcontractors and can impose penalties and citations through the administrative process. Once OFCCP finds areas of noncompliance, it engages in conciliation with the contractor.


Continue Reading Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposes a merger of the EEOC and the OFCCP, prompting concerns over whether the two agencies can effectively operate as one

President Trump issued yet another executive order addressing immigration issues on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. This order, entitled “Buy American and Hire American,” addresses federal procurement policies and reiterates the established policy to purchase goods manufactured in the United States. The order also addresses the H-1B visa. While it does not change any law, regulation or policy, it comes only one day after USCIS once again announced that 199,000 H-1B petitions were received during the first five business days of April to overwhelm the 85,000 limit on visas for the next fiscal year.

Substantively, the executive order merely orders the federal agencies that administer the H-1B program to enforce all laws related to the H-1B visa, something the federal government is already required to do. In addition, the President has ordered these agencies to examine how the program can be improved to protect American jobs. However, the President clearly intends this executive order to focus attention on the H-1B visa. This was made clear in the “Gaggle[1] published on the White House website earlier the same day. This “Gaggle,” a transcript of a conversation between an anonymous “Senior Administration Official” and reporters aboard Air Force One, was published on the official White House website. It is not clear how a document published on this website is “not for attribution” or aligns with President Trump’s criticism of anonymous sources, but nevertheless, it is a discussion of the executive order and seeks to provide some insight into the thinking behind the order.


Continue Reading President Trump’s executive order on H-1B visas

President Trump issued three Executive Orders during the first week of his administration to fulfill his campaign promises. During the campaign, President Trump promised to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico and to impose a ban on the admission of Muslims until the new Administration could impose “extreme vetting” of all non-citizens admitted to the United States. A third Executive Order seeks to withdraw federal funding for sanctuary cities. The implementation of these Orders has been uneven, instilling fear and uncertainty among travelers, their employers and families, leading to numerous demonstrations in cities and at airports throughout the country.

While the three orders addressed different aspects of immigration, the most impactful order was the third one signed and immediately implemented on the late afternoon of Jan. 27, 2017. This order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” suspended immediately the admission of all refugees for 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely and it prohibited the admission of all citizens from seven designated countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) with both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for 60 days. Certain diplomatic visa holders were exempted from the Executive Order. While the Order provided for individual exemptions on a case by case basis, in the national interest, the standards and the procedures to apply for this exemption were not identified in the Order.
Continue Reading President Trump’s immigration Executive Orders

On July 21, 2014, President Obama issued an executive order amending Executive Order 11246 by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes for federal contractors and subcontractors. Under the amended Executive Order 11246, federal contractors and subcontractors are required to select and employ individuals without regard to sexual orientation and

If your company has federal contracts or subcontracts, you should be preparing to comply with Executive Order 13496 by June 21, 2010. The Executive Order, which was signed by President Obama in January, 2009, requires that all companies with federal contracts or subcontracts post a detailed notice to employees informing them of their rights to engage in union organizing. The notice must be posted in “conspicuous places in and about the company’s plants and offices so that it is prominent and readily seen by employees.” “Conspicuous placement” includes, but is not limited to, areas in which the employer posts other notices to employees about terms and conditions of employment. If employers customarily give notices to employees electronically, this notice must be given in a similar format. Copies of the notice are available at the following link: www.dol.gove/olms/regs/compliance/EO13496.htm.


Continue Reading Required Posting For Federal Contractors And Subcontractors – Union Organizing