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New laws for the New Year?

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in Compensation and Benefits,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Q. Heading into 2008, are there any changes to Ohio law that employers need to be aware of?

A. In November 2006, voters approved a constitutional amendment raising Ohio’s minimum wage to $7 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2008. The minimum wage for tipped employees increases to $3.50 per hour.

Employers should monitor the Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s proposed changes to the pregnancy discrimination regulations, which would require Ohio employers to provide a minimum of 12 weeks of maternity leave based upon medical necessity and provide light duty to pregnant employees if they provide it to other employees. Recently, the commission voted 4-1 to approve the new regulations, which will not go into effect until after a legislative rules committee approves the proposal.

Ohio employers also should keep their eyes on a drive by the Coalition for Healthy Families, led by the Service Employees International Union, which is attempting to pressure the Legislature to enact a law that would require Ohio employers to provide seven days of paid sick leave to their employees. Absent legislative enactment, the coalition will attempt to put the issue on the November ballot.

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