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Gov. DeWine signs bill clarifying overtime issues

Written on Apr 15, 2022

Gov. DeWine signed Senate Bill 47 on April 6, helping to eliminate confusion for Ohio’s employers and employees alike on the state’s overtime payment qualifications.

The bill is co-sponsored by State Senators Bob Peterson, R-Washington Court House, and Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware, and clarifies Ohio’s overtime wage statute to address when employees qualify for overtime pay in unsupervised locations. The bill will take effect on July 6, 2022.

The state legislation arose in response to the significant increase in remote workers who work on an hourly basis.  The goal is to provide clarity over situations when an unsupervised employee chooses to do a work-related task outside of scheduled working work hours, such as spending seconds or minutes looking at email or checking a voice mail, or time spent on their normal commute to work.

The new law will hopefully limit the threat of employer lawsuits filed by workers seeking payment for such de minimis amounts of work time.  The law change will also help employees who want to work remotely by removing disincentives to supplying them with office equipment.  The concept is supported by the federal courts.  The legislation does not impact overtime situations when the employer has directed an employee to do specific tasks or when written into a contract.

Related, at the federal level, OSCPA has long advocated for a commonsense approach when it comes to overtime policies, and in January joined more than 100 other employer organizations in asking for U.S. Department of Labor stakeholder meetings before the development and issuance of the anticipated proposed rulemaking on the “white collar” exemptions to the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Biden Administration is taking another look at these exemptions.