Resources

Client Alerts, News Articles, Blog Posts, & Multimedia

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Pregnant Employee Protections - New Requirements for Employers

Multimedia, Client Alert

Two new laws were recently passed providing additional protections for pregnant employees in the workplace. These statutes are: (1) the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act (otherwise known as the Pump Act), and (2) the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. These statutes contain the biggest changes for pregnant employees since the implementation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The requirements of these statutes will require employers with more than 15 employees to implement new policies for their handbooks. More information on flat fee options for these policies is provided below.

Generally, the PUMP Act requires employers to set aside a temporary or permanent private place (other than a restroom) for the purpose of allowing employees to express breastmilk. Employers must provide employees with this break time, and this time must be paid if other paid break times are provided. This Act went into effect on December 29, 2022.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act contains the biggest changes for pregnant employees. This Act, which begins on June 27, 2023, requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a pregnant employee’s known limitations related to pregnancy or childbirth. Importantly, these limitations do not need to rise to the level of a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to be accommodated. This will provide almost guaranteed coverage for pregnant employees.

A few examples provided by the DOL include: the ability to sit or drink water; receive closer parking; have flexible hours; receive appropriately sized uniforms and safety apparel; receive additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest; take leave or time off to recover from childbirth; work-from-home; and be excused from strenuous activities and/or activities that involve exposure to compounds not safe for pregnancy. However, this Act specifically states an employer cannot require an employee to take leave (paid or unpaid) if another reasonable accommodation can be provided that would let the employee keep working.

Similar to the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations unless they would cause an “undue hardship” on the employer’s operations. An “undue hardship” is a significant difficulty or expense for the employer. This is a high standard to meet that should involve an attorney’s review and oversight.

These changes will require the implementation of two new policies for the vast majority of employers (more than 15 employees). Therefore, I am offering a bundle option for our clients. Clients can receive both policies for a flat fee of $500, which can include minor customization specific to the employer’s requirements. This flat fee will also include an overview telephone conference for implementation of the new requirements. In addition, if a client has not had their handbook audited in the last year, we recommend a general handbook audit to ensure compliance with all new employment laws and regulations. We will offer a flat fee that includes both the handbook audit and the two new pregnant employee policies for $1500.

Employment Law After Hours published a YouTube Podcast further explaining these statutes and their requirements. Click below to view the episode featuring BMD Labor & Employment Partner, Bryan Meek

For more information, contact Bryan at bmeek@bmdllc.com or 330.253.5586.


The Ohio State University Launches Its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

In response to Ohio’s nursing shortage, The Ohio State University College of Nursing is accepting applications for its new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (aBSN). Created for students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing fields, the aBSN allows such students to obtain their nursing degree within 18 months. All aBSN students will participate in high-quality coursework and gain valuable clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the State Board, National Council of Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).

Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

Many physician practices and healthcare businesses are facing a new set of federal transparency requirements that require action now. The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements (the “Rule”), which was promulgated pursuant to the 2021 bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, is intended to help curb illegal finance and other impermissible activity in the United States.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to: