Senate Bill 47 formally adopted the federal government’s Portal-to-Portal Act amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), adding formal overtime exclusions to existing Ohio overtime law. The amendments go into effect on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The act also requires any employee joining a class action against an employer to formally “opt-in” to any overtime lawsuit.
Employers Are Exempt from Paying Overtime For:
Under SB 47, employers are exempt from paying overtime any time employees spend:
Walking, riding, or traveling to and from the actual place of performance of the principal activity or activities that the employee is employed to perform;
Activities that are preliminary to or postliminary to the principal activity or activities;
Activities requiring insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the employee’s scheduled working hours.
These exclusions apply to an activity described above either prior to the time on any particular workday at which the employee commences, or subsequent to the time on any particular workday at which the employee commences, or subsequent to the time which the employee ceases his or her principal activities of employment.
Employers Must Pay Overtime For:
However, these exclusions do not apply (so overtime must be paid) to an employee performing such ordinarily exempt activities pursuant to an employment or union contract or if the employee performs such activities pursuant to a custom or practice in effect at the time of the performance and such custom is not inconsistent with any employment or union contract.
Changes to Steps Employees Take To Join as a Plaintiff
Finally, any employee that wishes to join as a plaintiff to a civil class action against an employer for alleged state overtime violations must first give written consent to become such a party plaintiff, and such consent must be filed with the Court. Prior to the “opt-in” change, if a class action was filed on behalf of multiple employees, other employees who were not named plaintiffs would have to “opt-out,” thus would have been entitled to receive compensation in successful litigation, regardless if they participated.
Senate Bill 47 is a positive development for Ohio employers
Senate Bill 47 is a positive development for Ohio employers who now have consistency when it comes to state and federal overtime law and will not have to compensate their employees for such things as commuting to and from work. It is important for employers to update their employment agreements, policies, and/or procedures to reflect these new changes. A best practice for employers is to have their handbook and employment policies reviewed at least every three to five years.
Should you have any questions, please contact either:
Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., LPA