During the December lame duck session, the Ohio legislature passed SB 199. Among other things, the law provides that a business entity, property owner, or public or private employer may not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting a person who has been issued a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition inside the person’s privately owned motor vehicle. Thus, under SB 199 employers cannot prevent employees who are licensed to carry guns from keeping those guns locked in their own car in the company parking lot.

Employers with employees in Ohio are advised to review their weapons policies for compliance with the new law, which is effective March 20, 2017.

The legislature also passed SB 331, which (among other things) prohibits political subdivisions of the state from passing laws or otherwise regulating a number of areas of employment, including but not limited to:

  • Minimum wage laws that exceed the state wage rate;
  • Fringe benefits , including leaves of absences, sick pay, vacation, and other benefits;
  • Requiring on-call, show-up, or reporting pay; and
  • Requiring advance notice of scheduling changes.

SB 331 is effective March 20, 2017.

Although Ohio could still pass a statewide sick leave law, SB 331 will avoid the patchwork of local sick leave laws that is blanketing other states, such as California and New Jersey, and creating headaches for employers. While this is good news for employers with employees in Ohio, multi-state employers still have to contend with local laws on all of the above in states outside of Ohio. For example, Seattle recently passed a scheduling ordinance, several jurisdictions require employers to provide reporting pay for employees who show up but are sent home without performing a minimum amount of work, and of course, as all multi-state employers are aware, an increasing number of jurisdictions require employers to provide paid sick leave for their employees.