State of Ohio Posts Jobs With No Benefits
In this time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Ohio has been encouraging people to look at its Ohio Means Jobs website. The Lieutenant Governor has been promoting the site, stating that it has "hundreds of thousands of jobs," many of which pay "more than $50,000 per year." However, the jobs uploaded to the site on December 17 may not be what unemployed people have been hoping for or need in order to dig themselves out of a financial hole.
Jobs With No Benefits
One of the longstanding benefits of getting a full-time job is access to paid sick leave, vacation and employer-based healthcare benefits. In the most recent job postings from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, the agency is hiring full-time, temporary workers with no benefits. Those jobs are for the agency's own workforce. It is worth noting that the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services is the state agency that is supposed to look out for the welfare of workers.
Types of Jobs Available With the State of Ohio Without Benefits
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services just uploaded dozens of temporary jobs that require a standard 8:00 am to 5:00 pm work schedule Monday through Friday. These are full-time, 40-hour per week jobs. The schedules are non-negotiable. The job postings state that the positions are not eligible for benefits. The types of jobs posted include electronic design specialist, which requires at least five years of experience and a bachelor's degree.
Labor Leaders Question the Job Postings
COVID-19 cases in Ohio have passed the 550,000 mark and will likely surpass 600,000 by the end of this week. Labor leaders and journalists questioned the Ohio Department of Jobs adn Family services as to why they are offering jobs with no medical benefits. Specifically, they asked why the agency is listing these jobs because temporary workers have to pay a penalty if they do not have healthcare insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The employer also has to pay a penalty if they don't offer it to full-time workers, even if those workers are listed as temporary.
Response from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services
According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, the Affordable Care Act's guidelines for benefit eligibility for part-time and temporary workers is based on the individual's length of employment and the hours worked during their period of employment. However, the journalists noted that the jobs don't have a set end date or total hours. They wanted to know why Ohio is offering jobs with no health insurance during a pandemic. The agency didn't respond to their inquiries.
What the Job Postings Say
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services job postings begin with a statement about how the agency's mission is to improve the well-being of Ohio's workforce and families. It goes on to say that they promote economic self-sufficiency. However, the jobs the agency is offering don't meet those requirements. A monthly premium for a non-smoking family of four to get health insurance in Columbus, where the agency and jobs are located, costs an average of $810. That is about 24% of the monthly salary for the listed position. That amount wouldn't account for deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, prescriptions or the other costs of getting sick or injured.
Benefits Required By the Law
There is no law that any employer has to provide any benefit to any employee no matter how many hours they work or how much money they make. The Affordable Care Act does penalize applicable large employers if they don't offer minimum essential coverage after a specific period of time after a person starts working. Those employers and jobs include full-time equivalents of 30 or more hours per week. large employers can wait for 90 days before the employees are eligible. If the temporary job is less than 90 days, the employee would never qualify for benefits no matter how many hours they work during that period.
Shared Responsibility Penalty
The IRS allows large employers to either offer minimum essential coverage at an affordable price to full-time employees or to pay a penalty. Employers get to make the decision. It's often cheaper to just pay the penalty. They can even offer benefits to some workers and pay the penalty on other workers.