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Medical Marijuana and Ohio Employers

Legal marijuana is reported to be a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S.—its growth and size are now on par with other well-established businesses. It is no wonder that Ohio has now joined at least 28 other states that have legalized some form of marijuana. The new Ohio law, signed in September 2016, stipulated that the program be ready to service Ohio residents on September 8, 2018. So what does this mean for Ohio employers and their drug-free workplace policies? Employers do not have to accommodate medical marijuana, but may choose to do so. Ohio law does not require employers to permit or accommodate an applicant’s or employee’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana. An employer may choose to accommodate on- and/or off-duty medical marijuana use like any other accommodation. However, under federal law, federal contractors must still maintain a drug-free workplace, and employees in certain safety-sensitive positions (like DOT-regulated drivers) cannot be accommodated. Employers can still make employment decisions based on marijuana use. Employers can discharge, refuse to hire, or discipline an individual because of his or her medical marijuana use. And employers can always prohibit employees from working when impaired, regardless of a substance’s legal or quasi-legal status. Employees who are discharged for using medical marijuana are ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits if their employer’s policy prohibits the use of medical marijuana. Employers may still drug test. Employers can implement and enforce drug testing, drug-free workplace, and zero-tolerance policies. However, drug testing doesn’t measure actual on-the-job impairment when it comes to medical marijuana, and so managers must be trained to identify signs of impairment. Employers should be clear about their...

Quick Home Improvement Projects To Tackle Before The Holidays

Quick Home Improvement Projects To Tackle Before The Holidays With Thanksgiving barely behind us and Christmas on the way, you’re likely worried about how your house looks for holiday guests. While you may think you don’t have time to hire a general contractor in time for Christmas, there are a number of quick home improvement projects you can do to really spruce up your home in time for your guests. Quick & Easy Home Improvement Projects  Replace Doorknobs and Lock Sets Do your doorknobs and locksets look a bit dated? If so, replacing them can give your home a much more updated, modern feel. Replacing doorknobs is fairly easy and while replacing locksets is a bit more challenging, it’s definitely something that most homeowners can handle. Clean and Seal Grout in Kitchen and Bathroom Is the grout in your kitchen and bathroom looking a bit rough? If so, it’s best to use a special cleaner specifically designed to clean grout. Once you’ve cleaned the grout you can use a sealer to prevent it from getting dirty so quickly. Replace Cabinet Hardware Changing the finish and style of your cabinet hardware is another easy project that can really transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Give your home a more contemporary or traditional look just by swapping out your old drawer knobs and pulls for something that is a bit more up to date. Replace Your Dated Shower Rod Looking to give your holiday guests a little more room when they shower? Install a curved shower rod to give your guests some extra room when showering. Upgrade Your Toilet Seat...

Mold and Your Health

We all know that mold in our homes is a bad thing – but exactly how bad is it for your health and your home itself? Mold grows by releasing its spores (reproductive cells) into the air, which are invisible to the naked eye. It can spread and grow anywhere as long as moisture and oxygen are present but commonly grows on surfaces such as insulation, sheetrock, tile, fabrics, and wood. It can enter your home through windows, vents, and doorways or it can attach itself to clothing and pets and be carried inside. It might be a shock to learn that you can have hundreds or even thousands of mold spores in one cubic foot of air in your home. Mold and your health Spores that land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing can produce allergens, irritants, and potentially toxic substances. Continuous exposure to a moldy environment can cause or worsen pre-existing health effects. Seemingly healthy people can also suffer from throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation or nasal stuffiness in a home with high levels of mold. People who are allergic to mold or who have any pre-existing health issues could get serious infections in their lungs that can spread. Those with asthma could see worsened asthmatic symptoms over time due to exposure to mold spores. Some recent studies even suggest a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children. Your home Mold growth affects not only your family’s health but also the health and safety of your home. Because it grows where moisture and oxygen exist, mold...

Humidifiers 101

Benefits of Humidification Humidifiers gently disperse moisture into your home environment, alleviating dry air and making your home more comfortable throughout the year. In arid regions or during the dry winter months, dry indoor air can be detrimental to your home and to your family’s well-being: What Humidifiers Do and Why This Is Important Add moisture in dry months and maintain a healthy level of humidity throughout the year. Relieve scratchy throat and hay fever symptoms: moisture helps relieve dry skin and eyes, coughs, and scratchy throats, helping you breathe better and sleep more comfortably. Reduce static electricity: beneficial to people, computers, and other home electronics. Maintain your home’s interior: consistent moisture level protects wood floors, plant life and even furniture, musical instruments, paint, and wallpaper. Increase freshness: adding humidity can increase the freshness in your home, alleviating stale “indoor air.” Lower energy bills: moist air feels warmer than dry air, so you can set your thermostat lower while still feeling warm and comfortable. Types of Products   Additional features: Look for these added features on your Holmes® humidifier. Humidistat – a humidity thermostat measures the moisture in the air and automatically disperses moisture to achieve the setting you select. Contains an Antimicrobial Product Protection Additive – This information is based upon standard laboratory tests and is provided for comparative purposes to substantiate antimicrobial activity for nonpublic health applications. The antimicrobial additive is not designed to protect users from disease-causing microorganisms. Antimicrobial additive inhibits the growth of microorganisms that cause stains and odors. Antimicrobial action limited to the product surface. Filter Change Reminder – an indicator light takes the...

Does Your Home Have Pet Odors?

Does your home have pet odors? You love your four-legged friends, but you might not leave their scents in your home. Luckily, there are ways you can keep your home smelling fresh, before lingering pet odors set into your home and belongings. Follow these tips to keep your home smelling fresh: 6 Steps to an Odor-Free Home Vacuum first! Begin with a thorough vacuum of the area to remove pet hair and dander. Sprinkle on a little baking soda. Sprinkle some on to your carpets after a thorough vacuum. Let it sit for several hours, and then vacuum it again. Baking soda neutralizes trapped odors, just as it does when used to remove funky smells in a refrigerator. Sunlight and fresh air This tip is for upholstered furniture, throw rugs, or any portable fabric-covered items. Take those items outdoors to expose them to fresh air and a little sunshine. A clothesline is a great way to avoid bugs, and expose the piece to the wind and fresh air. Leave them outside for several hours on a dry, non-humid day. Sunlight and airflow help remove all types of odors stuck within fabric fibers. Sunshine and fresh air (if the air is dry) are great for the rental unit, too. Open the curtains and windows to air the place out for several hours a day. Toss it in the wash. Area rugs, throw blankets, and machine washable draperies and linens are easily deodorized in the washer. Start by adding a 1-lb box of baking soda to your regular detergent, air-drying items in the sun when possible. If you can still smell pet odors, rewash with an...

Drones Are Transforming the Insurance Industry

The insurance industry is transforming at a bewildering rate and there are changes in the way consumers are purchasing insurance. According to a recent survey of U.S. consumers, more than 32% of all respondents—and 50% of those aged 18–25— said they prefer to work directly with insurance carriers. In today’s world, we are experiencing rapid changes in the amount of data that insurers are gathering and analyzing. The number of internet-connected devices and sensors is projected to reach 50 billion by 2020, which will have a significant impact on the availability of real-time information that insurers can use for better pricing/underwriting. Finally, we can’t forget about drones, which are expected to have a $6.8 billion impact on the insurance industry. Ways that we see drones are impacting the insurance industry. Drones already play an important part in the insurance claims process Customer experience is paramount and the ability to shorten the claims timeframe is a crucial part of maintaining competitiveness in the insurance industry. Today, one claims adjuster on site and equipped with a drone can set up an automated flight plan around multiple insured locations; evaluate the properties using sensors, and capture images. According to Cognizant, drone usage is predicted to make claims adjusters’ workflow 40– 50% more efficient. Drones can improve the speed with which customers receive settlements and give claims managers a better sense of where and how many staff should be deployed. There is also less risk involved for claims adjusters, who no longer need to climb ladders or go on roofs to assess damage; by using drones they can remain in a safe area...

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