On June 16, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a new executive order expanding unemployment compensation eligibility in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, if an employee refuses, without good cause, to return to the same position they previously held, the employee is ineligible for unemployment compensation. With this executive order, however, good cause for refusing suitable work now includes:
- A medical professional’s recommendation that an individual not return to work because he/she falls into a category that is considered “high risk” for contracting COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the employer cannot offer teleworking options; or
- The employee is sixty-five years of age or older; or
- There is tangible evidence of a health and safety violation by the employer that does not allow the employee to practice social distancing, hygiene, and wearing protective equipment; or
- Potential exposure to COVID-19 and subject to a prescribed quarantine period by a medical or health professional; or
- Employee is staying home to care for a family member who is suffering from COVID-19 or is subject to a prescribed quarantine period by a medical or health professional.
This standard remains in effect until Ohio’s state of emergency order is lifted.
If you have any questions about this executive order and its effect on your organization, contact a member of the Labor & Employment practice group.