New Ohio COVID-19 Law Provides Businesses with Broad Immunity

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Marc L. Fleischauer

On September 14, 2020 Governor DeWine signed House Bill 606 (the “Legislation”) into law giving many businesses protection from lawsuits due to COVID-19 and other infections. Specifically, the Legislation provides that no person is liable for a civil action for damages, injury, or death due to COVID-19 or similar illnesses unless the person engages in reckless conduct, intentional misconduct, or willful or wanton misconduct. These immunity provisions will become retroactive to March 9, 2020 and remain in effect until September 30, 2021. The definitions in the Legislation make it clear that the term “person” protects not only individuals but also …

Treasury Department Issues Loan Forgiveness Application Form and Instructions

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

On May 15, 2020, the United States Treasury Department issued its long awaited Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan Forgiveness Application Instructions (“Forgiveness Application”), including a PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form (with instructions) and a list of expected supporting documents to accompany the Forgiveness Application (3245-0407 SBA Form 3508 PPP Forgiveness Application.pdf). The following is a summary of the material points from this guidance.[1] Eight-Week Period for Measuring Forgiveness – a Helpful Option Added The Borrower’s loan forgiveness is measured during the eight-week/56-day period following receipt of the PPP loan, with the first day being the date of receipt of the …

COVID-19 Work Refusal: What To Do If An Employee Refuses To Go Back To Work

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

As non-essential Ohio businesses begin to reopen, some employees may not be eager to return. This could be due to lingering safety concerns about COVID-19 and/or because employees may be receiving an extra $600 a week in the form of unemployment benefits from the federal government. This $600 benefit is often in addition to whatever state unemployment benefits the employee receives, even if that results in the employee making more by staying at home than by returning to work. So, what can you do when you ask employees to come back to work and they refuse? First, it is important …

Businesses Deal with the Challenges of Re-Opening While Complying with Ohio Mandates

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

On Friday, May 15, 2020, restaurants and bars were authorized to re-open their patios to customers for outdoor dining and drinking in the state of Ohio. On the same day, personal care businesses (such as hair salons) were permitted to re-open. The businesses in the restaurant industry and personal care industry that opted to re-open over the weekend are accustomed to industry regulations. However, these and other businesses are now faced with the challenge of complying with government mandates and guidelines different from those that existed before the pandemic. The largest issues businesses are facing regarding re-opening may be related …

Ohio Sets Date For Additional Businesses To Re-Open

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

Restaurants, Bars, Hair Salons and Barbershops Among Those Included in May 7, 2020 Order On Thursday, May 7, 2020, Ohio Governor DeWine announced Ohio’s plan for additional nonessential businesses to open their doors to customers. Governor DeWine has announced that the restaurant and personal care working groups, which are two separate Ohio task forces comprised of stakeholders in these business sectors, have concluded their work. These two working groups have submitted their completed reports containing best practices and guidelines for re-opening to the Governor. While Ohio’s Stay Safe Order still prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people, the Governor announced …

PPP Loans — Building the Case to Support Your Certification of Economic Need

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

UPDATE AS OF MAY 5, 2020 – SBA EXTENDS SAFE HARBOR TO MAY 14, 2020 AND PROMISES FURTHER GUIDANCE PRIOR TO THEN In creating the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), the CARES Act required that “an eligible recipient applying for a covered [i.e., PPP] loan shall make a good faith certification that . . . the uncertainty of current economic conditions makes necessary the loan request to support the ongoing operations of the eligible recipient.” To that end, the application for a PPP loan includes the following certification by the applicant: “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support …

Ohio Begins to Go Back to Work

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Ohio Governor DeWine announced Ohio’s plan for nonessential business to return to normal operations. While Ohio’s Stay at Home Order remains in place and gatherings of 10 people or more are generally not permitted, the Governor announced that certain businesses can open on the following timetable: May 1: Most Healthcare Procedures resume, provided that they do not require overnight stays. Dental and veterinary procedures may also resume. May 4: Reopening for General Office Environments. The Department of Health provided mandatory and best practices guidance. Employees and guests must maintain social distancing and use physical barriers …

Business Interruption Insurance Claims and Denials – Your Coverage May Vary

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

Business interruption insurance is intended to cover income lost because ordinary operations are disrupted (typically by a natural disaster, but also because of government action in some cases). Has anything in recent memory been more disruptive to business operations than COVID-19? Business interruption is an optional extra added on to casualty insurance (your commercial general liability policy, property damage coverage, etc.). If you do not know whether you have it, you should probably stop reading now, and go check. While you are checking, look to see whether you have endorsements or riders specifically covering communicable diseases. Your business interruption policy …

Ohio Enforcement Regarding “Essential” Business Determinations

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

As virtually all Ohio residents and business owners know, Dr. Amy Acton, the Director of Ohio’s Department of Health, issued a “Stay at Home Order” on March 22, 2020, and issued an amended and extended Stay at Home Order through May 1, 2020, on April 2, 2020. Dr. Acton’s Order requires “all businesses and operations” in Ohio to cease all activities except “Minimum Basic Operations” unless the business activities consist only of employees working from home. The Order permits “Essential Businesses and Operations” to continue – with requirements relating to social distancing to protect employees and patrons. The Order prompted …