Lunch and Learn Legal Update: The Latest on COVID-19 for Employers

In News by Coolidge Wall

Please join Coolidge Wall attorneys Marc Fleischauer, David Pierce, Michelle Bach and Benjamin Mazer for an informative Lunch and Learn session on the latest legal updates on COVID-19 for employers. Date: Friday, January 15, 2021 Time: Noon to 1 pm Location: Zoom Meeting During this session, we will discuss the following: Mandatory Vaccinations – Yes or No? Modifications to CARES Act and Extension of Unemployment Benefits Workers’ Compensation Defense in the COVID Era COVID and ADA/FMLA Interplay Employer Civil Immunity from Liability Please RSVP to with your name, title, company and the telephone number that you will use if …

New Ohio COVID-19 Law Provides Businesses with Broad Immunity

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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 …

House Bill 81 Brings Changes to Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law

In Labor by Coolidge Wall

Governor DeWine approved House Bill 81, which makes several significant changes to Ohio Workers’ Compensation law. The changes made by the legislation will go into effect on September 14, 2020. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with how these changes will affect your business. The new statutory language will be set forth in Ohio Revised Code §4123.56(F) and will state, “If an employee is not working or has suffered a wage loss as the direct result of reasons unrelated to the allowed injury or occupational disease, the employee is not eligible to receive compensation under this section.” Applying the …

Discrimination Law Protects Homosexual and Transgender Workers

In Employment Law by Coolidge Wall

In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court determined on June 15, 2020 that most gay and transgender workers are protected under federal law from employment discrimination. Justice Gorsuch delivered the Court’s 6-3 opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County.[1]  The issue in Bostock was one of statutory construction. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it “unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual . . . because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”[2]  The Court considered whether 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 …

Legislative Update: Ohio’s Continued Effort to Legalize Sports Betting

In General by Coolidge Wall

In my September 6, 2018 blog post, I discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, which held that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (“PASPA”) was unconstitutional. PASPA previously prohibited state-sanctioned sports betting and effectively outlawed sports betting anywhere but Nevada. The Supreme Court’s ruling opened the door for all 50 states to legalize sports betting within their borders. At the time, I cited two identical “placeholder” bills which had been introduced in the Ohio House and Senate, both of which made clear the General Assembly’s intention to enact legislation …

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 …

Ohio Health Director Continues “Stay at Home Order” Through May 1, 2020

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

On Thursday, April 2, 2020, Governor DeWine announced an Amended “Stay at Home” Order issued by Ohio Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH (the “Amended Order”). The Amended Order extends the original Order’s two-week restrictions on the ability of individuals in Ohio to leave their residences, this time through May 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM. Additionally, the Amended Order continues the prior Order’s prohibition on the operation of non-essential businesses and operations. The same exemptions for businesses operating as “essential businesses and operations” created under the initial Order still apply. Notably, the Amended Order provides some new requirements for stores …

New IRS Guidance Requires Employees to Provide Information to Request Paid Leave

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

New guidance from the IRS, issued the evening of March 31, 2020, answers some of the questions left open by recent DOL publications on the issue of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded FMLA leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Perhaps most importantly, the IRS guidance identifies specific information that employers can require from employees seeking paid leave under the new statute. Employers may require a written request for any leave sought under the FFCRA including, at a minimum: The employee’s name; The date or dates for which leave is requested; A statement identifying the COVID-19 …